Gagosian’s Damien Hirst-Filled Booth at Frieze is Full of ’90s Hits

'We wanted to bring out some classics,' a Gagosian rep said.

Visitors to Frieze New York at Gagosian Gallery's Damien Hirst booth. Courtesy of Sarah Cascone.
Visitors to Frieze New York at Gagosian Gallery's Damien Hirst booth. Courtesy of Sarah Cascone.
Visitors to Frieze New York at Gagosian Gallery's Damien Hirst booth. Courtesy of Sarah Cascone.

Visitors to Frieze New York at Gagosian Gallery’s Damien Hirst booth. Courtesy of Sarah Cascone.

As the international art world converges on Randall’s Island for Frieze New York, two of the biggest forces in contemporary art have reunited in a major way: Larry Gagosian and Damien Hirst, who have rekindled their relationship after a three-year separation.

Of course, the knowledgeable Frieze crowd was already well aware that the band was back together. “It was widely speculated about, and then it was widely written about!” Gagosian’s Ken Maxwell told artnet News with glee.

An advisor talks to celebrity chef Bobby Flay at Frieze New York at Gagosian Gallery's Damien Hirst booth. Courtesy of Sarah Cascone.

An advisor talks to celebrity chef Bobby Flay at Frieze New York at Gagosian Gallery’s Damien Hirst booth. Courtesy of Sarah Cascone.

The gallery’s booth is dedicated solely to the British artist, and the work on view includes examples of such seminal series as the spin paintings, the butterfly canvases, and pharmaceutical cabinets. “We wanted to bring out some classics from the early ’90s,” Maxwell said of the selection, where the most recent work dates from 2009.

Of particular note, of course, were a handful of Hirst’s preserved animal vitrines, including ones of a ram and a small shark. According to a recent study, some of the preserved ’90s works have been leaking high levels of formaldehyde gas. “Damien used material that were incredibly challenging,” said Maxwell of the issue, noting that with any cutting-edge work, there is always a learning curve.

“It is something that Damien has solved,” Maxwell added. “That’s our job: We’re supposed to preserve things.”

Visitors to Frieze New York at Gagosian Gallery's Damien Hirst booth. Courtesy of Sarah Cascone.

Visitors to Frieze New York at Gagosian Gallery’s Damien Hirst booth. Courtesy of Sarah Cascone.

Despite any obstacles due to his waning market, Maxwell is hopeful institutions will express an interest in the YBA’s work. “That’s ultimately our goal with a living artist, to get that placement for perpetuity.”

Hirst’s auction record stands at $19.2 million, set at Sotheby’s London in 2007, according to the artnet Price Database.

As for sales overall, Maxwell declined to give specifics, but assured us that “we’re doing business for sure.”


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