Damien Hirst — Beyond Belief – Signed Catalogue

In stock
£300.00
OC6418
2008
280 x 220 mm (11 x 9 inches)
196pp
Hardback with 2 x pop-ups and
2 x eight page gatefolds
93 colour illustrations
Texts by Will Self, Rudi Fuchs and an interview between Hans Ulrich Obrist and Damien Hirst
Published by Other Criteria / White Cube
ISBN 978-1-904212-50-8
Fully illustrated catalogue from the 2007 exhibition 'Damien Hirst: Beyond Belief' at White Cube, Mason's Yard and Hoxton Square. Includes an interview with Damien Hirst by Hans Ulrich Obrist.

In this exhibition, Hirst continued to explore the fundamental themes of human existence – life, death, truth, love, immortality and art itself. In two new series of paintings – the Birth Paintings and the Biopsy Paintings – Hirst confronts, as he put it, ‘the intense joy and deep-set anxiety we can all feel in hospitals, where we are surrounded by both creation and decay.' The Birth Paintings, which depict the birth of the artist’s youngest son Cyrus by Caesarean section in August 2005, are brutal, yet tender, images of the horror and beauty of childbirth.

The Biopsy Paintings, on the other hand, are based on biopsy images of thirty different forms of cancer and other terminal illnesses that the artist sourced from the Science Photo Library. In this series Hirst uses broken glass, scalpel blades and blood-like pools of paint in sumptuous, abstract swathes that repel and attract in equal measure. ‘I’ve always thought that art is a map of a person’s life, so it naturally changes as you change and get older’, Hirst said. ‘I suppose since I’ve become a father, I think even more about the end.’

For the Love of God is a life-size cast of a human skull in platinum, covered entirely by 8,601 VVS to flawless pav?-set diamonds, weighing a total of 1,106.18 carats. It is without precedent in the history of art. On one level, the work is a traditional ‘Memento Mori’, an object that addresses the transience of human existence. ‘The skull is out of this world, celestial almost’ writes the distinguished art historian Rudi Fuchs. ‘It proclaims victory over decay. At the same time’, Fuchs continues, ‘it represents death as something infinitely more relentless. Compared to the tearful sadness of a vanitas scene, the diamond skull is glory itself.'

Excerpt from exhibition text © Rudi Fuchs, 2007, courtesy White Cube Gallery

Unsigned version available here
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Damien Hirst