Damien Hirst, Leeds Art Gallery
Mon - Tues 10:00am - 5:00pm
Wed 12:00pm - 5pm
Thurs - Sat 10:00am - 5:00pm
Sun 1:00pm - 5:00pm
Damien Hirst, the most famous of the 'YBA' generation of British artists that came to prominence in the mid-1990s, grew up in Leeds but had never, prior to this ARTIST ROOMS exhibition, been the subject of a major exhibition in the city.
The exhibition contained important early works - including With Dead Head1991 and the ‘Natural History’ sculpture Away from the Flock 1994 - alongside more recent pieces: The Anatomy of an Angel 2008 and a butterfly monochrome diptych created specifically for the ARTIST ROOMS collection, Monument to the Living and the Dead 2006. Also included was Hirst’s large early vitrine work loaned from the Arts Council collection, He Tried to Internalise Everything 1992-1994. The glass and steel vitrine is divided into three parts, the largest of which contains an anaesthetiser and two gas cylinders filled with a medical stimulant and a suppressant.
A recreation of the original interior of Pharmacy Restaurant & Bar was installed in the gallery space. The components shown included The Pharmacist’s Creed 1997-1998 – a lightbox combining the restaurant’s logo with Hirst spots. The exhibition offered its audience the opportunity to explore a range of Hirst’s work across his career, from the inception of ideas as a student and their development in various key manifestations through the 1990s and the early years of the 2000s, when they reached maturity as the artist achieved international celebrity.