Damien Hirst: Artist Rooms

15 July 2011 – 30 October 2011
Solo Exhibition. Leeds City Gallery, Leeds, United Kingdom.

Photographed by Prudence Cuming Ltd © Damien Hirst and Science Ltd. All rights reserved, DACS 2012

In 2008, Anthony d’Offay, with the support of the National Heritage Memorial Fund, the Art Fund and the Scottish and UK Governments, gifted a large collection of contemporary art jointly to Tate and the National Galleries of Scotland. The collection as a whole is known as ‘ARTIST ROOMS’, with individual ‘Rooms’ being devoted to specific artists.

The exhibition in Leeds contained important early works – ‘With Dead Head’ (1991) and the ‘Natural History’ sculpture ‘Away from the Flock’ (1994) – were exhibited alongside more recent pieces: ‘The Anatomy of an Angel’ (2008) and a butterfly monochrome diptych created specifically for the collection, ‘Monument to the Living and the Dead’ (2006). Also included was Hirst’s large early vitrine work loaned from the Arts Council collection, ‘He Tried to Internalise Everything’ (1992-1994). The glass and steel vitrine is divided into three parts, the largest of which contains an anaesthetiser and two gas cylinders filled with a medical stimulant and a suppressant. 

For the 'ARTISTS ROOM' presentation in Leeds, a recreation of the original interior of Pharmacy Restaurant & Bar was installed in the gallery space. The components shown included ‘The Pharmacist’s Creed’ (1997-1998) – a lightbox combining the restaurant’s logo with Hirst spots. It was amongst the works sold at the Sotheby’s auction in 2004 alongside over 150 artworks, items of Jasper Morrison designed furniture, and tableware.