‘A Thousand Years’ & Triptychs

20 June 2006 – 4 August 2006
Solo Exhibition. Gagosian Gallery, Britannia Street, London, United Kingdom.

‘A Thousand Years’ (1990), detail. Photograped by Roger Wooldridge © Damien Hirst and Science Ltd. All rights reserved, DACS 2012

Hirst has frequently cited the influence of Bacon on his work, describing reading David Sylvester’s interviews with the artist from the 1950s as “the way into art for me.”[1] Alongside ‘A Thousand Years’ (1990), a work of which Bacon wrote admirably a month before his death, Hirst presented four triptychs: fly paintings; monochrome canvases incorporating flies and butterflies, entitled ‘Like Flies Brushed Off a Wall We Fall’ (2006); ‘Medicine Cabinets’ named after a quotation from Thomas Hobbes’s ‘Leviathan’ (1651), ‘No Arts; No Letters; No Society’ (2006); and ‘The Tranquility of Solitude (For George Dyer)’ (2006). In the last-named piece, flayed sheep in three large tanks of formaldehyde are positioned in imitation of Bacon’s depiction of George Dyer’s suicide in ‘Triptych, May-June 1973’ (1973).

[1] Damien Hirst, ‘Foreword on the interviews with Francis Bacon by David Sylvester’, The Guardian, 13 September 2007