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DAMIEN HIRST | ‘Beautiful, Galactic, Exploding Screenprint’ (Spin)
June 1st 2023
Through a systematic study of the physical world, Damien Hirst discovers what a measured input of colour combined with mathematical regularities and randomness look like. Prior to being awarded the Turner Prize in ‘95, Hirst briefly deviated from the perfected grids seen in the famous ‘Spot’ paintings and allowed colour to roam freely on the canvas; intervened only by the laws of physics and thus giving science a voice within the constraints of his purpose-built mechanical device. The result of the journey was dazzling portraits known as ‘Spin’s. Brought to life through layers of inks, Beautiful, Galactic, Exploding Screenprint marks the debut screenprint from the series.
by Henrik Riis
PRINT EDITION RELEASE
Forget all about the prevailing scientific truth on the origin of the universe. It started with colour. Deep jungle, army and olive greens; hues of pacific blue; shimmery silver; fiery rose pink and a dark luminous orange in the centre, collectively formed a controlled explosion of colour. Added one by one by its creator onto a table-height square device with a round spinning plate in the middle, each colour experience the gravitational pull and centrifugal force determined by the speed of the spin; flattening, extending the inks into rounded shapes and semi-circle pressure waves, pushing vigorously away from the centre. This is what the beginning of time and colour look like.

Hirst’s experimentation with spin-painting started in ’92 in his South London studio, alongside fellow artist Angus Fairhurst. Both, graduates of the seminal class of ’89 from Goldsmith College of Art, they became trailblazers - amongst other alumni - for their innovative works and persistence to bypass the gatekeepers of the traditional art world; trying to reach out directly to collectors and the media through self-orchestrated events. It was during one such happening, ‘A Fete Worse than Death’, that the concept of the ‘Spin’ painting was introduced to the wondering public strolling the high-street of Shoreditch in East London. Dressed up as clowns, Hirst and Fairhurst, invited passers-by to pick squeeze-bottles containing different colour paint, and add it to a small spinning piece of paper. A collaborative artwork which once completed was signed by the artists and handed to the willing participant in exchange for £1.
DAMIEN HIRST
Beautiful, Galactic, Exploding Screenprint (Spin), 2001

Edition of 500
101(w) x 101(h) cm
40.00(w) x 40.00(h) inches
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DAMIEN HIRST
Beautiful, Galactic, Exploding Screenprint (Spin), 2001

Edition of 500
101(w) x 101(h) cm
40.00(w) x 40.00(h) inches
ENQUIRY
Art is about speaking to each other and by making an enquiry you can have direct conversation with us about artwork you find interesting.
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Damien Hirst (British, b. 1965)
101(w) x 101(h) cm
40.00(w) x 40.00(h) inches
24-colour screenprint on wove paper

First print edition by Hirst from the SPIN series

Signed on the front, numbered on verso.
Edition of 500
PRICE
$ 20,000.00 Available from a private collection
MAKE AN OFFER
Find art trends here >
The turning point for the ‘Spin’ came in 1994. Living in Berlin at the time, Hirst had a mechanical device created where he easily could spin a canvas, trying out different methods and experimenting with colour combinations. How different hues are perceived by the viewer and the affect adjacent colour have when placed side-by-side, also known as simultaneous contrast, was nothing new to the artist. Although Hirst was never a colour theorist - and more of a “mood-ist”, where colour rather is a catalyst for different feelings, such as love, happiness, envy or fear - his first ‘Spot’-paintings were indeed about portraying hues in their purest form; perfectly presented in circular spots, equally distanced on a white backdrop to minimise interference. In the ‘Spin’ paintings - on the contrary - the blending of colour was inevitable.

Debuting at Bruno Brunett Fine Art in Berlin the same year, the exhibited ‘Spin’s may at first have seemed as a shift in the artist’s practice and taking a leap from the minimalist ‘Spot’ paintings to an outburst of intermingled paint, reminiscent of the works created by the abstract expressionists in the sixties. However, considering himself more of a conceptualist - where the idea behind the works takes precedence over the visual presentation - the ‘Spin’s were a progression of Hirst’s theme of infinite abundance. An input controlled by the artist and mediated by the mechanical device, the outcome would always be guided by an element of chance and leading to a presentation of form, and a combination of colour which is endless. Hirst might have spun the plate and added the colour, but ultimately it was the laws of physics shaping each ‘Spin’, making them ‘beautiful’ on their own merit.

Like a wine connoisseur’s abstract vocabulary that suggests hints of toasted brioche and green apples on the palette - which is never an added substance in a wine - Hirst’s titles for the spin-paintings speak a language of limitless first impressions; ‘Seeing is believing’, ‘hurtling, vortex’ or ‘galactic, exploding’, the latter suggestive of a big bang.

Ten years into his practice, Hirst had created some of the most important concepts that would define the works of his early career; earning him the prestigious Turner Prize in 1995. While the ‘Beautiful spin’ paintings can seem to live a more quiet existence amongst sharks and cows in formaldehyde, butterfly paintings and the ‘Pharmaceutical’ series, the ‘Spin’’s elaborate on the earliest, more abstract, ‘Spot’ paintings from ’86. In that context the ‘Spin’s establish themselves as a series of substance in his practice.

On the thirtieth anniversary of inviting the strollers in East London to spin their own painting, Hirst revisited the ‘Spin’. This time replacing a manual device with an app built on machine-learning, assisting the online public to pick their colour of preference and generate a personal spin. All left to Hirst was to digitally print and sign them.
DAMIEN HIRST
Opium, 2000

Edition of 500
43(w) x 48(h) cm
16.93(w) x 18.90(h) inches
MAKE AN OFFER
Art is about talking with each other and via ‘Make an Offer’ you can have a direct conversation with us and suggest a price for this artwork.
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DAMIEN HIRST
Opium, 2000

Edition of 500
43(w) x 48(h) cm
16.93(w) x 18.90(h) inches
ENQUIRY
Art is about speaking to each other and by making an enquiry you can have direct conversation with us about artwork you find interesting.
Name *
Email *
Phone number *
Any Comment? *
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Damien Hirst (British, b. 1965)

Opium , 2000

43(w) x 48(h) cm
16.93(w) x 18.90(h) inches
Lambda C type print

Signed on the front and numbered on verso.
Edition of 500
PRICE
$ 19,310.00 Available from a private collection
MAKE AN OFFER
Find art trends here >
In 2001, Damien Hirst extended the ‘Spin’ series beyond canvas and created Beautiful, Galactic, Exploding Screenprint. A title that included it into the series of unique paintings where each work starts with ‘beautiful’ and ends with the medium. Exclusively released in a collaboration with Eyestorm, the spin-screenprint followed the editions Opium, Lysergic Acid Diethylamide (LSD) and Valium. Three successful editions from his ‘Pharmaceutical spot’ series made available the previous year. Beautiful, Galactic, Exploding Screenprint stands out as one created by Hirst and being the first screenprint from the series, superbly printed in 24 layers of manually applied ink. The edition of 500 is signed on front and numbered in pencil on verso.

To view the print edition in further detail and to find more information about available works by Damien Hirst, visit the artist’s page here.
 
Recommended Reading
Through a systematic study of the physical world, Damien Hirst discovers what a measured input of colour combined with mathematical regularities and randomness look like. Prior to being awarded the Turner Prize in ‘95, Hirst briefly deviated from the perfected grids seen in the famous ‘Spot’ paintings and allowed colour to roam freely on the canvas; intervened only by the laws of physics and thus giving science a voice within the constraints of his purpose-built mechanical device. The result of the journey was dazzling portraits known as ‘Spin’s. Brought to life through layers of inks, Beautiful, Galactic, Exploding Screenprint marks the debut screenprint from the series.
Read more ...
Recommended Reading
Confronted by the media in the late-nineties, questioning the use of assistants in the creation of the spot paintings, Damien Hirst replied with few words and two new artworks titled Painting-by-Numbers. Delving into the beauty of infinity was more important than spending time pleasing the critics. In the spot paintings, representing one theme of many in his practice, Hirst found a source to endless sceneries; visualised in perfect grids and utilising colour to guide the emotions of the viewer. The red and blue DIY-kit was an amusing response to his critics, and adding an unexpected act of a gallery cleaner, Painting-by-Numbers contributed to the ever-present question: what is art?
Read more ...
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