Colour Space Damien Hirst
Find out more about Damien Hirst’s Colour Space series, browse prints & editions for sale & view the works wanted by active buyers right now.
Produced as a set of eight prints, Damien Hirst’s Colour Space series depicts a range of abstract, all-over compositions of brightly coloured dots. The series negotiates the artist’s ongoing relationship with dots that has been a constant throughout his career since his famous Spot paintings. Hirst’s Colour Space paintings, which this series is based on, were first exhibited at the Gagosian Gallery in New York in 2018.
The Colour Space series presents a variation on Hirst’s spot paintings but exude a more human and painterly aesthetic. Rather than depicting clinical and perfectly painted circles, the prints in this series show hundreds of dots spontaneously dancing across the composition, sometimes overlapping, and coinciding with the occasional paint splatter. The impulsive quality of this series resembles Jackson Pollock’s abstract expressionist works and is far more expressive than Hirst’s earlier works depicting spots and dots.
Despite abandoning the grid formulation of his earlier works, this very recent series adheres to the basic rules of Hirst’s spot paintings. Hirst has recalled, “I originally wanted the Spots to look like they were painted by a human trying to paint like a machine. Colour Space is going back to the human element, so instead you have the fallibility of the human hand in the drips and inconsistencies. There are still no two exact colours that repeat in each painting, which is really important to me. I think of them as cells under a microscope.”
Why is the Colour Space series so important?
The Spot paintings were compelling due to their potential towards endlessness, but the Colour Space paintings and this series of prints mark a turn in Hirst’s attitude towards his work because they are a finite set of works. As Hirst explains, “My first ever Spot painting was loose and painted with drippy paint and not minimal at all. In that painting, I was wrestling with what I originally thought of as the coldness of Minimalism and the more emotional Abstract Expressionist painting style I’d grown up with. At the time I painted it, it felt uncool and I abandoned it immediately for the rigidity of the grid, removing the mess, but after doing the Spot catalogue raisonné I’ve felt really drawn to that first painting and knew I’d revisit it eventually.”
It is only in the later stages of Hirst’s career that he has become interested in prints and editions. His first print portfolio was produced in 1999 and were a set of screen prints that depicted medicine bottle labels. Since his first print portfolio, Hirst has ventured into the technique of etching like the prints in the Colour Space series.
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