The Crucifix was produced on the occasion of the 2005 exhibition ‘Damien Hirst: New Religion’ at Paul Stolper Gallery, London. Fixed in resin, the multi-coloured pewter pills appear to float, suspended within the groove of the simple Cedarwood cross. Perhaps replacing the function of the Eucharist – the bread and the wine – the medication is gem-like, exact and promising, yet unmistakably sealed beyond our reach. It represents something of the mystery behind both the Crucifixion and Resurrection, and also the supposed ‘miracle’ of modern medicine. Hirst alludes, in this and his title, to the prevalence and dominance of science over religion, a trope common to much of his work, from Beyond Belief to Superstition and The Death of God.
The base of The Crucifix is engraved with the artist’s signature and edition number.
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