ARTIST ROOMS: Damien Hirst


Shown above Damien Hirst Away from the Flock 1994*

Walker Morris continued its innovative partnership with Leeds Art Gallery when it sponsored an exhibition that brought the iconic, internationally renowned artist Damien Hirst back to his roots.

The exhibition, ‘ARTIST ROOMS: Damien Hirst’ was a concise collection of the artist’s works, including ‘Away from the Flock’ one of his signature vitrine pieces of animals suspended in formaldehyde, which was supplemented by an additional room devoted to the artist’s legendary collaborative project Pharmacy – the restaurant in London’s Notting Hill, where Hirst‘s art was integrated into all aspects of the restaurant’s design and integral to the dining experience. It is the first time an installation of elements from Pharmacy have been seen since its closure and the subsequent Sotheby’s sale in 2004.

Walker Morris Partner, Debbie Jackson said:

“Damien Hirst’s work challenges perceptions and stimulates different ways of thinking which, in many ways, reflects how we approach our business as a law firm. Even at this time of economic challenge, it is important that business support for the arts continues to be maintained so that such important works can be appreciated by the greatest number of people. That is why we were delighted to make our contribution through this sponsorship.”

Born in 1965 in Bristol, Hirst grew up in Leeds, where he went to school and then on to Leeds College of Art. After moving to London in 1986 to study at Goldsmith’s College, Hirst organised the enormously successful ‘Freeze’ exhibition while he was still a student. The exhibition, held in 1988, caused a media sensation, making the work of his fellow students and his own work into a ‘cause celebre’ overnight.

Hirst’s exploration of imagery is notable for its strong associations with life and death. From an early photographic work, rooted in Leeds, the exhibition featured Butterfly and Spot paintings and the now infamous Natural History series, featuring animals suspended in formaldehyde. A diptych of Skull paintings from the recent ‘Poison’ series also appeared at the exhibition.

*steel, glass, formaldehyde solution and lamb 960 x 1490 x 510 mm
ARTIST ROOMS Tate and the National Galleries of Scotland. Acquired jointly through The d’Offay Donation with assistance from the National Heritage Memorial Fund and the Art Fund 2008
© Damien Hirst and Science Ltd. DACS 2011