January's show at Gagosian – any Gagosian, all Gagosians – is Damien Hirst's spot paintings. All of them, loaned back from their owners, in a retrospective. Why? Because they can.
As you can see by Gagosian’s exhibition thumbnails above, there’s lots of variety here. In fact, it’s “a single exhibition in multiple locations”, chronicling the whole of Hirst’s creative range, “from the first spot on board that Hirst created in 1986; to the smallest spot painting comprising half a spot and measuring 1 x 1/2 inch (1996); to a monumental work comprising only four spots, each 60 inches in diameter; and up to the most recent spot painting completed in 2011 containing 25,781 spots that are each 1 millimeter in diameter, with no single color ever repeated.”
Big or small, old or new, impossibly boring or shockingly empty, they're all on view. The catalogue will include “a conversation between Damien Hirst, Ed Ruscha and John Baldessari”, along with essays by MoMA Chief Curator of Painting and Sculpture Ann Temkin and art historian Robert Pincus-Witten (who, among many other accomplishments, coined the term “post-minimalism”).
There is, we recognize, a historical danger here. Someday, the record of this exhibition might be dug up by a young art historian, or perhaps a blogger like us, or perhaps some sort of future blogger who does things with brainwaves. They’ll see that there was a massive show spread across every location of the most successful gallery of the time, entirely comprised of one of the most successful artists of the time, and that it was supported by some of the most illustrious voices money could buy. So I’m going to lay this down, just to clarify, so that nobody from the future gets confused: we hate this shit. Everyone hates this shit. These spots reflect nothing about how we live, see, or think, they’re just some weird meme for the impossibly rich that nobody knows how to stop.