Damien Hirsthas become one of the most influential and most controversial artists of his generation. Tate Modern London hosts the first substantial survey of Damien Hirst’s work in a British institution and brings together key works from over twenty years.
The exhibition includes iconic sculptures from his Natural History series, including The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living 1991, in which he suspended a shark in formaldehyde.
Also included are vitrines such as A Thousand Years from 1990, medicine cabinets, pill cabinets and instrument cabinets in addition to seminal paintings made throughout his career using butterflies and flies as well as spots and spins.
The two-part installation In and Out of Love, not shown in its entirety since its creation in 1991 and Pharmacy 1992 are among the highlights of the exhibition.
“The butterfly room, however, is unbearable. I saw its first incarnation in the Woodstock Gallery in 1991 and was sickened by it then, for it knowingly involves the death of butterflies, probably tens of thousands of them by the time this wretched exhibition ends on September 9,” writes Brian Sewell from thisislondon.
“All who care for living things should boycott this exhibition. Disgust must be the response of the sane, not only to the use, abuse and deaths of butterflies, but to the exploitation of farm animals mercilessly slaughtered in the knacker’s yard and, at an aesthetic level, to Hirst’s taste for the ghastly glitz and glamour found in Miami’s holiday hotels. I can sum it up as shiny shit,” added Sewell.
Tate Modern: Exhibition
4 April – 9 September 2012
£14, concessions available
Open late Friday – Sunday until 22.00