Go See – New York: Damien Hirst’s ‘End of an Era’ at Gagosian Gallery on Madison Avenue through March 6th

January 30th, 2010

End of an Era
(2009) by Damien Hirst, via the Gagosian Gallery

Currently on view at Gagosian Gallery on Madison Avenue are new sculptures and paintings by Damien Hirst.  The exhibition takes its title, “End of an Era,” from the central sculpture of the exhibition: a severed bull’s head with golden horns and a solid gold circular disc cast in formaldehyde and encased in a gold vitrine on a marble pedestal.  Hirst’s September 2008 monumental Sotheby’s London auction, where he famously circumvented his dealers, is widely recognized as marking the top of the recent art market rise. In this this auction the centerpiece was the “The Golden Calf” which sold for £10,345,250 with buyer’s premium and was cited as a reference to Hirst’s representation of cultural excess, worshipping false idols and likely Hirst’s own myth making.  The current exhibition title, and the decapitated head of basically the same artistic work, certainly has Hirst again presenting self-referential messages in light of his work’s current cultural and economic context.

Painful Memories/ Forgotten Tears
(2008) by Damien Hirst, via Gagosian Gallery

more images, text and links after the jump…

End of an Era
(2009) by Damien Hirst, via Gagosian Gallery

Another piece featured in the exhibition is Judgment Day (2009), a thirty-foot long cabinet filled with close to 30,000 manufactured diamonds. Accompanying this piece is a series of a photorealist paintings of famous diamonds including The Golden Jubilee (2008), The Agra (2006), and The Premiere Rose (2006) shown here together for the first time.

Forgotten Tears/ Painful Memories
(2008) by Damien Hirst, via Gagosian Gallery

Hirst, beginning in August 2008 and just prior to his direct-to-the-buyer Sotheby’s auction, called an end to various series of which he has become known. These include the butterfly, the spot, and the spin paintings.  And, as such, Hirst’s most recent work in London, both in his own sponosored exhibition of ‘Blue Paintings’ at the Wallace Gallery and separately at White Cube in the ‘Nothing Matters’ exhibition,  are works on canvas, though they generally have not been well received by the critics and the press.  Thus again the title of this current exhibition may be marking Hirt’s change in oeuvre.

Damien Hirst was born in 1965 in Bristol, UK . He has held major solo shows at important public and private collections throughout the world. Hirst lives and works in London and Devon, UK.

Exhibition Page [Gagosian Gallery]
New Paintings and Sculpture by Damien Hirst Announced at Gagosian Gallery [Artdaily]