Damien Hirst's 2018 Art Takeover

Colour Space Spot Painting Damien Hirst

Built with art in mind the 18th century state rooms at Houghton Hall were once home to the finest art collection in the land with work by Rembrandt, Poussin, Van Dyck and Velázquez; in March this year, a more modern master is getting ready to take over the space with a series of Spot Paintings.


Damien Hirst will show 50 new paintings at the Palladian palace, and a selection of sculptures including ‘Virgin Mother’ (2005–2006) and ‘Charity’ (2002–2003) in the gardens.  In homage to the work which came before it the paintings ‘will be displayed like they are Old Master paintings, in a very different way than if it was a classic white cube gallery” explains curator, Mario Codognato.


Houghton Hall State Room


Extending from the artists iconic Spot Paintings from the 1980s and 90s, the artists new Colour Space works depart from the logic of mechanical paint application and appear looser and more organic. Also in contrast to the infinite original series the Colour Space works will be limited, with no more than 4 million spots to be painted in household gloss across 250 canvasses, with the largest painting containing exactly 90,000 spots.


Houghton Hall


“I originally wanted the Spots to look like they were painted by a human trying to paint like a machine. Colour Space is going back to the human element, so instead you have the fallibility of the human hand in the drips and inconsistencies. There are still no two exact colours that repeat in each painting, which is really important to me. I think of them as cells under a microscope. It felt right to show them somewhere historic rather than in a conventional gallery space and Houghton’s perfect. It feels totally right.” said Damien Hirst.


The exhibition 'Damien Hirst at Houghton Hall: Colour Space Paintings and Outdoor Sculptures' will run between 25th March – 15th July 2018, coinciding with the publication of Colour Space, the first volume in a new landmark series of books, Damien Hirst: The Complete Works.