Cherry blossoms: the exhibition of Damien Hirst

February 11, 2022

On display 30 works realized in solitude without assistants during lockdown

“Cherry Blossoms”, the first Damien Hirst exhibit in Paris, will be on view until the 2nd of January at the “Foundation Cartier pour l’art contemporain”. The English artistar, known as the leader of the Young British Artists, has accustomed us to shocking and provocative works since the early 90s. Starting from the skull covered in diamonds or the shark in formaldehyde, up to the showcases of medicines, the subject of death has always been his faithful travelling companion.


Sometimes, by the way, he has allowed himself less impactful works which turned out to be equally iconic, as in the case of the Dots Painting series or the one with butterflies. In this rosy occasion, and it’s appropriate to say so, he has chosen to go down this second path. 107 artworks – 30 of them are on display – which constitute the most pictorial experiment he has ever done. Color explosions that, even if they saturate the gigantic surface (the biggest work measures 5,5x7mt), stand out for lightness, elegance and even for the scents the seem to release in the rooms. A new and free gestuality allows to get in touch with the intimate and nostalgic side of Hirst, who declared he spent the last two years painting, without any assistance and any specific desire other than to find solace in what he was doing and to pay homage to his mother’s paintings. These artworks, on one side allude to last century landscape art, and on the other they represent its own disruption. The influence of Van Gogh’s Almond Blossom as well as large part of the impressionist painting, the pointillist and the action painting is tangible and that’s the reason why many critics stated his works are nothing new. However,


However, Hirst’s artistry relies in his decision to disregard the expectations. Now that he has reached a vast notoriety, it’s easy to imagine he’s undergoing many pressures from collectors and gallerists and the expectation is to see something that doesn’t differ from what he did in the past. Trying to demonstrate, in the first exhibition after one year and half of stop, that it is possible to change direction, that sometimes it is good to let go and that you can impress even with paintings, it’s a message as impactful as unexpected. It’s hard to think that other famous artists would have operated the same way.

The Author

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Cesare Orler firmly believes in the equivalence of art and life and would like to turn his life into a work of art, to paraphrase D'annunzio. He has a degree in Conservation of Cultural Heritage and Performing Arts Management, which he took in Venice, and is completing the master’s degree Programme in Contemporary Art History. He manages “Cesare's Corner", a TV broadcast on OrlerTV whose aim is to disseminate Contemporary Art. He closely follows emerging Italian artists and curates exhibitions and critical texts on them. He is a keen supporter of AW ArtMag. In addition to art, he also likes cinema and drinking beer, of which he is a refined connoisseur. Perhaps of all these things he can do well only the last one.

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