He is by far and away the most recognisable and influential member of the British art elite and yet amazingly he has never had a full UK retrospective…until now.
As part of a full programme of events occurring in the Capital coinciding with the Olympics in 2012, the headline act for the arts is undoubtedly Tate Modern’s major exhibition looking back at Damien Hirst.
According to Tate curator Ann Gallagher, it will give visitors the opportunity "to step back from the noise surrounding Hirst, look back to 1988 (the year he sprang on to the scene with his now famous exhibition Freeze) and follow his career through".
In what is now one of the most anticipated exhibitions to be displayed in UK it will also, surely, be one of the most visited exhibitions of all time. Hirst, love him or loathe him, has huge global appeal, couple that with the Olympics and the UK has a gem of an attraction in which to present to the world, not to mention a real boost to the art world.
The exhibition will show Hirst's earliest spot, spin and butterfly paintings as well as his shark in formaldehyde, ‘The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living’. Large works, such as 'A Thousand Years' – a vitrine containing a rotting cow's head, flies and an electric fly-killer – will also be shown.
One of the biggest talking points about the retrospective, and a first for an art exhibition, is a planned room dedicated to an auction: the infamous Sotheby’s auction where an alleged £111m worth of Hirst artwork was sold in 2008. Amazingly at the exact same time that Lehman Bros. bank was collapsing in the US.
Naturally this will have a wide-reaching knock on effect to the commercial art market with Hirst’s work almost certain to increase in value over the coming years as demand for such works grows around the world.
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