Where the Land Meets the Sea, an exhibition of new paintings by Damien Hirst, many of which have never been shown before, opens at Phillips in London on Thursday 20 July 2023. The show launches a drop on the HENI Primary digital platform.
The exhibition features new paintings from three series – Coast Paintings, Sea Paintings, and Seascapes. They are inspired by Hirst’s lifelong connection to the sea and particularly evoke his pastime of walking on the beach watching the sea, most recently in the UK during the winter. They draw influence from Abstract Expressionism, specifically Robert Motherwell’s “Beside the Sea” paintings from the 1960s.
Coast Paintings is a series of abstract action paintings named after British seaside locations. The paintings began their life as grey canvases which were laid on the floor of Hirst’s studio while he painted his acclaimed Cherry Blossoms series, catching the ricochets of paint intended for the blossoms. Recognising the beauty of these chance colour splatters, Hirst developed these canvases into a series of paintings.
Sea Paintings marks the latest iteration in Hirst’s long-established practice of producing paintings after photographs, freezing in greyscale the power and energy of coastal storms. Seascapes use the photorealistic scenes of Sea Paintings as the basis onto which Hirst creates additional and tactile layers of action through splattered paint.
Damien Hirst is a renowned British contemporary artist known for his provocative and controversial works that often explore themes of mortality, life, and the human condition. Born on June 7, 1965, in Bristol, England, Hirst emerged as a leading figure in the 1990s art scene and has since become one of the wealthiest and most influential artists in the world.
Hirst’s interest in art began at a young age, and he pursued formal art education at the Jacob Kramer College of Art in Leeds and later at Goldsmiths, University of London. It was at Goldsmiths that Hirst became part of the “Young British Artists” (YBAs) group, which included other prominent artists like Tracey Emin and Sarah Lucas.
Damien Hirst is best known for his conceptual and highly varied body of work, which includes installations, sculptures, paintings, and more. He often uses a diverse range of materials, from formaldehyde-preserved animals to butterflies, diamonds, and pharmaceuticals. Hirst’s works challenge conventional notions of art and provoke discussions about mortality, consumerism, and the commodification of art.
One of Hirst’s most iconic and controversial works is “The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living” (1991), a shark preserved in formaldehyde and displayed in a glass tank. Another well-known series is “The Spot Paintings,” consisting of numerous paintings covered with colorful spots arranged in a grid pattern.
In 2007, Hirst made headlines with his work “For the Love of God,” a platinum skull encrusted with diamonds, making it one of the most expensive artworks ever created.
Damien Hirst’s art has received both critical acclaim and public attention. He won the Turner Prize in 1995, and his works have been exhibited in major museums and galleries around the world. Hirst’s influence on the contemporary art scene has been significant, inspiring and polarizing audiences alike.
Hirst is also known for his entrepreneurial approach to art and his involvement in the art market. He played a crucial role in the development of the art movement known as “art branding,” where artists actively engage in the marketing and sale of their works. Hirst’s artworks have commanded high prices at auctions, contributing to his substantial wealth and commercial success.
Despite garnering praise and criticism, Damien Hirst’s contributions to contemporary art cannot be denied. His ability to challenge and captivate audiences, coupled with his distinctive artistic style, has solidified his position as one of the most influential and controversial artists of his generation.
The exhibition is being presented with the support of the artist’s galleries, Gagosian and White Cube.Exhibition dates: 20 July –
18 August 2023 Opening hours: Monday – Saturday 10am – 6pm and Sunday 12pm – 6pm
Location: Phillips, 30 Berkeley Square, London, W1J 6EX