DAMIEN HIRST: HIS OWN WORST ENEMY | ITSLIQUID GROUP

DAMIEN HIRST: HIS OWN WORST ENEMY

Art | December 5, 2021 |

damienhirsthisworstenemy
Image courtesy of White Cube

Damien Hirst: His Own Worst Enemy
Location: White Cube, Hong Kong
November 24, 2021 – January 08, 2022

White Cube Hong Kong is pleased to present ‘His Own Worst Enemy’, an exhibition by Damien Hirst. On view in Asia for the first time, sculptures from Hirst’s acclaimed series ‘Treasures from the Wreck of the Unbelievable’ feature alongside a new series of paintings titled ‘The Revelations’, produced in 2021.

damienhirsthisworstenemy
Image courtesy of White Cube

‘Treasures from the Wreck of the Unbelievable’, a project that Hirst developed over ten years, is based on the fictional discovery of an ancient shipwreck. Realised through a large suite of sculptures, drawings and other ephemera, all created in an extraordinary array of techniques and materials, the series weaves fantasy and historical references to expose the myth and mutability of history, belief systems and art itself. Five major sculptures from the series are featured in the exhibition.

damienhirsthisworstenemy
Image courtesy of White Cube

Employing traditional sculptural materials, figures rendered in bronze, marble and granite combine the illusionism of classical sculpture with contemporary references. An expressive mass of writhing snakes wrapped around a human head, the black bronze sculpture The Severed Head of Medusa (2018) draws on Greek mythology, and uses the formal language of neo-classical realism. This dark and sombre tone continues in the life-size black marble Dead Woman (2016), a classical funerary sculpture depicting a female figure laying prone on her back. This work continues a key theme within Hirst’s work: that of beauty and mortality, or what the artist has described as the ‘insane visual transience of beauty’.

damienhirsthisworstenemy
Image courtesy of White Cube

Characteristically, Hirst arrests any singular reading of his work, exhibiting other sculptures that counter this solemnity. Taking inspiration from familiar Disney characters, in the bronze sculpture Best Friends (2015), The Jungle Book characters Baloo and Mowgli appear to recline in a dreamlike daze, both figures adorned in delicate blooms of coral. Elsewhere, the black granite figure of Mickey (2018) conflates classical sculpture with a modern-day cultural icon, thereby exposing the value embedded in both the subject and the precious raw material from which it is fashioned.

damienhirsthisworstenemy
Image courtesy of White Cube

Following the release of ‘Treasures’ in 2017, Hirst returned to solitary work in his studio and his career-long interest in painting and colour. ‘The Revelations’ have been Hirst’s focus during the past year and take their name from the Book of Revelation in the New Testament. These abstract gestural works provide a counterpart to the recent, all-white ‘Reverence Paintings’, employing a rich, dark palette, built up from a primed smooth surface of charcoal-coloured paint that is relieved by small dashes of bright colour.

damienhirsthisworstenemy
Image courtesy of White Cube

Combining the techniques of Impressionism with the scale of American painters such as Willem De Kooning, here layers of deep, thick paint create dynamic impasto surfaces: a vibrating, visual haze that appears mutable and contradicts the stasis of the canvas itself. As with Hirst’s ‘Veil Paintings’ (2017), the pointillist-style application of colour results in a pictorial space that interrupts immediate recognition, creating a surface that acts as both portal and barrier.

damienhirsthisworstenemy
Image courtesy of White Cube

‘The Revelations’ continue Hirst’s longstanding engagement with the emotive effects of colour, each panel in this series built up from a specific colour palette, often the artist’s favourite colours which he mixes himself and repeatedly uses. Similarly to the recent ‘Cherry Blossoms’ (2018−19), currently on exhibition at Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain, Paris, Hirst utilises colour to create a duality between a sense of pure exhilaration and the intimation of mortality. The artist expounds: ‘There’s life and death in everything, isn’t there? I like the fact that Max Beckmann said that when he painted, he always primed his canvases black. He said that he sees the black as the void and then everything he paints is something he’s putting between himself and the void.’

more. www.whitecube.com

damienhirsthisworstenemy
Image courtesy of White Cube
damienhirsthisworstenemy
Image courtesy of White Cube
damienhirsthisworstenemy
Image courtesy of White Cube
damienhirsthisworstenemy
Image courtesy of White Cube
damienhirsthisworstenemy
Image courtesy of White Cube
damienhirsthisworstenemy
Image courtesy of White Cube
damienhirsthisworstenemy
Image courtesy of White Cube
damienhirsthisworstenemy
Image courtesy of White Cube
damienhirsthisworstenemy
Image courtesy of White Cube
damienhirsthisworstenemy
Image courtesy of White Cube

Are you an artist, architect, designer? Would you like to be featured on ITSLIQUID platform? Send an e-mail to info@itsliquid.com or fill the form below






    RELATED POSTS


    Featured Artist: Tianqi Liao

    Art | June 10, 2024

    Tianqi is interested in blending the languages of conceptual and documentary photography to position banality within a lens of scrutiny. Her work seeks to extract seemingly mundane moments to amplify them into absurdity. In her photographic series, she offers reflective presentations that interrogate the interplay between permanence and transience, as well as reality and idealization, underpinned by philosophical inquiries. Read more


    HASSAN SHARIF

    Art | June 7, 2024

    Galleria Franco Noero is pleased to present Hassan Sharif’s solo exhibition, his first in Torino and also in an Italian Gallery, in collaboration with the artist’s Estate and announcing its representation. The exhibition pays homage to Sharif’s enduring legacy and profound contributions to the art world, presenting a curated selection of his most outstanding works and offering a significant glimpse into the artist’s transformative journey. Read more


    FEATURED ARTIST: FENGZEE YANG

    Art | June 6, 2024

    "My art-making emerges as poignant expressions of ineffable yearning. Each crafted curve and enigmatic form become models of my emotions, a visual poem encapsulating the essence of my longing. Themes of "missing" reverberate through my work - whether it’s an empty hook, drawer, or cradle - all serve as metaphors for the profound gaps within the human experience. It symbolizes the absence of function, the lack of context, and the void of knowledge; it is a reminder of the uprooted aspects of our lives". Read more


    DOG ON THE FORGE

    Art | June 3, 2024

    On the occasion of the 60th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia, this April, Jim Dine, American painter, sculptor, and poet, is set to take over the Palazzo Rocca Contarini Corfù with an ambitious survey exhibition curated by Gerhard Steidl, Founding Director of Kunsthaus Göttingen. Read more


    Sign up for our Newsletter.

    Enter your email to receive our latest updates!