dayoutlast is a record of my direct engagement with mostly contemporary art, mostly Los Angelean.

As this blog has evolved since its 2010 inception, so has my perspective. What I once perceived as central within the investigation was what was central, literally, within the photographic frame that I shared here. While still an important consideration, such thinking has also given way to more peripheral considerations, ones also accompanied occasionally by text (written manifestation of thought) and the oscillations between them. What's missing here are larger unknowns surrounding issues of presentation and representation; the amount of time and space it actually takes to accomplish such first-hand observations; and the quandaries between documentation and interpretation.

Despite my attempt to communicate here with image and text what is essential in some respect about the artwork, neither representation should ever be considered a substitution for the primary viewing experience. Of course, occasionally there are exceptions.

Most of the time, these posts are merely remnants---residual fragments---from my last day out.

Friday, April 13, 2018

Damien Hirst "The Veil Paintings" @ Gagosian | Beverly Hills

Veil of Perfect Harmony, 2017
Oil on canvas
120 x 90 inches

Veil of Faith, 2017
Oil on canvas
144 x 108 inches

Veil of Eternal Happiness, 2017
Oil on canvas
108 x 72 inches

Veil of Love Everlasting, 2017
Oil on canvas 120 x 90 inches

The confectionary aspect of this work is unmistakable and in line with other Hirst works, even diamond-encrusted skulls.  What I can’t figure out is what compels me to view these works or even consider them further. Perhaps it’s the train-wreck factor, which is to say it’s like a car wreck that one can’t top looking at, which leads me to Andy Warhol and then it starts to make sense as sensational, the easy fix of glitter or cake frosting.  That said, once digested, its sustainability is a short-lived thrill, again like a pop-tart, pop-art, pop-song. Typically this would lead to a desire for more (kind of like crack), but in the case of these paintings not so much.

What is worth considering is how colors interact spatially at what distance and how no amount of resolution will actually resolve such abstract conditions.  For a moment, I was going down the road of a Wayne Thiebaud gum ball painting before I started thinking more carefully about how these paintings situate within the larger context of painting history, generally, and, seemingly more importantly, Damien Hirst, specifically.  Throughout his career there have been moments of color understanding, let’s call it, where it seems like he’s throwing everything at the canvas or conversely organized (the same back and forth of Gerhard Richter in certain respects) in some kind of holistic attempt to understand infinitude (the sublime) and its alter or its extra.  Whatever the case, the body of works seems all over the place, questionable at best, especially in its return and lack of development beyond the early 90’s Visual Candy Series. See here. 

Twenty-plus years ago, I was curious about the formaldehyde sculptures a more direct confrontations with visages of time, slices of reality in a way that slices of cake could never.

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