Damien Hirst was born in Bristol in 1965. He studied at Goldsmiths College in London and first came to public attention in 1988 when he curated “Freeze,” an exhibition of his work and that of his friends and fellow students at Goldsmiths. Many artists from this group would later go on to achieve international acclaim as the YBAs (Young British Artists) including Jake and Dinos Chapman, Tracy Emin and Matt Collingshaw. Since then, Hirst has become one of the most prominent and controversial artists of his generation.
Throughout his work, Hirst examines issues of mortality, metamorphosis and existentiality. Hirst plays with perception, appropriating chemical compounds found in psychedelic and synthetic drugs, and manipulates the symbols associated with both science and religion, two worlds traditionally positioned in direct opposition to each other. He is perhaps best known for his use of dead animals, arresting decomposition and calling attention to the beauty and brutality inherent to the living condition and the physical body’s suspension in time. Working in a variety of media, from sculpture and painting to collage and installation, Hirst’s artistic practice defies classical precedents of categorization.
Damien Hirst lives and works in Devon and London, U.K. He was included in the 1992 Young British Artists exhibition at Saatchi Gallery, London and in 1995 he won the Turner Prize. Solo exhibitions of Hirst’s work have been held at Museo Archeologico Nazionale, Naples (2004), Astrup Fearnley Museet fur Moderne Kunst, Oslo (2005), Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam (2008), Galerie Rudolfinum, Prague (2009), The Wallace Collection, London (2009–10), the Oceanographic Museum, Monaco (2010), the Museo di Palazzo Vecchio, Florence (2010) and Tate Modern, London (2012).
Damien Hirst/Arnulf Rainer, Durcheinander/Commotion, Arnulf Rainer Museum, Baden, Austria - SOLO
ARTLOVERS: Stories of art in the Pinault Collection, Grimaldi Forum, Monaco - GROUP
Leibhaftig, Arp Museum Bahnhof Rolandseck, Remagen, Germany - GROUP
Dries van Noten, Les Arts Decoratifs, Paris - GROUP
Relics, Al Riwaq: Museum of Islamic Art, Doha - Solo
Entomology Cabinets and Paintings, Scalpel Blade Paintings and Colour Charts, White Cube, Hong Kong - Solo
Candy with Felix Gonzales-Torres, Blain Southern, London - GROUP
All You Need is Love: From Chagall to Kusama and Hatsune Miku, Mori Art Museum, Tokyo - GROUP
The Complete Spot Paintings 1986-2011, Gagosian London, New York, Los Angeles, Paris, Hong Kong, Rome, Geneva, Athens - SOLO
The Art of Chess, Saatchi Gallery, London - GROUP
Damien Hirst Donation, Arken Museum of Modern Art, Copenhagen - SOLO
Forgotten Promises, Gagosian, Hong Kong - SOLO
Works from the Astrup Fearnley Museum, San Paulo Biennale, Sao Paulo, Brazil - GROUP
For the Love of God, Palazzo Vecchio, Florence - SOLO
Medicine Cabinets, L & M Arts, New York - SOLO
The Souls, Paul Stolper Gallery, London - SOLO
Plus Ultra, Macro, Rome - GROUP
Nothing Matters, White Cube, London - SOLO
Life, Death and Love, Galerie Rudolfinum, Prague - SOLO
Beyond Black, White and Grey, L & M Arts, New York - GROUP
TURPS BANANA 1, Galleria Marabini, Milan - GROUP