Easter Special 2022

Weng Contemporary
Apr 12, 2022 8:28AM

DAMIEN HIRST, Paper Kite Butterfly on Spanish Iris, 2011

Spring has sprung!

Easter Sunday is fast approaching and we, at Weng Contemporary, hope this season’s new beginnings usher in plentiful joy and happiness, for you and your close ones. For this special occasion, we have created a custom selection of limited art editions to add to your Easter basket and help you make this time memorable.

Our Easter Selection

Andres Serrano, Pieta, 2012

Donald Sultan, White Tulips and Vase, April 4, 2014, 2014

Damien Hirst, Paper Kite Butterfly on Spanish Iris, 2011

Damien Hirst, Courage (The Virtues, H9-2), 2021

Jeff Koons, Balloon Rabbit (Violet), 2019

Andres Serrano, Pieta, 2012

“I am an artist first and a photographer second.” —Andres Serrano

New York-born artist with Honduran and Afro-Cuban background Andres Serrano is perhaps best known for his unflinching colour photographs of controversial subjects including Ku Klux Klansmen and Catholic figures. His painterly compositions and rich tonalities create strange juxtapositions with his confrontational subject matter. Serrano came into the spotlight with his Piss Christ (1987), a photograph of a crucifix submerged in a glass container of what was purported to be the artist’s urine. The work caused a storm of debates and was the centre of element in the so-called culture wars of the late 1980s and 1990s.

Pieta belongs to Holy Works series, which is the culmination of Andres Serrano's reinterpretation of Christian iconography. The artist's intention with these works was not to recreate specific medieval or renaissance religious paintings, nor to invest them with the iconoclasm that made his name in the 1980s, but rather to renew the genre of sacred portraiture. Pieta refers to Michelangelo’s Renaissance sculpture housed in St. Peter’s Basilica, Vatican City. The figure in the centre is not given light, but the background is illuminated, thus leaving only the silhouette of the Virgin Mary holding the dead body of Christ after he was removed from the cross, visible.

The artist Andres Serrano in front of Piss Christ. Credit: The DL/Patrick ROUX

“I see butterflies as souls and part of a wider visual language. I've always described them as universal triggers; everyone loves them because of their incredible abstract fragility and beauty. It's an interesting example of how we use nature to try and express the inexpressible: love, desire, belief and the eternal.” — Damien Hirst

The British artist, Damien Hirst, began working on the Fact artwork series in 2000. His goal with this series has always been to attempt to reproduce photographs exactly in complete, realistic detail through the traditional medium of oil on canvas, and further transpose into limited fine art editions.

In Paper Kite Butterfly on Spanish Iris Hirst again features his signature motif – the butterfly – alive in his natural surroundings, hanging at a beautiful coloured blossom. This picture stands in contrast to his Butterfly Paintings, which consist of actual dead butterflies or thousands of arranged butterfly wings, through which Hirst has provoked several controversial discussions.

At a first glimpse Hirst often creates an uplifting experience and a moment of pure astonishment induced by the beauty of the patterns and colours. The second thought then might provoke the viewer to think about fundamental questions concerning the meaning of life, death, and the fragility of biological existence. The artist uses his butterflies as a metaphor for sensations in human life. Hirst is really fascinated by them, as they symbolize a life itself, a beauty and evanescence.

Damien Hirst in front of one of his butterfly canvases. Photograph: Ray Tang/Rex Features

“One of the mainstays of the making art is that you don't think of the new ideas, you discover them.” — Donald Sultan

Donald Sultan is a distinguished painter, sculptor, and printmaker, who rose to prominence in the late 1970s as part of the New Yorker “New Image” movement. He has a unique artistic method and innovative approach to traditional subject matter. Sultan’s work incorporates basic geometric and organic forms with a formal purity that is both subtle and monumental.

White Tulips and Vase, April 4, 2014 belong to Sultan’s famous Flower series. Flowers, which often represent fragility and beauty, are realized in harsh industrial materials completely at odds with the subject matter. “The best art contains paradox, whether visual or narrative,” Donald Sultan once explained.

White Tulips and Vase, April 4, 2014 represents Sultan's still-life, where the shape of the object is reduced to the bare essentials. The image reveals one of the key features of Sultan’s work - the material juxtaposition- the contrast of a weighty background with ethereal shapes of the flowers. The sculpture is made from painted aluminum on polished aluminum base. The ephemeral shape of the flowers is gracefully combined with the weighty aluminum manifesting the synthesis of the natural and the industrial typical to Sultan´s work. The sculpture is incised with title, date, and artist initials, it is as well stamped with edition number, publisher and artist copyright stamp on the base verso.

Damien Hirst, Courage (The Virtues, H9-2), 2021

“I realised that, from a time-passing point of view, the tree meant everything to me: that's another year, that's another year. For a while, it just became like a clock. And I kind of love it for that reason: all the Japanese significance, the sakura; both optimistic and sad... renew and death.” — Damien Hirst

Courage is one of the eight works from the iconic Virtues prints, the latest edition by British artist Damien Hirst. These eight limited editions are each titled after one of The Eight Virtues of Bushidō according to Nitobe Inazō - Justice, Courage, Mercy, Politeness, Honesty, Honour, Loyalty, and Control. A continuation of Hirst's Cherry Blossom works, which was exhibited for the first time at the Fondation Cartier in Paris, in July 2021. Hirst devoted two years (2018-2019) to creating the 107 imposing paintings that comprise the Cherry Blossoms series. In his London studio, he combined thick brushstrokes and elements of gestural painting, referencing Impressionism, Pointillism, and Action Painting. While creating the paintings Hirst has said:

“I feel alive when I'm painting them. So I'm putting my life into it. It's a lot, you , know, of climbing up a ladder, throwing paint, mixing big buckets, chinking them on the canvas from far away - all that energy of life is actually caught in the paint.”

Hirst has been fascinated by the subject of cherry blossoms from an early age. He still remembers watching his mother paint cherry blossom trees in bloom. More specifically, he was enchanted by a cherry blossom tree outside his bedroom window in Devon. The series of the Cherry Blossoms once again binds Hirst's oeuvre together; each blossom is made out of colored dots echoing his Spot series, as well as the Veils paintings and even going all the way back to his Visual Candy series - early painterly representations created in an abstracted matter.

View from Damien Hirst’s studio, photographed by Prudence Cuming Associates. ©Damien Hirst

View from Damien Hirst’s studio, photographed by Prudence Cuming Associates. © Damien Hirst

Jeff Koons, Balloon Rabbit (Violet), 2019

“If you don't move nothing happens. It is a way of communicating that the art happens inside you.” – Jeff Koons

Inspired by a twisted rubber balloon rabbit, Balloon Rabbit (Violet), is a highly reflective porcelain limited edition. Incorporating the vocabulary of Jeff Koons’s iconic Celebration sculptures, that he started in the early 1990, Balloon Rabbit, along with two other animals, Balloon Monkey and Balloon Swan, marked a spectacular new chapter in Jeff Koons’s oeuvre.

The idea for a Balloon Rabbit sculpture came to Jeff Koons from his upbringing in south-central Pennsylvania. At special times of the year, people would decorate their front yard with reindeer at Christmas and inflatable rabbits at Easter. As his neighbours wished to give pleasure to other people with these decorations, the artist is proud to make art that is not intimidating for the viewers.

Working with seductive materials, such as the high chromium stainless steel of his Balloon Animals sculptures, Koons turns banal objects into high art icons. His paintings and sculptures borrow widely from art-historical techniques and styles; although often seen as ironic or tongue-in-cheek, Koons insists his practice is earnest and optimistic.

Jeff Koons poses with “Rabbit” at the Tate Modern in 2009. Credit: Daniel Deme/EPA, via Shutterstock

Book Your Appointment — see the works live

Should you require additional information and/or wish to book a virtual or physical appointment to view any of our limited editions, let us know. We also encourage you to book your slot directly on our new website, under Contacts.

  • Digital Appointment via WhatsApp, WeChat, Zoom
  • Viewing Appointment at our office in Zug or storage facility in Zurich.

Get in touch via WhatsApp (+41 76 541 56 58) and/or email ([email protected])

Weng Contemporary