Damien Hirst to unveil a new series of spot paintings at Houghton Hall

Damien Hirst’s English Lilac (2016), household gloss on canvas 406 x 610mm. Photograph: © Damien Hirst and Science Ltd FAD Magazine
Damien Hirst’s English Lilac (2016), household gloss on canvas 406 x 610mm. Photograph: © Damien Hirst and Science Ltd

Damien Hirst is to take over the spectacular gilded state rooms of Houghton Hall to show a new series of his spot paintings.

The Colour Space works, one of which you can seen above, will be shown at Houghton Hall in Norfolk, built in the 18th century for Britain’s first prime minister, Sir Robert Walpole, and which once housed one of the world’s greatest art collections.

Houghton was built with an art collection in mind. Walpole amassed an amazing collection which included works by artists such as Rembrandt, Poussin, Van Dyck and Velázquez. In 1779, 34 years after Walpole’s death, the profligacy of his grandson led to the collection being sold to the highest bidder, bought as a job lot by Catherine the Great for the then vast sum of £40,555.

Hirst will show about 50 of his new paintings in Houghton’s state rooms, and some of his most recognisable sculptures will be installed in the gardens. The paintings are a development of his spot paintings.

The show’s curator, Mario Codognato, said

“They are literally going to replace Old Master paintings [at Houghton] and will be displayed like they are Old Master paintings, in a very different way than if it was a classic white cube gallery.”

He said there would be a contrast between the historical splendour of the rooms and the works, but visitors would also see “how classic and iconic” the Hirst images had become.

“It is an absolutely amazing space and is a very interesting experiment for Damien to show in such a context.”

Houghton’s owner, Lord Cholmondeley, said he was delighted to have the opportunity to exhibit Hirst.

“It is perhaps the first time that Hirst has shown a significant body of work in a formal country house setting. William Kent’s gilded interiors will be transformed for the duration of the show.”

The Colour Space paintings have been conceived as a finite series with rigorous rules. In total there will be 4 million spots painted in household gloss, with the largest painting containing 90,000 spots. On 250 canvasses there will be spots sized at 6mm, 10mm, 25mm, 50mm, 75mm and 100mm. There will also be a triptych and 12 canvases on a black background.The works have been produced at Hirst’s three studios in Devon, London and Gloucestershire, with each of his hired painters averaging 1,500 spots a day. Via The Guardian

Damien Hirst at Houghton Hall: Colour Space Paintings and Outdoor Sculptures, 25 March – 15 July
www.houghtonhall.com More Damien Hirst stories HERE

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