Hirst Hits Auckland
John Hurrell – 6 August, 2011
This show doesn't show him at his most thrilling but
does reveal what a clever deviser of sumptuous
images Hirst is (when he chooses) even though his
reputation was initially based on conceptual
projects that were often optically repulsive or
GOW LANGSFORD GALLERY
D amien Hirst
The Dead and The Souls
20 July - 27 August 2011
In my view Damien Hurst is a far more interesting maker of large three
dimensional free-standing sculpture than he is a painter, yet this show - a
painting, lots of prints, and small objects in small containers - with its ginormous
international art market prices, is worth checking out. It doesn’t show him at his
most thrilling but does reveal what a clever deviser of sumptuous images he is
(when he chooses) even though his reputation was initially based on conceptual
projects that were often optically repulsive or ideationally disturbing.
The million dollar circular Beautiful Apollo Idealisation Painting cunningly blends his fairground ‘spin’ methodology with two references to
Warhol - Andy’s skull and camouflage series. He seems to have amalgamated silkscreening technology with turntable centrifugalism, so tha
the speeding dribbles inside the skull are distinct from the circular field enclosing it. It is a Warhollian homage - yet still very Hirstian with its
distinctive radiating splats.
He continues a much explored theme of the transience of existence (that all skulls suggest, but adding metempsychosis )
with his large butterflies on paper, glowing pearlescent colours that shimmer and flicker. The colour combinations vary. Some are obvious
and corny. Others which are monochromatic or black and white, are subtle.
The mounted real butterflies encased in boxes are fascinating in the way he has used paint to stroke the edges of their wings and bodies, a
sort of tender caress that also seems to stick the fragile...