On display alongside Hirst’s iconic ‘Natural History’ piece, ‘The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living’ (1991), are a selection of key works from Hirst's most important series. A collection of the original ‘Medicine Cabinets’ exhibited at Hirst’s Goldsmiths degree show in 1989 are included, as is the seminal fly vitrine, ‘A Thousand Years’ (1990) – considered by the artist to be one of his most significant works.
On the occasion of the retrospective, Hirst has refabricated his two-part installation piece ‘In and Out of Love’ (1991), for the first time since its exhibition in a disused travel agents over twenty years ago. As part of this unmissable installation, viewers pass through a room of live butterflies – hatching, mating, laying eggs and eventually dying – before entering a room filled with a series of Hirst’s butterfly monochrome paintings. Described by the artist as a “comparison between art and life”, ‘In and Out of Love’ was one of Hirst's most important early shows.
To accompany the retrospective, ‘For the Love of God’ (2007) – a platinum cast of a human skull set with 8,601 flawless pavé-set diamonds – is on exhibition in the Tate Modern’s monumental turbine hall. Housed in a special viewing chamber, it is the first time the sculpture has been viewable in the UK since it’s original exhibition at White Cube in 2007 (‘Beyond Belief’).
For more information on all the pieces exhibited, please browse the related work below.
The exhibition is sponsored by the Qatar Museums Authority and forms part of the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad.