Visual Candy and Natural History

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Damien Hirst: Myth Explored, Explained, Exploded, 1993–99 Glass, Painted Steel, Silicone, Monofilament, Shark, And Formaldehyde Solution In Three Parts, Each (Including Plinth): 78 × 42.5 × 30.5 Inches (198.3 × 107.9 × 77.5 Cm). Photo By Prudence Cuming Associates Ltd © Damien Hirst and Science Ltd. All rights reserved, DACS 2017
Visual Candy and Natural History

7/F Pedder Building, 12 Pedder Street
Hong Kong
November 23rd, 2017 - March 3rd, 2018

Tue-Sat 11-7


Opening reception:
Thursday, November 23, 6–8PM

I had my stomach pumped as a child because I ate pills thinking they were sweets […] I can’t understand why some people believe completely in medicine and not in art, without questioning either.
—Damien Hirst

Gagosian is pleased to present “Visual Candy and Natural History,” a selection of paintings and sculptures by Damien Hirst from the early- to mid-1990s. The exhibition coincides with Hirst’s most ambitious and complex project to date, “Treasures from the Wreck of the Unbelievable,” on view at Palazzo Grassi and Punta della Dogana in Venice until December 3.

Since emerging onto the international art scene in the late 1980s as the protagonist of a generation of British artists, Hirst has created installations, sculptures, paintings and drawings that examine the complex relationships between art, beauty, religion, science, life and death. Through series as diverse as the ‘Spot Paintings’, ‘Medicine Cabinets’, ‘Natural History’ and butterfly ‘Kaleidoscope Paintings,’ he has investigated and challenged contemporary belief systems, tracing the uncertainties that lie at the heart of human experience. This exhibition juxtaposes the joyful, colorful abstractions of his ‘Visual Candy’ paintings with the clinical forms of his ‘Natural History’ sculptures.

The ‘Visual Candy’ paintings allude to movements including Impressionism, Abstract Expressionism and Pop Art, while the ‘Natural History’ sculptures—glass tanks containing biological specimens preserved in formaldehyde—reflect the visceral realities of scientific investigation through minimalist design. Despite their stark formal differences, the two series were made during the same period and share conceptual foundations: an exploration of the relationships between pleasure and pain, transience and permanence, logic and emotion.

In the ‘Visual Candy’ paintings, the saturated hues of bubblegum pinks, acid greens and bold blues merge and overlap in loose ovals of thick impasto or repetitive, pointillist-style blots. With euphoric titles such as Happy Happy Happy (1993–94), Wowee Zowee (1993), and Super Silly Fun (1993), the works revel in color and pattern through an informal, nostalgic painting technique, which stands in opposition to the mechanical application of color in Hirst’s spot paintings.

The exuberance of the ‘Visual Candy’ paintings contrasts with the sterility of the ‘Natural History’ sculptures, but the works harmonize when viewed together. The paintings—jubilant and playful, almost decorative—create a sense of comfort against which the full violence of the formaldehyde works can be felt.

Damien Hirst was born in 1965 in Bristol, England and lives and works in London and Devon. Collections include 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa, Japan; Art Collection Nakano, Japan; Daegu Art Museum, South Korea; National Centre for Contemporary Arts (NCCA), Moscow; The Israel Museum, Jerusalem; Centro de Arte Dos de Mayo (CA2M), Madrid; Museum für Moderne Kunst (MMK), Frankfurt am Main; Museum Brandhorst, Munich; Museo d'Arte Contemporanea Donna Regina (MADRE), Naples; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; Astrup Fearnley Museet for Moderne Kunst, Oslo; Gallery of Modern Art (GoMA), Glasgow; Tate, London; Museo Jumex, Mexico City; The Broad, Los Angeles; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C.; and Museum of Modern Art, New York. Institutional exhibitions include “The Agony and the Ecstasy,” Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Napoli (2004); “A Selection of Works by Damien Hirst from Various Collections,” Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (2005); “Damien Hirst,” Astrup Fearnley Museet fur Moderne Kunst, Oslo (2005); “For the Love of God,” Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam (2008, traveled to the Palazzo Vecchio, Florence in 2010); “No Love Lost,” The Wallace Collection, London (2009); “Requiem,” PinchukArtCenter, Kiev (2009); “Cornucopia,” Oceanographic Museum of Monaco (2010); “Damien Hirst,” Tate Modern, London (2012); “Relics,” Qatar Museums Authority, Al Riwaq, Qatar (2013); “Signification (Hope, Immortality and Death in Paris, Now and Then),” Deyrolle, Paris (2014); “Damien Hirst,” Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art, Oslo (2015); “Damien Hirst: New Religion,” The Museum of Contemporary Art of Republika of Srpska, Banja Luka, Bosnia & Herzegovina (2016, traveled to Museum of Contemporary Art Vojvodina, Novi Sad, Serbia); “Damien Hirst: The Last Supper,” National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC (2016); and “Treasures from the Wreck of the Unbelievable,” Palazzo Grassi and Punta della Dogana, François Pinault Foundation, Venice (2017). Hirst received the Turner Prize in 1995.

“Visual Candy and Natural History” takes its title from Hirst’s 1993 exhibition at Regen Projects in Los Angeles.




赫斯特於1980年後期以英國藝術先驅的身份在國際藝壇崛起,透過藝術裝置、雕塑、油畫和繪畫審視藝術、美學、宗教、科學與生死之間的複雜關係。他的作品變化萬千,囊括《圓點畫》(Spot Paintings)系列,《醫藥箱》(Medicine Cabinets)系列,《自然歷史》(Natural History)系列及蝴蝶《萬花筒》(Kaleidoscope)系列,既有家用油漆,也有蝴蝶翅膀,銳意探索及挑戰現代信仰體系,追尋人類體驗核心的不確定性。是次展覽將會同場展出歡欣繽紛的抽象風格作品《視覺糖果》(Visual Candy) 系列畫作,以及頗具醫學意味的《自然歷史》(Natural History)雕塑。


在《視覺糖果》系列畫作中,赫斯特以泡泡糖粉紅色、螢光綠色和鮮藍色等濃豔色調的顏料厚塗,塗抹出鬆散的橢圓形圖案,又或與重複的點畫風格斑點交織重疊。《快樂快樂快樂》(Happy Happy Happy,1993–94年)、《Wowee Zowee》(1993年)和《超級傻樂》(Super Silly Fun,1993年)等作品的標題輕鬆歡快,透過隨心的傳統繪畫技巧,展現繽紛的色彩和圖案,與赫斯特圓點畫作的嚴謹著色手法形成強烈對比。


達米恩‧赫斯特1965年生於英國布里斯托,現於倫敦及德雲郡定居和從事創作。他的作品為多間博物館的館藏,包括日本金澤市21世紀美術館、日本Art Collection Nakano、南韓大邱美術館、莫斯科國立當代藝術中心、耶路撒冷以色列博物館、馬德里五月二日藝術中心、法蘭克福現代藝術博物館、慕尼黑布蘭德霍斯特博物館、拿玻里多納雷吉納當代藝術館、阿姆斯特丹市立博物館、奧斯陸阿斯楚普費恩利現代美術館、格拉斯哥現代藝術美術館、倫敦泰特現代美術館;墨西哥城Museo Jumex、洛杉磯The Broad 現代藝術館、華盛頓赫希杭博物館和雕塑園及紐約現代藝術博物館。赫斯特亦曾於多間美術機構舉行展覽,包括拿坡里國立考古博物館舉辦「苦楚與狂喜」展覽(2004年);波士頓美術館「達米恩‧赫斯特眾家收藏精選作品」展覽(2005年);奧斯陸阿斯楚普費恩利現代美術館「達米恩‧赫斯特」展覽 (2005年);阿姆斯特丹荷蘭國立博物館「獻給上帝之愛」展覽(2008年,2010年巡展至佛羅倫斯舊宮博物館);倫敦華萊士收藏館「無愛可失」展覽(2009年);基輔賓須克藝術中心「安魂曲」展覽(2009年);摩納哥海洋博物館「豐饒之角」展覽(2010年);倫敦泰特現代美術館「達米恩‧赫斯特」展覽(2012年);卡塔爾阿爾裏瓦克卡塔爾博物館管理局「殘骸」展覽(2013年);巴黎Deyrolle「寓意(巴黎的希望、不朽與死亡,此時與彼時)」展覽(2014年);奧斯陸阿斯楚普費恩利現代美術館「達米恩‧赫斯特」展覽(2015年);巴尼亞盧卡、波斯尼亞及黑塞哥維那塞爾維亞族共和國當代藝術博物館「達米恩‧赫斯特: 新宗教」展覽(2016年,巡展至塞爾維亞諾威薩貝爾格勒當代藝術博物館);華盛頓國家美術館「達米恩‧赫斯特:最後的晚餐」展覽(2016年);及威尼斯格拉西宮及海關大樓博物館弗朗索瓦‧皮諾基金會「令人難以置信的深海寶藏」展覽 (2017年)。赫斯特於1995年獲得透納獎。

「視覺糖果與自然歷史」展覽的名稱取材至赫斯特於1993年在洛杉磯Regen Projects畫廊舉行的展覽。

图片:達米恩‧赫斯特,《探索、闡釋、分解神話》,1993–99年,玻璃、塗漆鋼、硅膠、單絲、鯊魚及甲醛溶劑,尺寸不定 © Damien Hirst and Science Ltd. 版權所有DACS 2017. 攝影:Prudence Cuming Associates.

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