The Art Newspaper’s Cristina Ruiz reveals that Damien Hirst’s Other Criteria will be issuing a catalogue of the entire spot series answering the long-asked question, how many are there really? And if we finally know the finite number of works in the series, will the spot market be able to recover after the lackluster worldwide show at Gagosian?
The publication of a catalogue listing all the spot paintings made by Damien Hirst since 1986 will reveal that there are around 1,400, according to Jason Beard, the director of Other Criteria, the artist’s publishing company, which has produced the book in conjunction with Gagosian Gallery. The majority of the works in the 1,000-page catalogue will be illustrated, and “every single spot painting made will be listed”, Beard says.
Collectors have long speculated about the number of spot canvases in circulation. “I’ve heard estimates ranging from 2,000 to 7,000,” says Harry Blain, co-founder of the gallery Blain/Southern. He believes that the publication will increase confidence in the series because it will allay fears that the paintings are much more numerous than they actually are. He says it will also show the series’ variety. “People often say the spot paintings are all the same, but they’re not—far from it. The catalogue will give an understanding of the many subsets within [the spot works].”
All the same, “people love buying things that are reproduced, and they love it when their own works are published, so [publications are] always good for the market”, says the New York dealer Christophe Van de Weghe.
Hirst Catalogue Tots Up to 1400 Spots (The Art Newspaper)