6 March 2012
Key works from the artist’s most important series are displayed together with one of Hirst’s most iconic works, the ‘Natural History’ piece, ‘The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living’ (1991). These include a collection of the ‘Medicine Cabinets’ exhibited at Hirst’s Goldsmiths degree show in 1989 and the seminal fly vitrine, ‘A Thousand Years’ (1990) – considered by the artist to be amongst his most significant pieces.
On the occasion of the retrospective, Hirst has refabricated his two-part installation ‘In and Out of Love’ (1991), for the first time since its exhibition in a disused travel agent’s office over twenty years ago. As part of the 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”, the initial exhibition of ‘In and Out of Love’ is one of Hirst’s most important early shows.
To accompany the exhibition, Hirst’s diamond skull – ‘For the Love of God’ (2007) – a platinum cast of a human skull set with 8,601 flawless pavé-set diamonds – is on display free of charge in Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall. Housed in a special viewing chamber, it is the first time the sculpture has been available to view in the UK since its original exhibition at White Cube in 2007 (‘Beyond Belief’).
For more information on all the pieces exhibited, browse the related works below.
The exhibition is sponsored by the Qatar Museums Authority and forms part of the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad. For more information and to book tickets please visit www.tate.org.uk.