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  • Provenance

    Paragon Press, London

  • Exhibited

    Ljubljana, International Centre of Graphic Arts, June 11 - September 28, 2001 (another example exhibited)

  • Catalogue Essay

    The Last Supper is a group of 13 screenprints, each mimicking to perfection the graphic design of a specific drug’s packaging. The colours are reminiscent of Hirst’s "Spot Painting" series, which were equally inspired by pharmaceutical catalogues and explore similar themes; Hirst’s fascination with science and the almost spiritual power of medicine. Self-referentially, Hirst replaces the original logo of each respective drug company with his own name, or a stylised logo of his initials. The prints however, maintain the original design of the drug’s packaging, whilst each name becomes substituted with the names of different typical "British Street Food"’. Liver, Bacon, Onions, and Corned Beef among others become the cure for cardiac trauma, AIDS, and serious terminal conditions – or do they perhaps allude to what causes the body to be fed with such drugs?

    The present lot is named after the last meal of Christ, which he shared with his twelve disciples. Thus, each one of the 13 prints is an iconoclastic portrait of one of the 12 apostles, while the thirteenth stands for Christ himself. Though the title connotes faith as the nourishment of the body and soul, the series also incorporates Hirst’s ongoing themes of death and decay. The works therefore ingenuously raise questions about our faith in pharmaceutical drugs, one Hirst has often compared to the unsubstantiated comfort of religious faith. The artist suggests that even this 20th century obsession with drugs is insufficient to keep death at bay. However, despite the serious Biblical and anxiety-provoking message expressed by the work, Hirst adds his usual ironic twist by incorporating references to British pedestrian food culture; we are, after all, what we eat.

  • 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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305

The Last Supper

1999
13 color screenprints on Somerset paper.
60 x 40 in. (152.4 x 101.6 cm) each.
Signed "Damien Hirst" lower right on each. This work is from an edition of 150 and is accompanied by a certificate of authenticity.

Estimate
£20,000 - 30,000 ≠ ♠ †

Sold for £38,400

Contemporary Art Evening Sale

Evening Sale
13 October 2007, 4pm
London