New Damien Hirst Paintings to Be Exhibited in Stately British Home

Posted January 9, 2018 5:32 p.m. EST

The British artist Damien Hirst will exhibit new works from his series of spot paintings at a stately home in Britain.

The exhibition, titled “Colour Space,” will open in March at Houghton Hall in Norfolk, in the southeast of England; the mansion was built in the 1720s for Britain’s first prime minister, Robert Walpole.

Roughly 50 of Hirst’s new works will go on display in the state rooms of a building that once housed a world-class collection of European old master paintings.

“I originally wanted the Spots to look like they were painted by a human trying to paint like a machine,” Hirst said in a statement. “'Colour Space’ is going back to the human element, so instead you have the fallibility of the human hand in the drips and inconsistencies.”

Well-known sculptures by Hirst will be installed in Houghton’s gardens, including “Charity,” a bronze piece that was previously exhibited outside the Gherkin building in central London.

The spots series, a vast collection of more than 1,000 paintings of colorful dots ranging in size, is among Hirst’s most recognized work, with the oldest pieces dating to 1986. In 2012, Gagosian Gallery exhibited 331 of the paintings across 11 gallery spaces worldwide, including in New York.

The New York Times co-chief art critic Roberta Smith wrote of the exhibition, “The New York allotment, at least, is a sideshow but one with redeeming qualities, a spectacle with benefits, which is a lot more than can be said of Hirst’s previous attention-getting shenanigans, like the all-Hirst auctions or the bejeweled skull.”

In the statement, Hirst said, “There are still no two exact colors 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.”