This book provides an opportunity to highlight the connections between Damien Hirst and Margaret Mellis – who became a close friend and mentor of Hirst’s during the development of his early career. In 2001 Hirst expressed the view that she had been unjustly neglected and deserved to be "up there – large on the map with her contemporaries". Their works were first exhibited side by side in the Tate in 2008.
The text by Damien Hirst is amended from an original introduction written for the exhibition catalogue ‘Margaret Mellis’, Austin /Desmond Fine Art, London 2001. A reproduction of a hand written letter from Margaret Mellis to Hirst from circa 1987 is also included.
Half Dead Flowers is published on the occasion of the ‘ARTIST ROOMS: Damien Hirst’ exhibition at the Pier Arts Centre, Orkney, from June 20th to September 12th, 2015.
Damien Hirst was born in Bristol in 1965. He first came to public attention in 1988 when he conceived and curated ‘Freeze’, an exhibition of his own work and that of his contemporaries at Goldsmiths college, staged in a disused London warehouse. Since this time Hirst has become widely recognised as one of the most influential artists of his generation.
Through a varied practise of installation, sculpture, painting and drawing Hirst has sought to explore the complex relationship between art, life and death. Alongside over 80 solo exhibitions he has worked on numerous curatorial projects. In 2008, Hirst took the unprecedented step of bypassing gallery involvement in selling 244 new works at a Sotheby’s, London auction entitled ‘Beautiful Inside My Head Forever’.
Hirst was awarded the Turner Prize in 1995 and his contribution to British art over the last two and a half decades has been acknowledged in a major solo retrospective exhibited at Tate Modern, London. He lives in Devon and has studios in Gloucester and London.
Text © Damien Hirst & Science Ltd., All rights reserved, 2012