Damien Hirst

Damien Hirst

The Light That Shines

The Light That Shines

HENI is delighted to present The Light That Shines, an application-based drop featuring original works from Damien Hirst’s new series: The Empress Paintings, Cosmos Paintings and Satellites. None of the works have been exhibited before.

To coincide with the drop, HENI presents an exhibition at Château La Coste, Provence, from 2 March to 23 June 2024. The exhibition is being presented with the support of the artist’s galleries, Gagosian and White Cube.

Applications to buy works from the drop can be made through this website.

A digital platform for artists to release original works of art

Damien Hirst

Damien Hirst is a British artist whose name has become synonymous with contemporary art. Since his generative work as a student at Goldsmiths School of Art, Hirst's production has been boundary−redefining in nature. Working primarily in installation, painting, sculpture and drawing, Hirst explores the complex relationships between art, beauty, religion, science, life and death. He constantly returns to his foundational interests and themes, which he reworks to develop an innovative visual language.

The Empress Paintings

The Empress Paintings (2023) depict mesmerising compositions of red, black and gold butterfly wings. Hirst expands on techniques he first introduced in his Kaleidoscope Paintings in 2001. Paint, oil ink and paper were applied to canvas to create a series of intricate works. Some symmetrical and others spiralling, the paintings strike a balance between exquisite order and exuberant vitality.

They are named after influential female rulers from history, including Hatshepsut, pharaoh of Egypt in the fifteenth century BC, and the Roman empress Agrippina. Hirst has long used the butterfly as a symbol for themes such as freedom, religion, life and death; here these themes gain new resonance as they become intertwined with concepts of glory and female power.

Ranging in size from 213.4 x 213.4cm down to 100 x 100cm, each of the 54 works is signed, titled and dated on the reverse of the canvas, and numbered on the stretcher. The works are presented in artist-designed plywood frames, which are painted on the front.

"Beautiful, royal, violent, loving, red, hypnotic paintings of passion and romance and mandala patterns and swirling optical butterflies. For the first time ever, I’ve ever made paintings after I’ve made prints. It feels like my creative process has been turned inside out[, it] kinda feels arse over tit. Whatever it means, it’s just great that art is being launched into the world in many different ways...Which came first: the painting or the print?"

- Damien Hirst

Cosmos Paintings

Damien Hirst’s Cosmos Paintings (2021) is a series of oil on canvas works that capture the mystery and anarchy of the universe. The paintings were inspired by Hirst’s interest in space, and particularly in the long-exposure images taken by the Hubble Space Telescope.

To create the works, Hirst affixed black canvases to his studio floor, before overlaying them with paint. These erratically applied, variously coloured layers evoke faraway celestial bodies. Hirst then added further paint using a variety of techniques. In places, Hirst sprays the paint, capturing the hazy, radiant quality of distant galaxies. Elsewhere, richly textured piles of thick black paint suggest black holes. The physicality of Hirst’s painting consciously replicates the chaos and variety of the universe, creating abstract works the artist has described as ‘intergalactic carnage.’

Ranging in size from 30 cm to over 3.5 m, each of the 78 works is signed, titled, numbered and dated on the back.

"I saw that picture where the Hubble Telescope photographed a tiny black corner of space with a long exposure and it revealed billions of galaxies, and I wanted to make paintings like that: that look crazy and full of infinite possibilities and crazy planetary action but still be paint."

- Damien Hirst


Damien Hirst’s Satellites (2022) is a series of sculptures investigating humanity’s fascination with outer space. Since sending one of his spot paintings to Mars in 2003, Hirst has gone on to explore cosmic themes through series such as Meteorites (2012-2014) and Cosmos Paintings (2021). With Satellites, he examines man’s attempt to comprehend the universe.

Each work is modelled on, and named after, actual satellites that have been sent into space, from ‘Hubble’ to ‘Sputnik-1.’ The sculptures are cast in bronze, creating intensely dark, looming forms. The works create a tension between both old and new, placing the quintessentially modern innovation of the satellite in the distant past. By shrinking and historicising this monumental technology, Hirst grants the viewer a larger-than-life omniscience, as though looking at our own time from the future.

A selection of sculptures from this series is available on HENI Primary. Each work is made in an edition of three with two artist’s proofs and is signed, dated and numbered.

"After I made [the Cosmos paintings] I thought: I know what I need against this backdrop, I need satellites, tiny man-made objects that we’ve sent into space on our behalf to explore and navigate and work for us. I decided to not make them contemporary…I decided to make them look like Degas’ horses and ballerinas that he made towards the end of his life, when he was almost blind and so had to use his hands rather than his eyes."

- Damien Hirst

Château La Coste, Provence

Presented by HENI, The Light That Shines features a selection of works from Hirst’s new series. The Empress Paintings, Cosmos Paintings and Satellites series, which have never been exhibited before, are on view at Château La Coste, Provence, from 2 March to 23 June 2024.

Exhibition dates: 2 March - 23 June 2024
Opening hours: Every day from 11am to 5pm
Location: Château La Coste, 2750 Route De La Cride, 13610 Le Puy-Sainte-Réparade, France



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