DAMIEN HIRST

Dare you look life and death in the face? Damien Hirst does, and he invites you watch with him. Beauty and decay go hand in hand in his art.

Damien Hirst, 2-Amino-5-Bromobenzotrifluoride, 2011. ARKEN Museum of Modern Art. Photo: Prudence Cumings Associates

Damien Hirst

DAMIEN HIRST

Damien Hirst, Love's Paradox (Surrender or Autonomy, Separateness as a Precondition for Connection), 2007. Detail. ARKEN Museum of Modern Art

DAMIEN HIRST

Front: Saint Bartholomew, exquisite pain, 2006. Back: Love's Paradox (Surrender or Autonomy, Separateness as a Precondition for Connection), 2007

Coloured spots and cows in formaldehyde. eFragile butterflies, a diamond-encrusted skull and thick crusts of dead flies. British artist Damien Hirst puts beauty and brutality, nature and art, life and death into focus.

Death and love

A key work in the Damien Hirst hall is the sculpture Love’s Paradox (surrender or autonomy, separateness as a precondition for connection). Two half cows have been placed in their own formaldehyde tank so that you come face to face with death while studying each aspect of the animal’s anatomy. But death is not the only thing you face. If you stand between the separated cows, you stand between the connection and the separation – love’s paradoxical conditions.

The donation

The majority of Damien Hirst works in ARKEN consists of a generous donation from The Merla Art Foundation, which was founded in London by Dennis and Jytte Merla Dresing. Hirst’s gigantic ‘spot painting’ has been specially created for this hall as part of the donation.

About Damien Hirst

Damien Hirst often breaks our boundaries when interpreting existential topics in his works. He goads us to think about life and how art works. He challenges our fascination for death, our fear of the body’s decay and our desire for a long and healthy life.
Hirst represents an attention-seeking style and he has a great deal in common with pop stars and actors. He pursues a mass production strategy and, as such, has designed both fashion clothes and album covers, among others. He alternately highlights and downplays his seriousness as an artist – equivocal, sincere and brimming with sarcasm.

Born 1965 in Bristol, UK.

Lives and works in Devon, outside London.

Educated at Goldsmiths College, London.

Curated the famous exhibition “Freeze” (1988) in London’s Docklands that marked the launch of the YBA (Young British Artists), which dominated the British contemporary art scene in the 1990s.

Supported by advertising guru Charles Saatchi, who bought Hirst’s first famous work The Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living (1991), a tiger shark in formaldehyde.

Hirst designed the Pharmacy restaurant in London, which is designed just like a pharmacy.

Received the 1995 Turner prize.

He has held numerous exhibitions all over the world.

DAMIEN HIRST

Damien Hirst. Photo: Anton Corbijn

More works by Damien Hirst

DAMIEN HIRST

Damien Hirst, The Four Elements (Who's Afraid of Red, Yellow, Green and Blue), 2005. ARKEN Museum of Modern Art

DAMIEN HIRST

Damien Hirst, Beautiful B. Painting, 1996. ARKEN Museum of Modern Art

DAMIEN HIRST

Damien Hirst, Beautiful Strummerville Spin, The Future is Unwritten Painting, 2010. ARKEN Museum of Modern Art

DAMIEN HIRST

Damien Hirst, Carcinoma, 2007. ARKEN Museum of Modern Art

DAMIEN HIRST

Damien Hirst, Untitled, 2001. ARKEN Museum of Modern Art

DAMIEN HIRST

Damien Hirst, The Last Supper, 1999. ARKEN Museum of Modern Art

DAMIEN HIRST

Damien Hirst, <M132826-Bladder_cancer, light_micrograph_SPL.jpeg>, 2006. ARKEN Museum of Modern Art

DAMIEN HIRST

Damien Hirst, For the Love of God, The Diamond Skull, 2007. ARKEN Museum of Modern Art

DAMIEN HIRST

Damien Hirst, Love's Paradox (Surrender or Autonomy, Separateness as a Precondition for Connection), 2007. ARKEN Museum of Modern Art

DAMIEN HIRST

Damien Hirst, Corruption, 2004. ARKEN Museum of Modern Art

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