Cherry Blossoms – First-ever Damien Hirst Exhibition in France

Cherry Blossoms – First-ever Damien Hirst Exhibition in France.

The Cartier Foundation in Paris has opened the first-ever exhibition in France of British artist Damien Hirst’s artworks. From 6 July 2021 to 2 January 2022, his Cherry Blossoms series will be a display – and described as ‘a celebration of colour within chaos.’ 

The exhibition is a collection of 30 paintings which Damien Hirst chose from his recent collection of 107 ‘large-scale’ canvasses in the series Cherry Blossoms, in which he ‘reinterprets, with playful irony, the traditional subject of landscape painting.’ 

The exhibition explanation states that Hirst ‘combines thick brushstrokes and elements of gestural painting, referencing both impressionism and Pointillism, as well as Action Painting.’ 

For people unfamiliar with Bristol-born Damien Hirst (1965-), who has lived in London since 1984, his Cherry Blossoms series is not botanical, nor realistic, but rather a spray of interpretative art that can be easily observed and appreciated from a distance and up-close.

Hirst says that the Cherry Blossom exhibition is a return to solitary work in his studio. This return to solitude is not due to Coronavirus pandemic ‘quarantining or self-isolation.’ He commenced the series in early 2018, taking three years, to finish in November 2020. But he says that ‘the pandemic has given me a lot more time to live with the paintings, and look at them, and make absolutely certain that everything’s finished.’ He worked on several canvasses at the same time, returning to some months after their completion. 

Hirst says the Cherry Blossom series is about:

‘beauty and life and death. They’re extreme – there’s something almost tacky about them. Like Jackson Pollock twisted by love. They’re decorative but taken from nature. They’re about desire and how we process the things around us and what we turn them into, but also about the insane visual transience of beauty – a tree in full crazy blossom against a clear sky. It’s been so good to make them, to be completely lost in colour and in paint in my studio. They’re garish and messy and fragile and about me moving away from Minimalism and the idea of an imaginary mechanical painter and that’s so exciting for me.’

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