press release

Gagosian Gallery Davies Street, London

ather than words comes the thought of high windows: The sun-comprehending glass, And beyond it, the deep blue air, that shows Nothing, and is nowhere, and is endless. --Philip Larkin, excerpt from High Windows

Gagosian Gallery is pleased to announce an exhibition of new paintings by Damien Hirst. Opening concurrently at Gagosian Gallery in Beverly Hills and Davies Street, London, Damien Hirst: Superstition is the artist's first exhibition in Los Angeles in over a decade. In these works, Hirst expands on the iconic motif of the butterfly as a symbol of the beauty and inherent fragility of life, reaching new heights of complexity, refined detail and radiance.

Throughout his work over the last twenty-five years, Hirst has taken a direct and challenging approach to ideas about existence. His work provokes a critical dialogue by calling into question our awareness and convictions about the boundaries that separate desire and fear, life and death, reason and faith, love and hate. In his art, Hirst uses the tools and iconography of science and religion, creating sculptures and paintings whose beauty and intensity offer the viewer insight into art that transcends our familiar understanding of those domains.

In this exhibition, Hirst creates paintings whose classical shapes and compositions take their inspiration from stained glass church windows. From the soaring gothic arch in Aubade - Crown of Glory to the intricate form of the rose window in Friday Night in the Royal Station Hotel - Conception, the works all portray an ornate, fractal geometry and perfect, mathematical symmetry that is awe-inspiring.

Each painting in Damien Hirst: Superstition has two titles, the first taken from the poems in Philip Larkin's collection High Windows. Larkin was an English poet whose fatalistic, colloquial writings speak to a seemingly shared extinguished faith. The second title makes direct reference to religious iconography. A fully illustrated catalogue with essays by noted Larkin scholars John Banville and Richard Bradford will accompany the exhibition.