Dan Colen, once dubbed the bad boy of post-Pop New York, is to have his first major solo show in London thanks to the enfant terrible of the Young British Artists scene, Damien Hirst.
The exhibition of around 20 works, mostly drawn from Hirst’s personal collection, includes Colen’s famous gum paintings: blobs of brightly-coloured bubble gum stuck to canvases in a pointillist style or smeared over the surface in a more gestural manner.
Dan Colen will have his first major show at Damien Hirst's Newport Street Gallery
The show, which opens at Hirst’s Newport Street Gallery in south London in October, also features Colen’s trash paintings, which incorporate broken shovel handles, battered shoes and tyres, among other discarded objects, all covered with paint.
The exhibition will span 15 years from early 2001 to the present day, starting with the photorealist painting Me, Jesus and the Children (2001-03). “[The show will be] the first time I’ve been able to present the full range of my work and the wide-ranging ideas, crafts, materials, technologies and processes that I engage with,” Colen says. It will also include large-scale installations that have been specially reconfigured for the show.
Newport Street Gallery declined to say who else had loaned works, but other high-profile collectors of Colen’s art include Donald Trump’s daughter Ivanka and her husband Jared Kushner, as well as Vito Schnabel, the US dealer and son of the artist Julian Schnabel. Long-term supporters include the media billionaire Peter Brant and Guess clothing company co-founder, Maurice Marciano.
Dan Colen's Me, Jesus and the Children (2001-2003) (© Dan Colen)
Colen's market rose meteorically during the emerging-art bubble, and his presence in the museum world is gaining momentum. He has had shows at Inverleith House in Edinburgh, Astrup Fearnley museum in Oslo, the Albright-Knox Gallery in Buffalo and Dallas Contemporary in Texas, among others.
A solo exhibition in a major UK museum remains elusive, but the Hirst show, together with the announcement last week that Lévy Gorvy gallery now represents Colen, alongside Gagosian and Massimo De Carlo, could change that.
An ambitious exhibition is due to open at Lévy Gorvy’s New York branch next March. Meanwhile, according to Artnews, another exhibition of Colen’s work is being planned for an institution in Asia opening in late 2019.