10 November 2012
‘Freedom not Genius’ is the first exhibition of work from Damien Hirst’s Murderme collection to go on display since ‘In the darkest hour there may be light’ was presented at the Serpentine Gallery, London in 2006. Curated by Elena Geuna for the Pinacoteca Agnelli, Turin, it features over fifty artists and spans five centuries. Taking Picasso’s ‘Nature morte au crâne et au pot’ (1943) as its starting point, the exhibition includes the work of some of the twentieth century's most significant artists including Francis Bacon, Andy Warhol and Bruce Nauman, alongside contemporaries of Hirst such as Tracy Emin and Sarah Lucas. It also features a collection of sixteenth and seventeenth century skulls and objects of curiosity.
Amassed since the early 90’s when Hirst began trading work with his contemporaries, the exhibition reflects the artist’s life-long commitment to the process of collecting, something he describes as: “|ike stuff washed up on a beach somewhere, and that somewhere is you.” ‘Freedom not Genius’ also bears testiment to Hirst’s absorption with those themes explored so iconically within his own work: the struggle involved in reconciling the concept of our mortality in life, and a fascination with natural history. As stated by Ginevra Elkann, President of the Pinacoteca Agnelli, the exhibition, “raises the question of the significance of an object within the context of an artist’s own work.” Hirst goes on to explain: “It's been six years since my first show of Murderme works and I'm really excited about having another. Collecting has been important to me since the very beginning, I've always said it's like making a map of someone's life and this exhibition shows how I've evolved both as a collector and an artist. It's great to be able to exhibit so many of my favourite artists together, and I think ‘Freedom not Genius’ reveals a lot about me in a way you wouldn't normally see. Gathering these works in one space, when they're from such different times and places, is amazing and definitely says something about what's remained important for mankind, artists and for me.”
For visitor information please visit Pinacoteca Agnelli's website.
The artists featured in the exhibition are: Francis Bacon, Don Brown, John Currin, Frank Auerbach, David Bailey, Banksy, John Bellamy, Nick Bibby, Ashley Bickerton, Peter Blake, Mat Collishaw, Tracy Emin, Falle, Angus Fairhurst, Abigail Fallis, Paul Fryer, Alberto Giacometti, Steven Gregory, Richard Hamilton, Marcus Harvey, Rachel Howard, John Hoyland, Gary Hume, Paul Insect, John Isaacs, Michael Joo, Jonathan Kingdom, Jeff Koons, Jim Lambie, Sean Landers, Hyungkoo Lee, Sherrie Levine, Colin Lowe, Sarah Lucas, Mario Merz, Rodrigo Moynihan, Vik Muniz, Takashi Murakami, Bruce Nauman, Olly and Suzi, Gabriel Orozco, Pablo Picasso, Walter Potter, Richard Prince, Kurt Schwitters, Haim Steinbach, Fred Tomaselli, Keith Tyson, Andry Warhol, Rachel Whiteread, Cerith Wyn Evans.