Eye-catching in its bold use of colour, Aurous Iodide is a screen print by Damien Hirst from 2009 published in an edition of 150. The vertical composition shows several rows of perfect circles, known as ‘spots’, each rendered in a different colour and evenly spaced apart. Unusual for other works like this one, Hirst has set the spots against a shiny gold backdrop that sheds new light on his famed Spots paintings that this print is directly related to.
The Spots paintings have become iconic to Hirst’s name. There are over 1000 of the paintings in existence, dating from 1988 to 2011, where Hirst has produced an average of 60 spot paintings a year. There are many more editioned prints like this one that depict the rows of coloured spots. The grid formula for these paintings is the basis for an endless series where Hirst can infinitely explore harmonious and contrasting colour combinations.
Fascinated by intuitive colour choice from his days at Goldsmiths, Hirst claims that the spot paintings have removed any problems he previously had with colour, allowing him to present a perfect arrangement of colour that is never repeated. Hirst in 2000 remarked on the impact of an installation of multiple spot paintings, “it’s an assault on your senses. They grab hold of you and give you a good shaking. As adults, we’re not used to it. It’s an amazing fact that all objects leap beyond their own dimension.”