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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–), 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 (2017–18), 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

Damien Hirst's Reclining Woman on the cover of Gagosian Quarterly, Fall 2021

Now available
Gagosian Quarterly Fall 2021

The Fall 2021 issue of Gagosian Quarterly is now available, featuring Damien Hirst’s Reclining Woman (2011) on its cover.

Andrea Domenico Remps, Cabinet of Curiosities, c. 1690, oil on canvas, 39 × 54 inches (99 × 137 cm), Opificio delle Pietre Dure, Florence, Italy.

For Sale: Baby Shoes. Never Worn.

Sydney Stutterheim meditates on the power and possibilities of small-format artworks throughout time.

In the Studio: Damien Hirst’s Veil Paintings

In the Studio: Damien Hirst’s Veil Paintings

Damien Hirst speaks about his Veil paintings with Gagosian’s Alison McDonald. “I wanted to make paintings that were a celebration,” he says, “and that revealed something and obscured something at the same time.” 

Damien Hirst, Happiness, 1993–94, oil on canvas, 24 × 17 ⅞ inches.

Damien Hirst: Visual Candy

James Fox considers the origins of Damien Hirst’s Visual Candy paintings on the occasion of a recent exhibition of these early works in Hong Kong.

Damien Hirst, Fruit Salad, 2016, household gloss on canvas, 16 × 24 inches.

Damien Hirst: Colour Space Paintings

Blake Gopnik examines the artist’s “dot” paintings in relation to the history of representation in Western art, in which dabs of paint have served as fundamental units of depiction and markers of objective truth.

River Café menu with illustration by Ed Ruscha.

The River Café Cookbook

London’s River Café, a culinary mecca perched on a bend in the River Thames, celebrated its thirtieth anniversary in 2018. To celebrate this milestone and the publication of her cookbook River Café London, cofounder Ruth Rogers sat down with Derek Blasberg to discuss the famed restaurant’s allure.

Still from video Visions of the Self: Jenny Saville on Rembrandt

Visions of the Self: Jenny Saville on Rembrandt

Jenny Saville reveals the process behind her new self-portrait, painted in response to Rembrandt’s masterpiece Self-Portrait with Two Circles.

Fairs, Events & Announcements

Rachel Whiteread, Untitled (Plaster Torso), 1993 © Rachel Whiteread. Photo: Prudence Cuming Associates

Art Fair

Frieze Masters 2021

October 13–17, 2021, booth C02
Regent’s Park, London
www.frieze.com

Gagosian is pleased to participate in Frieze Masters 2021 with Material Process. Conceived, carved, cast, or constructed—sculpture remained a continuously strong tradition throughout the twentieth century in Britain. Artists such as Henry Moore, Anthony Caro, Michael Craig-Martin, Rachel Whiteread, Damien Hirst, and Douglas Gordon have extended this lineage, often focusing on human figures or body parts, transforming materials and techniques, including language, into a widely diverse practice that is internationally recognized.

Rachel Whiteread, Untitled (Plaster Torso), 1993 © Rachel Whiteread. Photo: Prudence Cuming Associates

Damien Hirst with works from The Currency (2016). Artwork © Damien Hirst and Science Ltd, DACS 2021. Photo: Prudence Cuming Associates Ltd

Launch

Damien Hirst
The Currency

On July 14, 2021, Damien Hirst released The Currency—a collection of ten thousand NFTs that correspond to ten thousand unique physical artworks—with HENI on Palm, a new, more environmentally friendly NFT ecosystem. Collectors are invited to apply to buy an NFT through July 21, 2021. Successful applicants will all initially receive NFTs. Ultimately, each collector has one year to decide between keeping the NFT or trading it for the physical artwork; whichever is not selected will be destroyed. The Currency is an experiment in belief in which every participant is confronted with their perception of value, testing the boundaries of the digital and physical worlds and our role in both.

Damien Hirst with works from The Currency (2016). Artwork © Damien Hirst and Science Ltd, DACS 2021. Photo: Prudence Cuming Associates Ltd

Installation view, Damien Hirst: Relics and Fly Paintings, Gagosian, Britannia Street, London, open from June 5, 2021. Artwork © Damien Hirst and Science Ltd. All rights reserved, DACS 2021. Photo: Prudence Cuming Associates

Visit

After Hours
Damien Hirst: Relics and Fly Paintings

Thursday, July 15, 2021, 6–8pm
Gagosian, Britannia Street, London

The Britannia Street gallery will be open after hours to visit Damien Hirst: Relics and Fly Paintings, the second phase of the artist’s yearlong takeover of the space. For this new iteration, the artist has clad the interior of the gallery in black butterfly-patterned wallpaper that reproduces the kaleidoscopic surface of his painting Valley of Death (2010). With its uniquely immersive atmosphere, the exhibition brings together a number of Hirst’s bodies of work, prompting reflections on themes of darkness and death, the past and the future.

Installation view, Damien Hirst: Relics and Fly Paintings, Gagosian, Britannia Street, London, open from June 5, 2021. Artwork © Damien Hirst and Science Ltd. All rights reserved, DACS 2021. Photo: Prudence Cuming Associates

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Museum Exhibitions

Installation view, Damien Hirst: Archaeology Now, Galleria Borghese, Rome, June 8–November 7, 2021. Artwork © Damien Hirst and Science Ltd. All rights reserved DACS 2021/SIAE 2021. Photo: A. Novelli © Galleria Borghese-Ministero della Cultura 

On View

Damien Hirst
Archaeology Now

Through November 7, 2021
Galleria Borghese, Rome
galleriaborghese.beniculturali.it

In Archaeology Now, more than eighty works from Damien Hirst’s Treasures from the Wreck of the Unbelievable (2007–17) series are displayed throughout the Galleria Borghese alongside ancient masterpieces from the museum’s collection. Hirst’s C0lour Space (2016) paintings are also exhibited—for the first time in Italy—among the collection and his colossal sculpture Hydra and Kali (2015) is presented outdoors in the Giardino Segreto dell’Uccelliera.

Installation view, Damien Hirst: Archaeology Now, Galleria Borghese, Rome, June 8–November 7, 2021. Artwork © Damien Hirst and Science Ltd. All rights reserved DACS 2021/SIAE 2021. Photo: A. Novelli © Galleria Borghese-Ministero della Cultura 

Damien Hirst, Renewal Blossom, 2018 © Damien Hirst and Science Ltd. All rights reserved, DACS 2021. Photo: Prudence Cuming Associates

On View

Damien Hirst
Cherry Blossoms

Through January 2, 2022
Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain, Paris
www.fondationcartier.com

Cherry Blossoms, Damien Hirst’s first museum exhibition in France, reinterprets the traditional subject of landscape painting with playful irony. In this series Hirst combines thick brushstrokes and elements of gestural painting, referencing Impressionism, Pointillism, and Action painting. The monumental canvases, which are entirely covered in dense bright colors, envelop the viewer in a vast floral landscape moving between figuration and abstraction.

Damien Hirst, Renewal Blossom, 2018 © Damien Hirst and Science Ltd. All rights reserved, DACS 2021. Photo: Prudence Cuming Associates

Damien Hirst, Up, Up and Away, 1997 © Damien Hirst and Science Ltd. All rights reserved, DACS 2020 

Closed

Damien Hirst
End of a Century

October 7, 2020–August 8, 2021
Newport Street Gallery, London
www.newportstreetgallery.com

End of a Century features over fifty early works by Damien Hirst, spanning his formative years as a student in the 1980s through the 1990s, when he became one of Britain’s leading contemporary artists. Featuring installations, sculpture, and paintings, some of which have not been seen before, the exhibition surveys a selection of Hirst’s most iconic series.

Damien Hirst, Up, Up and Away, 1997 © Damien Hirst and Science Ltd. All rights reserved, DACS 2020 

Glenn Brown, Lemon Sunshine, 2001 © Glenn Brown

Closed

00s. Collection Cranford
Les années 2000

October 24, 2020–May 30, 2021
Mo.Co. Contemporary, Montpellier, France
www.moco.art

This exhibition of work from the Cranford Collection, established by Muriel and Freddy Salem in 1999, aims to define the identity of the 2000s by creating a dialogue between one hundred artworks by a multigenerational array of artists who contributed to shaping the beginning of the millennium. Work by Glenn Brown, Damien Hirst, Mike Kelley, Albert Oehlen, Gerhard Richter, Ed Ruscha, Cindy Sherman, Jeff Wall, Franz West, and Christopher Wool is included.

Glenn Brown, Lemon Sunshine, 2001 © Glenn Brown

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Press

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