Damien Hirst - 20th Century & Contemporary Art Day Sale London Thursday, February 13, 2020 | Phillips

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  • Video

    Damien Hirst, ' I'm So Tired,' Lot 147

    20th Century & Contemporary Art Day Sale, 14 February

  • Provenance

    Gifted by the artist to the present owner

  • Catalogue Essay

    ‘There's a balance I was after between a certain amount of this and a certain amount of that, like an alchemist.’ Damien Hirst

    I’m So Tired forms part of a seminal four-part series of ‘Pill Paintings’ executed by Damien Hirst in 1990, each comprised of pharmaceutical pills pushed through the reverse of a canvas. The resulting protrusions disrupt the pure cream painted surface. This cycle of works serves as a synthesis of two of the artist’s most important achievements: the ‘Spot Paintings’ and ‘Medicine Cabinets’, uniting the ordered and painterly qualities of the former with the physical media of the latter. The title I’m So Tired – as with all works in the series – was borrowed from a song by the Beatles, where the lyrics allude to the influence of drugs. This choice further links the work to Bodies (1989) and the ‘Medicine Cabinets’ which were named after Sex Pistols songs. On the theme of medicine, the Artist wrote “All Pharmaceutical drugs exist in the space between birth and death. The drugs are meant to keep you alive.” (Damien Hirst & Gordon Burn, I want to spend the Rest of My Life Everywhere, with Everyone, One to One, Always, Forever, Now, London 1997, p. 225), the pills incorporated into I’m So Tired appear suspended between the recto and verso of the piece and are exemplary of the Hirst’s opinion of the place Pharmaceuticals occupy in society.

  • 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.

    View More Works

The Robert Tibbles Collection: Young British Artists & More


I'm So Tired

signed, titled and dated 'I'm So Tired Damien Hirst 1990' on the reverse
pills and eggshell paint on canvas
122 x 122 cm (48 x 48 in.)
Executed in 1990.

£80,000 - 120,000 

Sold for £106,250

Contact Specialist

Tamila Kerimova
Specialist, Head of Day Sale, Director, 20th Century & Contemporary Art

44 20 7318 4065

20th Century & Contemporary Art Day Sale

London Auction 14 February 2020