9 January 2013
The London based gallery received 5.3 million visitors over the course of 2012, making it Tate Modern’s most popular year since opening in 2000. The ‘Damien Hirst’ exhibition was the first retrospective survey of the artist to be held in a British institution, and was seen by over 460,000 people, amounting to almost 3,000 visitors a day. It formed part of an exhibition programme which, as stated by Tate Modern’s deputy director Alex Beard: “undoubtedly fuelled the increase in visitors.”
The retrospective presented major works spanning twenty-five years of the artist’s career. Following unprecedented visitor figures for a solo show, Chris Dercon, Director of the Tate Modern commented: “We are delighted that so many people came to see and discuss the Damien Hirst exhibition [...] It was wonderful to see such iconic works brought together in one place and to offer our visitors a chance to experience them first-hand.” The exhibition formed part of the London 2012 Festival – the culmination of the Cultural Olympiad. In August, Hirst’s importance as a British artist was recognised with the inclusion of his Union Jack spin painting in the Olympics 2012 Closing Ceremony.
Damien Hirst tours the Tate Modern during the show's installation with curator Ann Gallagher.
Film © Tate and Damien Hirst/Science Ltd. All rights reserved, DACS 2013