Damien Hirst, Cherry Blossoms, the artist’s first major solo exhibition in Japan, presented by The National Art Center, Tokyo and Fondation Cartier pour l’Art Contemporain has just opened on March 2nd.
The Cherry Blossom paintings were presented for the first time at the Fondation Cartier in Paris from July 2021 – January 2022.
Damien Hirst said:
“The Cherry Blossoms are about beauty and life and death. They’re extreme—there’s something almost tacky about them. Like Jackson Pollock twisted by love. They’re decorative but taken from nature. They’re about desire and how we process the things around us and what we turn them into, but also about the insane visual transience of beauty—a tree in full crazy blossom against a clear sky. It’s been so good to make them, to be completely lost in colour and in paint in my studio. They’re garish and messy and fragile and about me moving away from Minimalism and the idea of an imaginary mechanical painter and that’s so exciting for me.”
Working across sculpture, installation, painting and drawing, Hirst explores themes connected to life and death, excess and fragility. If sculpture earned him an important reputation in his early years, painting has always played an essential role in his work. Started after an ambitious sculpture project, Treasures from the Wreck of the Unbelievable, that took 10 years to make, the Cherry Blossoms series marks the artist’s return to solitary work in his studio. He works on several canvases at the same time, constantly returning to some he keeps close by, months after their completion. After devoting three full years to the series, Hirst finished the Cherry Blossoms series of 107 paintings in November 2020.
Damien Hirst, Cherry Blossoms at The National Art Center, Tokyo 2nd March – 23rd May 2022.
About the artist
Damien Hirst was born in in Bristol, England, and lives and works in London, Devon, and Gloucestershire, England.
Collections include the Museo d’Arte Contemporanea Donnaregina, Naples, Italy; Museum Brandhorst, Munich; Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt am Main, Germany; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; Centro de Arte Dos de Mayo, Madrid; Tate, London; Israel Museum, Jerusalem; Astrup Fearnley Museet, Oslo; Gallery of Modern Art, Glasgow, Scotland; National Centre for Contemporary Arts, Moscow; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC; Art Institute of Chicago; The Broad, Los Angeles; Museo Jumex, Mexico City; and 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa, Japan. Exhibitions include Cornucopia, Oceanographic Museum of Monaco (2010); Tate Modern, London (2012); Relics, Qatar Museums Authority, Al Riwaq (2013); Signification (Hope, Immortality and Death in Paris, Now and Then), Deyrolle, Paris (2014); Astrup Fearnley Museet, Oslo (2015); The Last Supper, National Gallery of Art, Washington DC (2016); Treasures from the Wreck of the Unbelievable, Palazzo Grassi and Punta della Dogana, Venice (2017); Damien Hirst at Houghton Hall: Colour Space Paintings and Outdoor Sculptures, Houghton Hall, Norfolk, England (2019); Mental Escapology, St. Moritz, Switzerland (2021); Cherry Blossoms, Fondation Cartier, Paris (2021); and Archaeology Now, Galleria Borghese, Rome (2021). Hirst received the Turner Prize in 1995.