Damien Hirst (b. 1965)
Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's… Read more
Damien Hirst (b. 1965)

Hopes and Fears

Details
Damien Hirst (b. 1965)
Hopes and Fears
(i) Hopes
signed, titled and inscribed 'Damien Hirst Hopes Diptych Hopes and Fears (on the reverse)
72 x 36in. (182.8 x 91.4cm.)
(ii) Fears
signed, titled, dated and inscribed 'Diptych Hopes and Fears Fears Damien Hirst 2006 (on the reverse)
butterflies and household gloss on canvas, in two parts
Executed in 2006
Provenance
White Cube. London.
Galleria Cardi, Milan.
Acquired from the above by the present owner in 2007.
Special notice

Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's Resale Right Regulations 2006 apply to this lot, the buyer agrees to pay us an amount equal to the resale royalty provided for in those Regulations, and we undertake to the buyer to pay such amount to the artist's collection agent.
VAT rate of 5% is payable on hammer price and at 20% on the buyer's premium.

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Alexandra Werner
Alexandra Werner

Lot Essay

'The way the real butterfly can destroy the ideal (birthday-card) kind of love; the symbol exists apart from the real thing'
(D. Hirst, quoted in D. Hirst, I want to Spend the Rest of My Life Everywhere, with Everyone, One to One, Always, Forever, Now, London 2005, p. 118).



A vast, incandescent diptych, Damien Hirst's Hopes and Fears is luxuriant example of the artist's Kaleidoscopic Series. Gleaming with irradiance, the dazzling visual effect is created by hundreds of shimmering butterfly wings meticulously arranged in household gloss, forming an intricate geometric pattern. Akin to stained glass windows like those in Chartres or Notre Dame, the scintillating visual effect of Hopes and Fears is created by Hirst's intricate, geometric arrangement of iridescent butterfly wings set in household gloss that like stained-glass, refract a spectrum of rich sapphire and ruby across the diamond shaped canvases. Hopes and Fears was created the same year as the artist's exhibited at PS1 MOMA, New York; Palazzo Grassi, Venice; Royal Academy of Arts, London, and Denver Art Museum, Denver.

One of Hirst's most enduring motifs, the butterfly first appeared in Hirst's now iconic installation In and Out of Love in 1991, where the artist transformed the interior of a London space from a gallery to an exotic habitat that was populated by live butterflies and whose walls were adorned with monochrome paintings that had dead butterflies embedded in their glossy surfaces. These earlier butterfly works partially explored 'the way the real butterfly can destroy the ideal (birthday-card) kind of love; the symbol exists apart from the real thing' (D. Hirst, quoted in D. Hirst, I want to Spend the Rest of My Life Everywhere, with Everyone, One to One, Always, Forever, Now, London 2005, p. 118). Recalling Hirst's friend's dictum that 'butterflies are beautiful, but it's a shame they have disgusting hairy bodies in the middle' in his Kaleidoscope Series Hirst separates the 'beautiful' wings from their bodies, in order to create an ideal vision of reality. Incorporating only the beautiful, shimmering, colourful wings into near reverential example of splendor, the Kaleidoscope paintings mark the perfect evolution of the butterfly theme in Hirst's art. For Hirst, the butterfly is a perfect symbol, capable of conveying the inherent oppositional forces that are the hallmark of his works. The intense beauty found in these shimmering creations almost eliminates the reality of death preserved, continuing Hirst's ongoing investigation into the dichotomy of life and death, timelessness and mortality.

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