Damien Hirst04 April 2012 - 09 September 2012, Tate Modern, London, UK Learn more
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Damien Hirst (1965, Bristol, UK) is a leading artist of the YBA (Young British Artist) generation. He is widely regarded as one of the most important artists working today, creating highly iconic artworks.
His art draws upon themes including life, death, love, loyalty and betrayal. The artist explores these concepts through a wide-ranging practice that includes installation, sculpture, painting and drawing, and his works often challenge the boundaries that exist between art, science and popular culture.
Hirst conceived of the now famous 'Freeze' exhibition in 1988. Presented in a dilapidated London warehouse, the exhibition displayed his own works along with those of his friends from Goldsmiths College including Tracey Emin, Sarah Lucas and Mat Collishaw. Rumour has it that Hirst sent a taxi to Charles Saatchi’s house to cajole him into attending the exhibition — a tactic that paid off with Saatchi collecting and championing many of the YBA artists.
Hirst’s most recognisable body of works is the ‘Natural History’ series, where he presents animals suspended in formaldehyde in glass vitrines; The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living (1991) uses a shark which aggressively stares out at the viewer, whilst Mother and Child Divided (1993) is a four-part sculpture that uses a bisected cow and calf. The works raise questions concerning the fragility of our existence.
The artist’s paintings are also renowned, with recognisable motifs including butterflies, spots and spun paint. The concept of the ‘Butterfly Paintings’ derived from Hirst’s first solo show 'In and Out of Love', 1991. The exhibition covered two floors; upstairs, pupae were attached to white paintings, with the butterflies actually hatching during the opening, and downstairs, whole dead butterflies were scattered over colourful canvases.
In September 2008, during the global banking crisis and on the same day that Lehman Brothers crashed, Hirst became the first artist to sell a complete show via the auction house Sotheby’s. Exceeding all expectations, Beautiful Inside My Head Forever raised a staggering £111 million.
Damien Hirst’s solo exhibitions include Internal Affairs, ICA London, 1991; Astrup Fearnley Museum Oslo, 1997; The Agony and the Ecstasy, Museo Archeologico Nazionale, Naples, 2004; Museum of Fine Arts Boston 2005; For the Love of God Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, 2008 and Palazzo Vecchio, Florence, 2010/1. He has participated in numerous group exhibitions including the Venice Biennale in 1993 and 2003; Twentieth Century British Sculpture, Jeu de Paume, Paris, 1996; Extreme Abstraction, Albright Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, 2005; Into Me / Out of Me, P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, New York, 2006; Re-Object, Kunsthaus Bregenz, 2007 and Color Chart: Reinventing Color 1950 to Today, Museum of Modern Art, New York, 2008. Receiving the DAAD fellowship in Berlin in 1994, he also won the Turner Prize in 1995.
- Damien Hirst Tate Modern, London, UK
- The Complete Spot Paintings 1986-2011 Gagosian Gallery, worldwide
- Damien Hirst Leeds Art Gallery, Leeds, UK
- Forgotten Promises Gagosian Gallery, Hong Kong, HK
- For the Love of God Palazzo Vecchio, Florence, IT
- Cornucopia Oceanographic Museum of Monaco, Monte Carlo, MC
- End of An Era Gagosian Gallery, New York, USA
- No Love Lost The Wallace Collection, London, UK
- Requiem PinchukArtCentre / PAC, Kiev, UA
- Damien Hirst Kiev Museum, UA
- For the Love of God Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, NL
- Damien Hirst: Beyond Belief White Cube, London, UK
- Damien Hirst Capital Museum, Beijing, CN
- Damien Hirst: Corpus: Drawings 1981 - 2006 Gagosian Gallery, New York, USA
- Damien Hirst: 'A Thousand Years & Triptychs' Gagosian Gallery, London, UK
- Damien Hirst: The Death of God - Towards a Better Understanding of Life without God Aboard the Ship of Fools Galeria Hilario Galguera, Mexico City, MX
- Damien Hirst: The Elusive Truth Gagosian Gallery, New York, USA
- Damien Hirst: The Agony and the Ecstasy (curated by Eduardo Cicelyn, Mario Codognato and Mirta d'Argenzio) Museo Archeologico Nazionale, Naples, IT
- Romance in the Age of Uncertainty White Cube, London, UK
- Damien Hirst Saatchi Gallery, London, UK
- Damien Hirst's art education The Reliance, Leeds, UK
- Damien Hirst Sadler's Wells, London, UK
- Theories, Models, Methods, Approaches, Assumptions, Results and Findings Gagosian Gallery, New York, USA
- Pharmacy Tate Gallery, London, UK
- Damien Hirst Southampton City Art Gallery, Southampton, UK
- Damien Hirst Astrup Fearnley Museum, Oslo, NO
- No Sense of Absolute Corruption Gagosian Gallery, New York, USA
- Pharmacy Kukje Gallery, Seoul, KR
- Still White Cube, London, UK
- Prix Ellette von Karajan '95 Max-Gandolph-Bibliothek, Universität Salzburg, AT
- Currents 23, Milwaukee Art Museum, Milwaukee, USA
- Pharmacy Dallas Museum, Dallas, USA
- Damien Hirst Galerie Jablonka, Cologne, DE
- Where's God Now Jay & Donatella Chiat, New York, USA
- In & Out of Love Woodstock Street, London, UK
- When Logics Die Emmanuel Perrotin, Paris, FR
- Internal Affairs ICA, London, UK