Predominantly based upon the minimalist aesthetic of the medicinal pill, the works in this series were first shown at Paul Stolper Gallery in October 2014 and act as a continuation of Hirst’s life-long investigation into our almost-spiritual relationship with the rigours of science and the pharmaceutical industry.
The book includes all works in this series including ‘The Cure’; thirty silkscreen prints, each depicting a two-colour pill set against vibrant backgrounds of pop-candy colours. Also the series of corresponding sculptural works; fourteen hugely enlarged resin pills, each measuring thirty centimetres long, as well as ten smaller pills, rendered in an array of seductive, immaculate colours. Sculptures of medicine bottles, pharmaceutical boxes, ampoules, syringes, a scalpel, and drug packaging that all play with concepts of scale – the tallest measuring nearly one and a half metres. The editions continue Hirst's exploration of contemporary belief systems; religion, love, art and medicine.
Hirst explains: “Pills are a brilliant little form, better than any minimalist art. They’re all designed to make you buy them… they come out of flowers, plants, things from the ground, and they make you feel good, you know, to just have a pill, to feel beauty.”
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