Aminobenzoyl Hydrazide

Damien Hirst

Aminobenzoyl Hydrazide , 2008

62.0 x 86.0 Inches
Household gloss on canvas
Added during invoicing: 10% LiveArt Fee and Shipping Costs from Delaware, USA

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McCabe Fine Art Private Collection Phillips, London, October 14 2015, (Lot 17)
Signed, titled and dated 'Damien Hirst "Aminobenzoyl Hydrazide" 2008' on the reverse. Further signed along the stretcher and stamped and labelled by Science.

About the artwork

From Damien Hirst’s most recognizable series, Aminobenzoyl Hydrazide is a spot painting that comes from his Pharmaceutical Paintings series. The title of the painting is named after the pharmaceutical stimulants and narcotics listed in the book Biochemicals Organic Compounds for Research and Diagnostic Reagents published by the chemical company Sigma-Aldrich. Each spot is painted by hand, uniform in size, and positioned on a grid. Regarding this series, Hirst explained, “I started them as an endless series, a scientific approach to painting in a similar way to the drug companies' scientific approach to life. Art doesn't purport to have all the answers; the drug companies do. Hence the title of the series, the Pharmaceutical Paintings, and the individual titles of the paintings themselves.” Since the conception of spot paintings, there have been over 1,000 produced, all ranging in size and color variation, and have become an iconic symbol of contemporary art.

About the artist

Damien Hirst

Damien Hirst, born 1965, is an English artist, curator, and collector. While studying at Goldsmiths College in London, Hirst curated a three part exhibition titled Freeze in 1988 to showcase his work as well as friends and fellow classmates. He quickly took the art world by storm and launched his career with this exhibition, and the group of artists in the show became known as the Young British Artists (YBA). 

Working in installation, sculpture, painting, and drawing, Hirst’s work explores enduring themes of life, death, religion, beauty, and science in unconventional and unexpected ways.  He is best known for contentious works like The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living (1991) from the Natural History series, a fourteen-foot tiger shark preserved in a tank of formaldehyde, and For the Love of God (2007), a platinum-cast human skull veneered with 8,601 diamonds. Hirst’s boundary-pushing works of art have consistently broken their own records at auction, his biggest pieces going for over 10 million USD. Other important series include his Spot paintings and Medicine Cabinet series. The vitrines, tanks, or canvases of his work define the artwork’s space, while commenting on the “fragility” of existence.” A highly controversial artist, Hirst redefined the art market and traditional conventions of art making. One of the most successful artists of his generation, his prices on the secondary market reached a high in 2007, but continue to achieve top results into today with both solo work and collaborations with other top-performing artists such as Banksy.

Hirst’s work is exhibited and collected internationally, and he is claimed to be the UK’s richest artist. Hirst had a major retrospective at Tate Modern in 2012, and that same year Gagosian showed more than three hundred of his Spot paintings at once across all eleven of the gallery’s locations. In 2015, he opened his own gallery, Newport Street Gallery in London, featuring his own work and the work of artists he collects such as Francis Bacon, Tracey Emin, Jeff Koons, among others. Hirst lives and works in London, Gloucestershire, and Devon.

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