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b. 1965, United Kingdom

Damien Hirst Biography

Damien Hirst is an internationally renowned contemporary artist. Hirst studied at Goldsmiths College, London and first gained recognition after curating the seminal show Freeze in 1988; the inaugural exhibition of the group of artists now known as the Young British Artists or YBAs. The exhibition established Hirst and his fellow students as among the most prominent artists of their generation.

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Hirst works in a variety of media including installation, sculpture, painting, and drawing. Many of his works revolve around the central theme of death. Among his most notable works are The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living, a shark suspended in formaldehyde in a vitrine, and For the Love of God, a human skull completely encrusted in diamonds. Viewers of Hirst’s work are forced to confront their own fears surrounding mortality. His other enduring themes of religion, love, art, and science are also embodied in works equally challenging for which he has created his own motifs and vocabulary. Works range from cabinets of pills, spin paintings and works that use dead butterflies.

Damien Hirst was born in England where he continues to live and work. In 1995, he was the recipient of the Turner Prize. The first retrospective of Hirst’s work, The Agony and the Ecstasy, took place at the Museo Archeologico Nazionale, Naples, in 2004. A later retrospective at the Tate Modern in 2012 recognized Hirst’s contributions to British art over the last three decades.

Hirst is also recognised as a disruptive player in the art world. This has involved consigning his own works to an auction house for a one vendor sale, to selling his own editions and multiples through a retail outlet called Other Criteria. Recently Hirst opened his own art gallery in London.

Hirst has been the subject of  solo exhibitions at Tate Modern, London (2012); Musei di Palazzo Vecchio, Florence (2010); Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam (2008); and Astrup Fearnley Museet fur Moderne Kunst, Oslo (2005). His work is held in major public and private collections around the world.

Exhibition view: Group Exhibition, Online Viewing Room #2 - Group Show, Gary Tatintsian Gallery (27 June–31 August 2020). Courtesy Gary Tatintsian Gallery. 

Damien Hirst Featured Artworks

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The Rose Window, Durham Cathedral by Damien Hirst contemporary artwork
Damien HirstThe Rose Window, Durham Cathedral, 2008Butterflies and metallic paint on canvas in artist’s frame
299 x 299 cm
Gary Tatintsian Gallery Contact Gallery
Pentoxifylline by Damien Hirst contemporary artwork
Damien HirstPentoxifylline, 2012Household gloss on canvas
53 x 55 cm
Cardi Gallery Contact Gallery
For the love of god, laugh by Damien Hirst contemporary artwork
Damien HirstFor the love of god, laugh, 2007Silkscreen print with glazes and diamond dust on paper
100 x 75 cm
Gary Tatintsian Gallery Contact Gallery
Satellite by Damien Hirst contemporary artwork
Damien HirstSatellite, 1989–2010Glass, faced particleboard, ramin, plastic, aluminium and pharmaceutical packaging
137 x 102 x 23 cm
Sprüth Magers Enquire
Sanctum (Unique) by Damien Hirst contemporary artwork
Damien HirstSanctum (Unique), 2009/2015Etching
118.5 x 115.5 cm
Paragon Contact Gallery
For the Love of God, Believe, by Damien Hirst contemporary artwork
Damien HirstFor the Love of God, Believe,, 2007Screen print on paper with glazes,
32.5 x 24 cm
Page Galleries Contact Gallery

Damien Hirst Current & Recent Exhibitions

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Contemporary art exhibition, Group Exhibition, Online Viewing Room #2 at Gary Tatintsian Gallery, Moscow
Open Now
27 June–31 August 2020 Group Exhibition Online Viewing Room #2 Gary Tatintsian GalleryOnline Only
Contemporary art exhibition, Group Exhibition, Up To Now at Valletta Contemporary, Malta
Closed
28 February–29 March 2020 Group Exhibition Up To Now Valletta ContemporaryMalta
Contemporary art exhibition, Group Exhibition, New Order: Art, Product, Image 1976 - 1995 at Sprüth Magers, London
Closed
24 July–14 September 2019 Group Exhibition New Order: Art, Product, Image 1976 - 1995 Sprüth MagersLondon

Damien Hirst Represented By

Gagosian contemporary art gallery in 980 Madison Avenue, New York, USA Gagosian New York, Beverly Hills, San Francisco, London, Paris, Le Bourget, Geneva, Basel, Rome, Athens, Hong Kong
Paragon contemporary art gallery in London, United Kingdom Paragon London

Damien Hirst In Ocula Magazine

The Latest: Snapchat Spin Paintings, Gonzalez-Torres Fortune Cookies, and More Ocula News The Latest: Snapchat Spin Paintings, Gonzalez-Torres Fortune Cookies, and More Hong Kong, 6 May 2020

This week's need-to-know art news, including the collapse of Sydney's Carriageworks, the winner of the Pulitzer-prize for criticism, and relaxed Kickstarter rules for institutions.

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A blended mass: A report from Art Basel 2016 Ocula Report A blended mass: A report from Art Basel 2016 By Stephanie Bailey, Basel

Walking through Art Basel 2016 felt like being ‘between; and ‘beneath’ a ‘resolved mass’, in which a kind of emerging globalism has taken firm root.

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Damien Hirst In Related Press

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Damien Hirst, Turning In Circles Related Press Damien Hirst, Turning In Circles 12 October 2019, Hyperallergic

LONDON — It's a hot mid-afternoon in the West End's posh Mayfair district, and Damien Hirst is standing outside the glass double-doors of the White Cube gallery, looking every inch the devil-may-care prankster out of some early Shakespearean comedy.

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The misplaced outrage over Damien Hirst’s dead butterflies Related Press The misplaced outrage over Damien Hirst’s dead butterflies 30 September 2019, Apollo

Damien Hirst has recently unveiled a new series of his 'butterfly-wing paintings' and the internet is ablaze with debate. Butterflies, dead or alive, have appeared in the artist's work since the late 1980s and he has produced very similar paintings to the ones now exhibited at White Cube in London since the mid 2000s.

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In Murakami’s Moscow, It’s All “Cuteness and Catastrophe” Related Press In Murakami’s Moscow, It’s All “Cuteness and Catastrophe” 3 October 2017, Vogue

In a 2000 interview with the Japanese photographer Mako Wakasa for the Journal of Contemporary Art, the artist Takashi Murakami presented the following rules for survival and success in the contemporary art market (best exemplified, he said, by Damien Hirst and the continued relevance of Picasso and Warhol): "First of all, distinctively...

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Venice Notebook: Samplers From a Biennale Banquet Related Press Venice Notebook: Samplers From a Biennale Banquet 14 May 2017, The New York Times

The Biennale comprises a central exhibition, organized this year by Christine Macel, chief curator of the Pompidou Center in Paris; and 85 national pavilions, which feature solo or thematic presentations. Prizes are awarded to the best pavilion—this year it's Germany, which hosts a harrowing performance work by the young artist Anne...

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Damien Hirst In Video & Audio

Inside the Stately Home Exhibiting Damien Hirst’s Most Iconic Works Related Video & Audio Inside the Stately Home Exhibiting Damien Hirst’s Most Iconic Works 15 May 2018, AnOther Magazine

The notion of 'Britishness' has long been underpinned by a tangle of contradictions; evocative of both the aristocratic establishment, and its countercultural underside.

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