Damien Hirst: The Veil Paintings

A veil is a barrier, a curtain between two things, something that you can look at and pass through, it’s solid yet invisible and reveals and yet obscures the truth, the thing that we are searching for.
—Damien Hirst

Damien Hirst, Veil of Love Everlasting, 2017, oil on canvas, 120 × 90 inches (304.8 × 228.6 cm) © Damien Hirst and Science Ltd. All rights reserved, DACS 2018

LOS ANGELES—Damien Hirst’s latest series “The Veil Paintings” opened at Gagosian Beverly Hills from March 1 to April 14, 2018. As the 2018 Oscars show,  a much-anticipated annual fixture in the Los Angeles cultural calendar. Hirst’s last exhibition in Los Angeles was “The Complete Spot Paintings” in 2012.

Following “Treasures from the Wreck of the Unbelievable,” his highly ambitious sculpture exhibition at the Palazzo Grassi and Punta della Dogana in Venice last year, Hirst was drawn towards the immediacy of painting and a return to the studio. This new series takes the Visual Candy paintings of the 1990s as a point of departure and embraces color and gestural painting on a large scale. Referencing both Impressionism and Abstract Expressionism, “The Veil Paintings” layer brushstrokes and bright dabs of heavy impasto, enveloping the viewer in vast fields of color.

Inspired partly by the Pointillist innovations of Georges Seurat and the post-Impressionist paintings of Pierre Bonnard, Hirst continues his examination of color and its effect on the eye in “The Veil Paintings.” While in the Spot Paintings and Medicine Cabinet series, his use of color was contained within the formality of the grid and the minimalist pharmaceutical packaging, here it is given free reign, with joyous results.

“The Veil Paintings” coincides with “Colour Space,” a solo exhibition of new paintings from 2016 and sculptures at Houghton Hall in Norfolk, England (March 25–July 15, 2018).

“Damien Hirst: The Veil Paintings” Installation view at Gagosian Beverly Hills Artworks © Damien Hirst and Science Ltd. All rights reserved, DACS 2018 Photo by Jeff McLane

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