Damien Hirst will unveil an unprecedented project with the Pinault Collection at the 2017 Venice Biennale. It will involve two large-scale venues, the Palazzo Grassi and Punta della Dogana. The exhibition, which will open to the public Sunday, 9 April 2017, marks a new stage in the history of Palazzo Grassi and Punta della Dogana: for the first time, the two Venetian headquarters of the Pinault Collection will be entirely handled by a single artist. This is the first major exhibition dedicated to Damien Hirst in Italy since his retrospective in 2004 at the National Archaeological Museum of Naples. The exhibition is curated by Elena Geuna, former curator of the monographic dedicated to Rudolf Stingel (2013) and Sigmar Polke (2016), both at Palazzo Grassi. The project is the result of a ten-year work and is the culmination of the close relationship between the artist and the Pinault Collection.
Damien Hirst is an essential artist in the Pinault collection, he has already been presented twice at the Palazzo Grassi in 2006 on the occasion of the inaugural exhibition “Where Are We Going?” – The exhibition took the title proper opera Where Are We Going ? Where Do We Come From? Is There a Reason? (2000-2004) British artist – and in 2007 in “A selection Post-Pop”. Other works by Damien Hirst were exposed at two major exhibitions of Pinault Collection: “A Triple tour” at the Conciergerie in Paris in 2013 and “Art Lovers” at the Grimaldi Forum in Monaco in 2014. The exhibition is scheduled in 2017 inscribed within the monographs cycle dedicated to great contemporary artists – Urs Fischer (2012), Rudolf Stingel (2013), Martial Raysse (2015) and Sigmar Polke (2016)
Damien Hirst was born in Bristol in 1965, grew up in Leeds and from 1986 to 1989 he studied fine art at Goldsmiths College in London. During his second year, Damien Hirst works organization and curation of “Freeze”, a collective exhibition known for being the springboard not only for Hirst himself but for a whole generation of young British artists. Since the late 80s, Damien Hirst makes a wide range of installations, sculptures, paintings and drawings with a view to exploring the complex relationships between art, beauty, religion, science, life, and death. With his works – including the iconic shark in formaldehyde The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living (1991) and For the Love of God (2007), cast in platinum with a studded skull 8,601 pure diamonds – Damien Hirst challenge the certainties of the contemporary world, considering all the uncertainties inherent in human nature. Currently, Damien Hirst lives and works in London and Gloucester. Since 1987 they have been held around the world over 90 solo exhibitions about the artist; Damien Hirst has also participated in over 300 group exhibitions. In 2012, the Tate Modern in London, simultaneously with the Cultural Olympiad, presented a major retrospective of the artist’s work. We were organized solo exhibitions of Damien Hirst also at Qatar Museums Authority, Doha ALRIWAQ (2013-2014), in Palazzo Vecchio, Florence (2010), all’Oceanographic Museum, Monaco (2010), the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam (2008), all ‘Astrup Fearnley Museet fur Moderne Kunst, Oslo (2005) and the National Archaeological Museum, Naples (2004). In 1995, Damien Hirst won the Turner Prize.
The 2017 exhibition is part of a calendar of monographic shows dedicated by Palazzo Grassi to major contemporary artists – Urs Fischer (2012), Rudolf Stingel (2013), Martial Raysse (2014) and Sigmar Polke (2015) – alternating with thematic exhibitions of works from the Pinault Collection.