A comprehensive exhibition of work by the YBA artist Damien Hirst is set to open in Doha in October. It will include both the more obvious, and previously unseen artworks. Explaining, ‘art’s about life and it can’t really be about anything else there isn’t anything else,’ Hirst’s work investigates and challenges contemporary belief systems, and dissects the tensions and uncertainties at the heart of human experience. ‘Relics’ will include pieces from a cross-section of Hirst’s most important series including the Spot Paintings and the Natural History series of animals preserved in formaldehyde. Also on display will be one of the most iconic and widely recognised artworks to have emerged in the past decade; the diamond encrusted skull, ‘For the Love of God’ (2007). The exhibition follows in the footsteps of Hirst’s major retrospective at Tate Modern in 2012, which became the most visited solo exhibition in the gallery’s history.
Spanning over twenty-five years of Hirst’s artistic career, Relics will present the largest collection of his works ever assembled. Hirst first came to public attention in London in 1988 when he conceived and curated Freeze, an exhibition of his work and that of his friends and fellow Goldsmiths College students, staged in a disused London warehouse. In nearly a quarter of a century since then, Hirst has gone on to become one of the most influential artists of his generation and has remained dedicated to exploring the complex relationship between art, love, life and death.
Curated by the internationally renowned writer, critic and curator, Francesco Bonami, ‘Relics’ is part of a series of cultural initiatives organised by QMA in order to foster discussions and cultural exchange between the UK and Qatar. It forms part of Qatar UK 2013 Year of Culture which celebrates and showcases the deep-rooted bilateral relations between Qatar and the UK.
The retrospective survey of Hirst’s work is the artist’s first solo show in the Middle East and will be on display form October until January 2014 at ALRIWAQ DOHA exhibition space.