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  • Provenance

    Gagosian Gallery, Beverly Hills

  • Exhibited

    Gagosian Gallery, Damien Hirst: Superstition, Beverly Hills, February 22 - April 5, 2007

  • Literature

    M. Willner, ed., Damien Hirst: Superstition, London, 2007, pp. 92-93, 160-161 (illustrated)

  • Catalogue Essay

    Damien Hirst explains “I like ideas of trying to understand the world by taking things out of the world.You kill things to look at them…I hope at first glance it will look alive. It could have to do with the obsession with trying to make the dead live or the living live forever,” (J. Barnbrook, R. Violette, eds., I want to spend the rest of my life everywhere, with everyone, one to one, always, forever, now, NewYork, 1997, p. 7).
    The Butterfly, traditionally a symbol of resurrection in Renaissance painting, as well as a creature of legendary beauty spanning numerous cultural divides; a creature of timeless iconographical significance. It is the metamorphosis of the butterfly- from cocoon to delicately elegant creature destined to flutter away- which is laden with symbolic potential. It is their fragility and vulnerability, as well as their obvious ephemeral nature, which makes their survival in the world something of a miracle. And thus it should not come as a surprise why Hirst chose this creature to further elaborate upon his fascination of life and death. “You need to find universal triggers everyone’s frightened of glass, everyone’s frightened of sharks, everyone loves butterflies,” (J. Barnbrook, R. Violette, eds., I want to spend the rest of my life everywhere, with everyone, one to one, always, forever, now, NewYork, 1997, p. 132)

  • Artist Biography

    Damien Hirst

    British • 1965

    There is no other contemporary artist as maverick to the art market as Damien Hirst. Foremost among the Young British Artists (YBAs), a group of provocative artists who graduated from Goldsmiths, University of London in the late 1980s, Hirst ascended to stardom by making objects that shocked and appalled, and that possessed conceptual depth in both profound and prankish ways.

    Regarded as Britain's most notorious living artist, Hirst has studded human skulls in diamonds and submerged sharks, sheep and other dead animals in custom vitrines of formaldehyde. In tandem with Cheyenne Westphal, now Chairman of Phillips, Hirst controversially staged an entire exhibition directly for auction with 2008's "Beautiful Inside My Head Forever," which collectively totalled £111 million ($198 million).

    Hirst remains genre-defying and creates everything from sculpture, prints, works on paper and paintings to installation and objects. Another of his most celebrated series, the 'Pill Cabinets' present rows of intricate pills, cast individually in metal, plaster and resin, in sterilized glass and steel containers; Phillips New York showed the largest of these pieces ever exhibited in the United States, The Void, 2000, in May 2017.

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Posterity – The Holy Place

Butterflies and gloss household paint on canvas.
89 1/2 x 48 in. (227.3 x 121.9 cm).
Signed, titled and dated “Damien Hirst ‘The Holy Place’ 2006” on the reverse.

$1,000,000 - 1,500,000 

Sold for $1,441,000

Contemporary Art Part I

15 May 2008, 7pm
New York