Skulls by Damien Hirst
Skulls by Damien Hirst
Damien Hirt’s Skulls takes a direct and challenging approach to ideas about existence. His work calls into question our awareness and convictions about the boundaries that separate desire and fear, life and death, reason and faith, love and hate. Hirst uses the tools and iconography of science and religion, creating sculptures and paintings whose beauty and intensity offer the viewer insight into art that transcends our familiar understanding of those domains. “There [are] four important things in life: religion, love, art and science,” the artist has said. “At their best, they’re all just tools to help you find a path through the darkness. None of them really work that well, but they help. Of them all, science seems to be the one right now. Like religion, it provides the glimmer of hope that maybe it will be all right in the end…”
Since the late 1980’s, Hirst has used a varied practise of installation, sculpture, painting and drawing to explore the complex relationship between art, life and death. Explaining: “Art’s about life and it can’t really be about anything else … there isn’t anything else,” Hirst’s work investigates and challenges contemporary belief systems, and dissects the tensions and uncertainties at the heart of human experience. At Goldsmiths, Hirst’s understanding of the distinction between painting and sculpture changed significantly, and he began work on some of his most important series. The ‘Medicine Cabinets’ created in his second year combined the aesthetics of minimalism with Hirst’s observation that, “science is the new religion for many people. It’s as simple and as complicated as that really.” This is one of his most enduring themes, and was most powerfully manifested in the installation work, ‘Pharmacy’ (1992).
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’s first exhibition with Gagosian Gallery was in 1996.