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  • Provenance

    White Cube, London

  • Exhibited

    London, White Cube, Damien Hirst, Romance in the Age of Uncertainty, September 10 – October 19, 2003

  • Literature

    White Cube, Damien Hirst, Romance in the Age of Uncertainty, London, 2003, p. 24 (illustrated)

  • Catalogue Essay

    The theme of the monochrome, fundamental in the history of modernism in painting, is revisited through the creation of black paintings, made from the concentration of thousands of dead flies glued to each other and to the canvas, and which seems in the end to decay into putrid meal. Incessantly swarming, always in motion and irritating, these insects multiply in putrefaction and decomposition, carrying the germs of the worse diseases and challenging every means of protection, thus in the end forming an image that is repulsive to the eye, one that rearranges and contrasts with the presumed contemplative and mystical power associated with the monochrome. The flies expose and become a metaphor for the cruelty of the struggle for survival, and they visually translate its incessant and pitiless energy.
    M. Codognoto, 'Warning Labels', in Damien Hirst, Museo Archelogico Nazionale Napoli, Naples, 2005, p. 42

  • 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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217

Tuberculosis. Remission. (The Death of Saint John)

2003
Flies and resin on canvas.
54 x 40 in. (137.2 x 101.6 cm).
Signed, inscribed and dated “Damien 24.07.2005 In Principo ceat verbum Liguum Vitae afferena fruluo Pesso suo Pontis Pilato” along the four edges of the painting. This work is from the series "Cancer Chronicles" and accompanied by a signed book of poems written by the artist.

Estimate
£400,000 - 600,000 ≠ ♠ †

Contemporary Art Evening Sale

Evening Sale
13 October 2007, 4pm
London