Etching on Hahnemühle paper
114.5cm x 112.5cm
Edition of 145
Signed and numbered by the artist
Dealing with concepts like religion, science, life, death, and art’s capacity to heal, Damien Hirst grew to international acclaim during the 1990s as arguably the most prominent of the Young British Artists (YBAs).
Damien Hirst (British, born 1965) is one of the most recognisable practising contemporary artists to-date. He has become a pop-cultural icon and a widely valued figure in the arts, with record-breaking auction figures and a major institutional presence.
Hirst graduated from Goldsmiths College of London in 1989, where he laid the groundwork for his one of his most powerful installations, Pharmacy (1992). His sculptural ‘Medicine Cabinets’ contain minimally designed arrangements of pill bottles and vials, artfully arranged with stripped down, un-branded packaging, confronting the conflation of science and religion. His interest in the pharmaceutical industry has manifested in a variety of artistic and commercial pursuits, including several restaurant endeavors, one previously in Notting Hill, and one currently in Vauxhall at the award-winning Newport Street Gallery. In February, 2020, Hirst’s smaller work Bodies (1994) from his degree showcase sold at Phillips for £1.3 million.
It was during his degree he also began the production of his infamous spot paintings and solidified his place as an architect of art history. Held in 1988, Hirst curated an exhibition of his contemporaries at Goldsmiths under the title Freeze, a show that would go on to mark an important transition for the generation known as the YBAs. In the final phase, painted directly on the London Dockland’s warehouse walls, Hirst unveiled the spot paintings Edge and Row (1988), the first of what would go on to become a signature of his extensive career and the start of a movement in the United Kingdom.
Since then, he has been widely recognised for his formaldehyde works, anatomical explorations, and pioneering modes of production, challenging the traditional roles established by his artistic predecessors. He has been cited by Tracey Emin and other formidable figures as one of the greatest conceptual artists of the 20th and 21st century, likening his contribution to history as in kind with that of Andy Warhol and Donald Judd. His range of installations, paintings, sculptures, prints and products have made Hirst the highest-valued living artist in history, breaking his first record in 2007 with Lullaby Spring (2002), a 3 metre-wide steel cabinet holding 6,136 pills, which sold for $19.2 million dollars.
He won the Turner Prize in 1995, refused an offer to represent the UK in the 1999 Venice Biennale, and designed the British Union Flag used in the 2012 Summer Olympics closing ceremony. His works have been exhibited and collected around the world at the The Hayward Gallery (1997), The Mori Art Museum (2009/2010), The Met Breuer (2018), and The J. Paul Getty Museum (2019), and many more, including a full career retrospective at Tate Modern in 2012. He is currently represented by White Cube gallery.
Hirst lives and works in England and Mexico.
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