"You’ve got colour, pure colour on its own. And then you’ve got the meaning of objects."
‘8 Pans’ was originally included in ‘Progress by Degree’, a group exhibition organised by Angus Fairhurst in 1988 prior to ‘Freeze’. The exhibition consisted of work from a selection of second year Goldsmiths students, and was held at the Bloomsbury Gallery of the Institute of Education, London.
The pure arrangement of colour in ‘8 Pans’ (and in the similar pieces ‘5 Pans’ and ‘7 Pans’) was becoming a central concern for the artist as he tired of working on his series of Kurt Schwitters and Harry Thubron inspired collages (1983 - 87). In the collages, each object got “tumbled around with the other stuff and became things in their own right”. Conversely, in ‘8 Pans’ the elements are separated by white wall space and unrepeated colour, techniques that would lead to the creation of the spot paintings. Essentially, however, the ‘Pans’ were still “something old, tarted up”. It was only later, with the spot paintings that Hirst found all nostalgia could be removed.