© Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain / Photography: Thibaut Voisin

The contemporary art world’s ultimate bad ass has shifted into romantic gear, whipping up canvases bursting with colourful blooms, a long shot from a previous body of work which is above all considered provocative and unapologetic. We’re talking Damien Hirst’s new series of paintings currently on display at Fondation Cartier in Paris. The solo exhibition, entitled Cérisiers en fleurs, or Cherry Blossoms in English, presents no less than 30 large canvases, an is the artist’s very first museum showcase in France. Abundantly referencing both Impressionism and Pointillism, as well as Action Painting, the works are ironic representations of traditional landscape paintings. Each of the canvases is entirely covered in dense bright colours, enveloping the viewer in a vast floral landscape moving between figuration and abstraction. The Cherry Blossoms series are at once a subversion and homage to the great artistic movements of the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries (on through Jan 2).

Fondation Cartier
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75014 Paris
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© Damien Hirst and Science Ltd. / Photography: Prudence Cuming and Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain / Photography: Thibaut Voisin