Gly-Gly-Ala is a signed woodcut spot produced by renowned contemporary artist, Damien Hirst. The print, made in 2016, shows a grid of spots which appear to be rendered in a random selection of colours. The bright and bold colours imbue this print with a sense of playfulness and captures Hirst’s love for colour. The haphazard colourful selection contrasts with the meticulous precision with which the spots are arranged in the grid formation.
Gly-Gly-Ala is one of Hirst’s Spots paintings. The Spots paintings and prints have become an iconic part of Hirst’s oeuvre and a trademark feature of the artist’s visual language to the extent that spots en-masse have become synonymous with Hirst’s name. Every Spots painting follows the same formula: a grid of colourful spots which are evenly spaced yet random in colour.
This name of this particular Spots painting refers to a chemical compound, reflecting how Hirst attempts to use his art to blur the boundaries between art and science. Hirst likens the technique used to produce the Spots paintings to science, explaining how decision-making is pared down to become clinical, almost scientific. The Spots paintings require geometrical precision and the removal of any evidence of human intervention which counter many practices of classical and fine art.