In 2014, Damien Hirst unveiled a new series of paintings made up of vast numbers of surgical instruments, which combine to form bird’s-eye views of cities from around the world. With the ‘Black Scalpel Cityscapes’, Hirst investigates subjects pertaining to the sometimes-disquieting realities of modern life – surveillance, urbanisation, globalisation and the virtual nature of conflict – as well as those relating to the human condition in general, such as our inability to arrest physical decay.
Described by the artist as ‘portraits of living cities’, the series is here illustrated in full and accompanied by a comprehensive list of artwork details. Also included is an essay by Professor Jerry Brotton – author of A History of the World in Twelve Maps – and a fictional short story by novelist and arts writer Michael Bracewell.
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