Menu

Damien Hirst

Damien Hirst, Study After Delacroix (the Orphan Girl in the Cemetery), 1981 Pencil on paper, 13 ⅜ × 11 inches (34 × 28 cm)© Damien Hirst and Science Ltd. All rights reserved, DACS 2018

Damien Hirst, Study After Delacroix (the Orphan Girl in the Cemetery), 1981

Pencil on paper, 13 ⅜ × 11 inches (34 × 28 cm)
© Damien Hirst and Science Ltd. All rights reserved, DACS 2018

Damien Hirst, Expanded from Small Red Wheel, 1985 Painted wood, metal, fabric, plastic, and wallpaper construction, 16 × 10 × 4 inches (40.6 × 25.4 × 10.2 cm)© Damien Hirst and Science Ltd. All rights reserved, DACS 2018

Damien Hirst, Expanded from Small Red Wheel, 1985

Painted wood, metal, fabric, plastic, and wallpaper construction, 16 × 10 × 4 inches (40.6 × 25.4 × 10.2 cm)
© Damien Hirst and Science Ltd. All rights reserved, DACS 2018

Damien Hirst, The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living, 1991 Glass, steel, formaldehyde solution, and tiger shark, 84 × 204 × 84 inches (211 × 518 × 211 cm)© Damien Hirst and Science Ltd. All rights reserved, DACS 2018

Damien Hirst, The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living, 1991

Glass, steel, formaldehyde solution, and tiger shark, 84 × 204 × 84 inches (211 × 518 × 211 cm)
© Damien Hirst and Science Ltd. All rights reserved, DACS 2018

Damien Hirst, 14 Sausages, 1993 Acrylic, silicone, monofilament, sausages, and formaldehyde solution, 25 ¼ × 18 ¾ × 3 ¾ inches (64 × 47.5 × 9.5 cm)© Damien Hirst and Science Ltd. All rights reserved, DACS 2018

Damien Hirst, 14 Sausages, 1993

Acrylic, silicone, monofilament, sausages, and formaldehyde solution, 25 ¼ × 18 ¾ × 3 ¾ inches (64 × 47.5 × 9.5 cm)
© Damien Hirst and Science Ltd. All rights reserved, DACS 2018

Damien Hirst, Party Time, 1995 GRP composites, foam, and contents of ashtray, diameter: 96 inches (243.8 cm)© Damien Hirst and Science Ltd. All rights reserved, DACS 2018

Damien Hirst, Party Time, 1995

GRP composites, foam, and contents of ashtray, diameter: 96 inches (243.8 cm)
© Damien Hirst and Science Ltd. All rights reserved, DACS 2018

Damien Hirst, Myth Explored, Explained, Exploded, 1993–99 Glass, painted steel, silicone, monofilament, shark, and formaldehyde solution, in 3 parts, dimensions variable© Damien Hirst and Science Ltd. All rights reserved, DACS 2018. Photo: Prudence Cuming Associates Ltd

Damien Hirst, Myth Explored, Explained, Exploded, 1993–99

Glass, painted steel, silicone, monofilament, shark, and formaldehyde solution, in 3 parts, dimensions variable
© Damien Hirst and Science Ltd. All rights reserved, DACS 2018. Photo: Prudence Cuming Associates Ltd

Damien Hirst, A Way of Seeing, 2000 Glass and steel vitrine, table, chair, ashtray, newspaper, slides, cup of tea, sponges, sand, glasses of water, and animatronic man with microscope, 96 × 156 × 120 inches (243.8 × 396.2 × 304.8 cm)© Damien Hirst and Science Ltd. All rights reserved, DACS 2018

Damien Hirst, A Way of Seeing, 2000

Glass and steel vitrine, table, chair, ashtray, newspaper, slides, cup of tea, sponges, sand, glasses of water, and animatronic man with microscope, 96 × 156 × 120 inches (243.8 × 396.2 × 304.8 cm)
© Damien Hirst and Science Ltd. All rights reserved, DACS 2018

Damien Hirst, My Problem is You, 2001 Glass, stainless steel, plasterzote, and medical packaging, 70 ¼ × 35 ⅜ × 14 ¼ inches (179.8 × 89.9 × 36 cm)© Damien Hirst and Science Ltd. All rights reserved, DACS 2018

Damien Hirst, My Problem is You, 2001

Glass, stainless steel, plasterzote, and medical packaging, 70 ¼ × 35 ⅜ × 14 ¼ inches (179.8 × 89.9 × 36 cm)
© Damien Hirst and Science Ltd. All rights reserved, DACS 2018

Damien Hirst, Adam and Eve, Blue for Adam and Pink for Eve, 1997–2003 Glass, steel, formaldehyde solution, cow’s head, bull’s head, and household gloss on canvas, in 4 parts, each vitrine: 18 × 38 × 18 inches (45.7 × 91.4 × 45.7 cm); each canvas: 15 × 23 inches (38.1 × 58.4 cm)© Damien Hirst and Science Ltd. All rights reserved, DACS 2018

Damien Hirst, Adam and Eve, Blue for Adam and Pink for Eve, 1997–2003

Glass, steel, formaldehyde solution, cow’s head, bull’s head, and household gloss on canvas, in 4 parts, each vitrine: 18 × 38 × 18 inches (45.7 × 91.4 × 45.7 cm); each canvas: 15 × 23 inches (38.1 × 58.4 cm)
© Damien Hirst and Science Ltd. All rights reserved, DACS 2018

Damien Hirst, Suicide Bomber (Aftermath), 2004–05 Oil on canvas, 72 × 48 inches (182.9 × 121.9 cm)© Damien Hirst and Science Ltd. All rights reserved, DACS 2018

Damien Hirst, Suicide Bomber (Aftermath), 2004–05

Oil on canvas, 72 × 48 inches (182.9 × 121.9 cm)
© Damien Hirst and Science Ltd. All rights reserved, DACS 2018

Damien Hirst, Beautiful Bleeding Wound Over the Materialism of Money Painting, 2005 Household gloss and credit card on canvas, 60 × 84 inches (152.4 × 213.4 cm)© Damien Hirst and Science Ltd. All rights reserved, DACS 2018

Damien Hirst, Beautiful Bleeding Wound Over the Materialism of Money Painting, 2005

Household gloss and credit card on canvas, 60 × 84 inches (152.4 × 213.4 cm)
© Damien Hirst and Science Ltd. All rights reserved, DACS 2018

Damien Hirst, Isonicotinoyl Chloride, 2005 Household gloss on canvas, 84 × 84 inches (213.4 × 213.4 cm)© Damien Hirst and Science Ltd. All rights reserved, DACS 2018

Damien Hirst, Isonicotinoyl Chloride, 2005

Household gloss on canvas, 84 × 84 inches (213.4 × 213.4 cm)
© Damien Hirst and Science Ltd. All rights reserved, DACS 2018

Damien Hirst, Aubade – Crown of Glory, 2006 Butterflies and household gloss on canvas, 115 ⅞ × 96 ⅛ inches (294.2 × 244.1 cm)© Damien Hirst and Science Ltd. All rights reserved, DACS 2018

Damien Hirst, Aubade – Crown of Glory, 2006

Butterflies and household gloss on canvas, 115 ⅞ × 96 ⅛ inches (294.2 × 244.1 cm)
© Damien Hirst and Science Ltd. All rights reserved, DACS 2018

Damien Hirst, For Heaven’s Sake, 2008 Platinum and pink diamonds, 3 ⅜ × 3 ⅜ × 3 ⅞ inches (8.5 × 8.5 × 10 cm)© Damien Hirst and Science Ltd. All rights reserved, DACS 2018. Photo: Prudence Cuming Associates

Damien Hirst, For Heaven’s Sake, 2008

Platinum and pink diamonds, 3 ⅜ × 3 ⅜ × 3 ⅞ inches (8.5 × 8.5 × 10 cm)
© Damien Hirst and Science Ltd. All rights reserved, DACS 2018. Photo: Prudence Cuming Associates

Damien Hirst, Painful Memories/Forgotten Tears, 2008 Gold-plated steel, glass, and Cubic Zirconia, in 2 parts, each: 72 ¼ × 108 ⅜ × 4 inches (183.3 × 275.3 × 10.2 cm)© Damien Hirst and Science Ltd. All rights reserved, DACS 2018

Damien Hirst, Painful Memories/Forgotten Tears, 2008

Gold-plated steel, glass, and Cubic Zirconia, in 2 parts, each: 72 ¼ × 108 ⅜ × 4 inches (183.3 × 275.3 × 10.2 cm)
© Damien Hirst and Science Ltd. All rights reserved, DACS 2018

Damien Hirst, Black Sheep with Golden Horns, 2009 Glass, painted stainless steel, silicone, acrylic, gold, cable ties, sheep, and formaldehyde, 43 ½ × 63 ⅞ × 25 ¼ inches (110.3 × 162.3 × 64.1 cm)© Damien Hirst and Science Ltd. All rights reserved, DACS 2018

Damien Hirst, Black Sheep with Golden Horns, 2009

Glass, painted stainless steel, silicone, acrylic, gold, cable ties, sheep, and formaldehyde, 43 ½ × 63 ⅞ × 25 ¼ inches (110.3 × 162.3 × 64.1 cm)
© Damien Hirst and Science Ltd. All rights reserved, DACS 2018

Damien Hirst, Amatoxin, 2010 UK ink and charcoal on canvas, 72 × 57 ½ inches (183 × 146 cm)© Damien Hirst and Science Ltd. All rights reserved, DACS 2018

Damien Hirst, Amatoxin, 2010

UK ink and charcoal on canvas, 72 × 57 ½ inches (183 × 146 cm)
© Damien Hirst and Science Ltd. All rights reserved, DACS 2018

Damien Hirst, Ice Age, 2008–09 Metal, resin, and plaster pills and watercolor on canvas, 36 × 48 inches (91.4 × 121.9 cm)© Damien Hirst and Science Ltd. All rights reserved, DACS 2018

Damien Hirst, Ice Age, 2008–09

Metal, resin, and plaster pills and watercolor on canvas, 36 × 48 inches (91.4 × 121.9 cm)
© Damien Hirst and Science Ltd. All rights reserved, DACS 2018

Damien Hirst, Grapefruit, 2016 Household gloss on canvas, 16 × 24 inches (40.6 × 61 cm)© Damien Hirst and Science Ltd. All rights reserved, DACS 2018

Damien Hirst, Grapefruit, 2016

Household gloss on canvas, 16 × 24 inches (40.6 × 61 cm)
© Damien Hirst and Science Ltd. All rights reserved, DACS 2018

Damien Hirst, Revelation, 2016 Jacquard-woven tapestry made from wool, cotton, and silk, 98 ½ × 98 ½ inches (250 × 250 cm), edition of 20 + 4 AP© Damien Hirst and Science Ltd. All rights reserved, DACS 2018

Damien Hirst, Revelation, 2016

Jacquard-woven tapestry made from wool, cotton, and silk, 98 ½ × 98 ½ inches (250 × 250 cm), edition of 20 + 4 AP
© Damien Hirst and Science Ltd. All rights reserved, DACS 2018

Damien Hirst, Veil of Unfolding Life, 2017 Oil on canvas, 108 × 72 inches (274.3 × 182.9 cm)© Damien Hirst and Science Ltd. All rights reserved, DACS 2018

Damien Hirst, Veil of Unfolding Life, 2017

Oil on canvas, 108 × 72 inches (274.3 × 182.9 cm)
© Damien Hirst and Science Ltd. All rights reserved, DACS 2018

About

People are afraid of change, so you create a kind of belief for them through repetition. It’s like breathing. I’ve always been drawn to series and pairs. A unique thing is quite a frightening object.
—Damien Hirst

Since emerging onto the international art scene in the late 1980s, Damien Hirst has created installations, sculptures, paintings, and drawings that examine the complex relationships between art and beauty, religion and science, and life and death. From serialized paintings of multicolored spots to animal specimens preserved in tanks of formaldehyde, his work challenges contemporary belief systems, tracing the uncertainties that lie at the heart of human experience.

In 1988, while studying at Goldsmiths College in London, Hirst curated Freeze, a rolling exhibition in three parts, featuring his work and that of fellow students. This show is considered the debut of the artists who would come to be known as the Young British Artists, or YBAs, whose approach was characterized by a combination of entrepreneurial and oppositional attitudes, the use of found materials, and an interest in shock and spectacle. In the final iteration of Freeze, Hirst included two of his Spot paintings, which he painted directly onto the wall. The Spot paintings (1986–2012), of which there are now more than one thousand, present multicolored spots on white or near-white grounds and are painted by hand in glossy house paint. With these works, Hirst sought to paint as a machine yet allow for the subtle imperfections of the artist’s hand. In 2012 Gagosian showed more than three hundred Spot paintings at once across all eleven of the gallery’s locations.

Like many of Hirst’s series, the Spot paintings evoke various psychological and perceptual dichotomies: they are both calming and unnerving, beautiful and ordinary. A subseries, the Pharmaceutical paintings (1986–2011), features evenly spaced, multicolored circles. The title links these works to the medicine cabinets (1988–2012) and Visual Candy paintings (1993–95), all of which consider the cultural role of prescription drugs, the ways they are advertised, and the many promises that are made to their consumers. The medicine cabinets are filled with the empty packaging of various medications, highlighting the minimalist aesthetic of the boxes and plastic containers. The Visual Candy paintings push the idea of false promises even further. Alluding to movements including Impressionism, Abstract Expressionism, and Pop art, they are exuberant, colorful paintings with euphoric, perhaps facetious, titles such as Happy Happy Happy (1994), Wowee Zowee (1993), and Super Silly Fun (1993).

In 1991 Hirst created The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living: a fourteen-foot tiger shark preserved in a tank of formaldehyde. This work, part of the Natural History series (1991–2013), has become a landmark of contemporary art and exemplifies Hirst’s interest in bridging the gap between art and science. The Natural History series includes additional taxidermied animals, including sheep, cows, a zebra, a dove, and even a “unicorn”—some of which are bisected or flayed. That same year, in London, Hirst presented In and Out of Love (White Paintings and Live Butterflies), an exhibition featuring real pupas glued to white canvases. The pupas hatched in the gallery, releasing live butterflies into the space. In 1997 Hirst collaborated on Pharmacy Restaurant and Bar in London, for which he designed the interior, transforming his work into an immersive environment.

Since the early 2000s Hirst has produced ambitious, captivating works ranging from the kaleidoscopic butterfly paintings (2001–08)—made by placing thousands of butterfly wings in intricate geometric patterns onto painted canvases—to For the Love of God (2007), a platinum cast of a human skull set with 8,601 diamonds. Hirst’s first major retrospective, The Agony and the Ecstasy, was presented by the Museo Archeologico Nazionale in Naples, Italy, in 2004, and he was recognized in 2012 with a major retrospective at Tate Modern in London. While his 2017 exhibition Treasures from the Wreck of the Unbelievable filled the Palazzo Grassi and Punta della Dogana in Venice with monumental, fantastical sculptures made of precious metals and stones, covered in illusionistic barnacles, Hirst subsequently returned to the gestural immediacy of painting with the Veil paintings (2017), in which he continued his examination of color and its effects on the eye.

In 2015 Hirst opened the Newport Street Gallery in London, a realization of his long-term ambition to share his art collection with the public.

Damien Hirst

Photo: Oli Scarff/Getty Images

Website

damienhirst.com

Fairs, Events & Announcements

Visions of the Self: Rembrandt and Now (London: Gagosian, 2020)

Book Launch

Visions of the Self
Rembrandt and Now

Tuesday, March 17, 2020, 6:30–8:30pm
Kenwood House, London
www.english-heritage.org.uk

In the interest of public health, this event has been postponed until further notice.

Gagosian is pleased to host a drinks reception to celebrate the release of Visions of the Self: Rembrandt and Now, published on the occasion of the recent eponymous exhibition at Gagosian, Grosvenor Hill, London. Organized in partnership with English Heritage, the exhibition places Rembrandt’s masterpiece Self-Portrait with Two Circles (c. 1665) in dialogue with self-portraits by Francis Bacon, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Lucian Freud, and Pablo Picasso, as well as leading contemporary artists such as Georg Baselitz, Glenn Brown, Urs Fischer, Damien Hirst, Howard Hodgkin, Giuseppe Penone, Richard Prince, Jenny Saville, Cindy Sherman, and Rudolf Stingel, among others. The catalogue includes an introduction by Wendy Monkhouse, senior curator at English Heritage, and a text by art historian David Freedberg. To attend the free event, RSVP to londonevents@gagosian.com. Space is limited.

Visions of the Self: Rembrandt and Now (London: Gagosian, 2020)

Helen Frankenthaler, Omen, 1980 © 2020 Helen Frankenthaler Foundation, Inc./Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Art Fair

artgenève 2020

January 30–February 2, 2020, booth B25
Palexpo, Geneva
artgeneve.ch

Gagosian is pleased to participate in artgenève 2020, with modern and contemporary works by Davide Balula, Georg Baselitz, Helen Frankenthaler, Simon Hantaï, Damien Hirst, Grant Levy-Lucero, Henri Matisse, Olivier Mosset, Giuseppe Penone, Pablo Picasso, David Reed, Sterling Ruby, Spencer Sweeney, and Tom Wesselmann, among others.

To receive a PDF with detailed information on the works, please contact the gallery at inquire@gagosian.com. To attend the fair, purchase tickets at artgeneve.ch.

Download the full press release in English (PDF) or French (PDF)

Helen Frankenthaler, Omen, 1980 © 2020 Helen Frankenthaler Foundation, Inc./Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

John Currin, Young Woman on a Lounger, 2014 © John Currin

Art Fair

Taipei Dangdai 2020

January 17–19, 2020, booth E20
Taipei Nangang Exhibition Center
taipeidangdai.com

Gagosian is pleased to participate in Taipei Dangdai 2020, presenting works by Georg Baselitz, John Currin, Edmund de Waal, Urs Fischer, Katharina Grosse, Damien Hirst, Robert Indiana, John Mason, Takashi Murakami, Takashi Murakami & Virgil Abloh, Albert Oehlen, Nam June Paik, Steven Parrino, Richard Prince, Ed Ruscha, Spencer Sweeney, Tom Wesselmann, and Jonas Wood, among others. 

To receive a PDF with detailed information on the works, please contact the gallery at inquire@gagosian.com. To attend the fair, purchase tickets at taipeidangdei.com

Download the full press release in English (pdf), Simplified Chinese (pdf), or Traditional Chinese (pdf)

John Currin, Young Woman on a Lounger, 2014 © John Currin

See all News for Damien Hirst

Museum Exhibitions

Carsten Höller, Upside-Down Mushroom Room, 2000 © Carsten Höller. Photo by Attilio Maranzano, courtesy Fondazione Prada

On View

Atlas

Opened April 20, 2018
Fondazione Prada, Milan
www.fondazioneprada.org

The group of exhibited artworks, realized between 1960 and 2016, represents a possible mapping of the ideas and visions that have guided the creation of the collection and the collaborations with the artists  that have contributed to the activities of the foundation throughout the years. Work by Walter De Maria, Michael Heizer, Damien Hirst, Carsten Höller, and Jeff Koons is included.

Carsten Höller, Upside-Down Mushroom Room, 2000 © Carsten Höller. Photo by Attilio Maranzano, courtesy Fondazione Prada

Jeff Koons, Gazing Ball (da Vinci Mona Lisa), 2016, Jordan Schnitzer Family Foundation © Jeff Koons

Closed

POP Power from Warhol to Koons
Masterworks from the Collections of Jordan D. Schnitzer and His Family Foundation

September 28, 2019–March 8, 2020
Taubman Museum of Art, Roanoke, Virginia
www.taubmanmuseum.org

POP Power celebrates a perennial movement that revels in the new and the now, the celebrity and the commodity, and art made accessible for the masses. Work by Damien Hirst, Jeff Koons, Roy Lichtenstein, Takashi Murakami, Richard Prince, and Andy Warhol is included.

Jeff Koons, Gazing Ball (da Vinci Mona Lisa), 2016, Jordan Schnitzer Family Foundation © Jeff Koons

Jeff Koons, Balloon Dog (Red), 1994–2000 © Jeff Koons

Closed

Ikonen
Was wir Menschen anbeten

October 19, 2019–March 1, 2020
Kunsthalle Bremen, Germany
www.kunsthalle-bremen.de

This exhibition, whose title translates to Icons: Worship and Adoration, presents a single masterpiece in each of the museum’s sixty galleries complemented by everyday icons—from consumer brands to icons of popular culture, offering an interpretation of the traditional notion of the icon in art juxtaposed with the proliferation of icons in everyday life. The presentation examines various aspects of spirituality, devotion, and adoration. Work by Francis Bacon, Andreas Gursky, Damien Hirst, Yves Klein, Jeff Koons, Bruce Nauman, and Andy Warhol is included.

Jeff Koons, Balloon Dog (Red), 1994–2000 © Jeff Koons

Installation view, Objects of Wonder: From Pedestal to Interaction, ARoS Aarhus Art Museum, Denmark, October 12, 2019–March 1, 2020. Artwork © Damien Hirst and Science Ltd. All rights reserved, DACS 2019

Closed

Objects of Wonder
From Pedestal to Interaction

October 12, 2019–March 1, 2020
ARoS Aarhus Art Museum, Denmark
www.aros.dk

Objects of Wonder features sculptural works from 1960 until the present. The exhibition, conceptualized in collaboration with Tate, London, showcases recent sensory or thought-provoking sculpture and experiments. The audience encounters a series of works that challenge the genre, where tactility, context, and light play a central role. Work by Damien Hirst, Bruce Nauman, and Rachel Whiteread is included.

Installation view, Objects of Wonder: From Pedestal to Interaction, ARoS Aarhus Art Museum, Denmark, October 12, 2019–March 1, 2020. Artwork © Damien Hirst and Science Ltd. All rights reserved, DACS 2019

See all Museum Exhibitions for Damien Hirst

Press

See all Press