new-york

Damien Hirst

Gagosian Gallery

“If it wins, it wins through intimidation.” This was David Rimanelli’s concluding assessment of Damien Hirst’s last solo exhibition in New York, also at Gagosian Gallery, published in these pages in 2000. A meticulously designed production number, the show bore a typically verbose pseudoscientific title—“Theories, Models, Methods, Approaches, Assumptions, Results, and Findings”—and, regardless of its critical or financial success, it packed ’em in like the blockbuster it was. Hirst’s belated return to the city, the more tersely (though still excitedly) titled “The Elusive Truth!” elicited comparable attendance figures (it’s been a while since I’ve stood in line outside an opening), but saw the original YBA trade in his customarily theatrical taxidermic and faux-anthropological sculptures for an underwhelming display of naturalistic oil-on-canvas paintings. Ballsy perhaps, but hardly

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