Damien Hirst (British, b.1965) is one of the leaders of the Young British Artists—a group of contemporary British artists such as, amongst others, Fiona Rae, Liam Gillick, Sarah Lucas, Ian Davenport, Michael Landy—the winner of the 1995 Turner Prize, and, as of 2009, the wealthiest artist in history. He rose to fame after the success of two warehouse shows he organized featuring his friends and his own work; at his second show, advertising executive Charles Saatchi purchased Hirst’s A Thousand Years, which features a glass case enclosing a rotting head of a cow swarmed with flies. Saatchi promoted Hirst and the Young British Artists for several years, until the relationship ended in 2003.

Hirst’s work has generated enormous controversy, in part for its morbidity and fascination with medicine, which is evident in several of his series: the encased dead animals in various states of preservation, the incorporation of butterfly wings into stained glass-like images, cabinets filled with pharmaceuticals, and diamond-encrusted skulls. A team of assistants helps Hirst carry out his projects; his spot paintings and spin paintings are almost entirely the work of others. In the 1990s, Hirst was also a public figure for drunken and drugged spectacles, but he has since stopped drinking and smoking. Recently, from April 4 to September 9, 2012, his works were exhibited at the Tate Modern in London and his spot paintings were part of a world exhibition The Complete Sport Paintings 1986–2011 held by the Gagosian gallery in eleven of its galleries simultaneously, from January 12 to February 18, 2012.

Timeline

1965
Born in Bristol, England
1985
Took a foundation course at Leeds School of Art, Leeds, England
1988
Curated the student exhibition, Freeze, in a warehouse at Surrey Docks in East London, England
1986–1989
Graduated with a BA in Fine Art, Goldsmith College, London, England
1994
Received the DAAD fellowship in Berlin, Germany
1995
Was awarded with the Turner Prize, Tate Britain, London, England
Lives and works in London, England

Exhibitions

2013
All You Need IS LOVE, Mori Art Museum, Tokyo, Japan
Modern Print Masters Stock, The Watermill, Aberfeldy, Perthshire, Scotland
Große Gefühle, Kunsthalle Krems, Krems, Germany
Don't Be Shy, Don't Hold Back, The Logan Collection At Sfmoma, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, USA
Sous influences: arts plastiques et psychotropes, La Maison Rouge, Paris, France
Damien Hirst: Entomology Cabinets and Paintings, Scalpel Blade - Paintings and Colour Charts, White Cube, Hong Kong
Group Show, Gagosian Gallery, Hong Kong
To Be With Art Is All We Ask, Astrup Fearnley Museet for Moderne Kunst, Oslo, Norway
13 Rooms, Kaldor Public Art Projects, Sydney, Australia
2012
Tate Modern, London, England (solo)
Victoria and Albert Museum, London, England
Paul Stolper Gallery, London, England (solo)
Benaki Museum, Athens, Greece
PinchukArtCentre, Kiev, Ukraine
Gagosian Gallery, 11 locations worldwide (solo)
White Cube, Bermondsey, London, England
2011
Triennale di Milano, Milan, Italy
Bienal pavilion, São Paulo, Brazil
Arken Museum of Modern Art, Ishøj, Denmark
Chatsworth House, Derbyshire, England
Aurel Scheibler, Cologne, Germany
Songeun Artspace, Seoul, Korea
Yokohama Museum of Art, Yokohama, Japan
Leeds City Gallery, Leeds, England
Royal West of England Academy, Bristol, England
Prada Foundation, Venice, Italy
Gagosian, Rome, Italy
Tate Britain, London, England (solo)
Guggenheim, Bilbao, Spain
Royal Academy of Arts, London, England
Gagosian Gallery, Hong Kong
2010
Visual/Conceptual, National Center For Contemporary Art—Moscow Branch, Moscow, Russia
FYI – The Reflected Gaze Self Portraiture Today, Torrance Art Museum, Torrance, USA
Theology, Philosophy, Medicine, Justice, Galerie Andrea Caratsch, Zurich, Switzerland (solo)
2009
Life, Death and Love, Galerie Rudolfinum, Prague, Czech Republic (solo)
Requiem, PinchukArtCentre, Kiev, Ukraine (solo)
2008
You Dig The Tunnel, I’ll Hide The Soil, White Cube, London, England (solo)
Beautiful Inside My Head Forever, Sotheby’s Auction, London, England
For the Love of God, Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
2007
Damien Hirst, The Goss-Michael Foundation, Dallas, USA (solo)
Damien Hirst, Galería Hilario Galguera and Museo Nacional de San Carlos, Mexico City, Mexico (solo)
New Religion, Palazzo Pesaro Papafava, Venice, Italy (solo)
Beyond Belief, White Cube, London, England (solo)
Stations of the Cross, Essl Museum of Contemporary Art, Vienna, Austria (solo)
New Religion, Paul Stolper Gallery, Wallspace, London, England (solo)
Superstition, Gagosian Gallery, Los Angeles, USA; London, England (solo)
Damien Hirst, Portland Art Museum, Portland, USA (solo)
2006
Aftershock: Contemporary British Art 1990–2006, Guangdong Museum of Art, Guangzhou, China
How To Improve The World, Hayward Gallery, London, England
Surprise Surprise, Institute of Contemporary Art, London, England
Into Me/Out of Me, P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, New York, USA
Picture This, The Bargehouse, London, England
Corpus: Drawings 1981–2006, Gagosian Gallery, New York, USA (solo)
A Thousand Years & Triptychs, Gagosian Gallery, London, England (solo)
The Death of God: Towards a Better Understanding of a Life Without God Aboard the Ship of Fools, Galería Hilario Galguera, Mexico City, Mexico (solo)
Sculpture, Gagosian Gallery, Beverly Hills, USA
Motion On Paper, Ben Brown Fine Arts, London, England
2005
A Selection of Works by Damien Hirst from Various Collections, Museum of Fine Arts Boston, Boston, USA (solo)
New Religion, Paul Stolper, London, England (solo)
Damien Hirst. Works on Paper, Robert Sandelson, London, England (solo)
Damien Hirst, Astrup Fearnley Museet fur Moderne Kunst, Oslo, Norway (solo)
Damien Hirst, Static Gallery, Liverpool, England (solo)
The Elusive Truth, Gagosian Gallery, New York, USA (solo)
Damien Hirst: In A Spin, Gascoigne Gallery, Harrogate, England (solo)
Damien Hirst: Works on Paper, Andipa Gallery, London, England (solo)
Bock mit Inhalt, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Imageless Icons: Abstract Thoughts, Gagosian Gallery, London, England
Major Prints, John Berggruen Gallery, San Francisco, USA
Extreme Abstraction, Albright Knox Gallery, Buffalo, USA
2004
Damien Hirst, Galerie Andreas Binder, Munich, Germany (solo)
The Agony and The Ecstasy: Selected Works from 1989–2004, Archaeological Museum, Naples, Italy (solo)
Summer Exhibition, Royal Academy, London, England
Intra-muros, Musée d'art moderne et d'art contemporain, Nice, France
Paper Democracy, Contemporary Art in Editions on Paper, Edifício Cultura Inglesa, São Paulo, Brazil
What’s Modern?, Gagosian Gallery, New York, USA
Turning Points: 20th Century British Sculpture, Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art, Tehran, Iran
Singular Forms (Sometimes Repeated), Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, USA
In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida, Tate Britain, London, England
Drawings, Gagosian Gallery, London, England
2003
Romance In the Age of Uncertainty, White Cube, London, England (solo)
From the Cradle to the Grave: Selected Drawings, The 25th International Biennale of Graphic Arts, Ljubljana, Slovenia (solo)
The Marble Palace, Russian State Museum, St Petersburg, Russia (solo)
Damien Hirst, Saatchi Gallery, London, England (solo)
Damien Hirst In A Spin: The Action of the World on Things, Galerie Aurel Scheibler, Berlin, Germany (solo)
Damien Hirst, La Caja Negra, Madrid, Spain (solo)
Same Time This Year, Gagosian Gallery, New York, USA
Dreams and Conflicts: The Dictatorship of the Viewer, 50th Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy
2002
Damien Hirst’s art education, The Reliance, Leeds, England (solo)
Last Spring in Paris, Jablonka Galerie, Cologne, Germany
La Part de l’Autre, Musée d’art Contemporain, Nimes, France
Limits of Perception, Joan Miró Foundation, Barcelona, Spain
To Eat or Not to Eat, Centro de Arte de Salamanca, Salamanca, Spain
Painting Matter, James Cohen Gallery, New York, USA
The Physical World, Gagosian Gallery, New York, USA
The Rowan Collection: Contemporary British & Irish Art, Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin, Ireland
Self-Medicated, Michael Kohn Gallery, Los Angeles, USA
2001
Artist’s London: Holbein to Hirst, Museum of London, London, England
Art –Tube 01, Café De Paris, London, England
Printers Inc., The Gallery, Stratford-upon-Avon, England
Art Music, Rock Pop Techno, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, Australia
Double Vision, Galerie für Zeitgenössische Kunst, Leipzig, Germany
Freestyle: Werke Aus der Sammlung Boros, Museum Morsbroich, Leverkusen, Germany
Beautiful Productions: Art to play, art to wear, art to own, Whitechapel, London, England
Camera Works: The Photographic Impulse in Contemporary Art, Marianne Boesky Gallery, New York, USA
Selections from the Vicki and Kent Logan Collection, Aspen Art Museum, Aspen, USA
Field Day, Taipei Fine Arts Museum, Taipei, Taiwan
Public Offerings, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, USA
Breaking the Mould: 20th Century British Sculpture from Tate, Norwich Castle Museum and Art Gallery, Norwich, England
Century City, Tate Modern, London, England
2000
Pharmacy, Tate Gallery, London, England (solo)
Focus on Damien Hirst, Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art, Oslo, Norway (solo)
Theories, Models, Methods, Approaches, Assumptions, Results and Findings, Gagosian Gallery, New York, USA (solo)
Damien Hirst, Sadler’s Wells, London, England (solo)
Hyper Mental, Kunsthaus, Zurich, Switzerland; Hamburger Kunsthalle, Hamburg, Germany
Lets Entertain, Walker Arts Center, Minneapolis, USA; Portland Art Museum, Portland, USA; Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, France; Museo Rufino Tamayo, Mexico City, Mexico; Miami Art Museum, Miami, USA
Balls, James Cohan Gallery, New York, USA
Peter Blake About Collage, Tate Liverpool, Liverpool, England
After Life, 11 Duke Street, London, England
The History of the Turner Prize, 1984–1999 and People’s Show 2: Pictures selected by the public, Victoria Art Gallery, Bath, England
Video Vibe: Art, Music and Video in the UK, The British School at Rome, Rome, Italy
Minding, Le Garage, Geneva, Switzerland
Zeitgenossen/Contemporarians: Malerei/Paintings, Galerie Editions Kunsthandel GmbH, Essen, Germany
On the Edge of the Western World, Yerba Buena Center of the Arts, San Francisco, USA
Out There, White Cube, Hoxton, London, England
Ant Noises, Saatchi Gallery, London, England
Art in Sacred Spaces, St. Stephen’s Church, London, England
Psycho, Anne Faggionato, London, England
Blue: borrowed and new, The New At Gallery, Walsall, England
Sincerely yours: British art from the 90s, Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art, Oslo, Norway
1998
Damien Hirst, Southampton City Art Gallery, Southampton, England
Wall Projects: Damien Hirst, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, USA (solo)
Potrait of Our Times: An Introduction to the Logan Collection, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, USA
UK Maximum Diversity, Galerie Krinzinger, Bregenz, Austria
Fun de Siècle, Walsall Museum and Art Gallery, Walsall, Germany
Pandaemonium, The London Festival of Moving Image, LEA, London, England
Fifty Years of British Sculpture: Works from the Arts Council Collection, Lothbury Gallery, London, England
Damien Hirst, Jeff Koons, Charles Ray, 11 Duke Street, London, England
The Colony Room 50th Anniversary Art Exhibition, A22 Projects, London, England
Inner Eye, Contemporary Art from the Marc and Livia Straus Collection, Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art, University of Florida, Gainesville, USA
Modern British Art, Tate Gallery, Liverpool, England
Noir, Triennale di Milano, Milan, Italy
Wild/Life, -or-, The Impossibility of Mistaking Nature for Culture, Weatherspoon Art Gallery, Greensboro, USA
1997
Damien Hirst, Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art, Oslo, Norway (solo)
Damien Hirst, Helsinki City Art Museum. Helsinki, Finland (solo)
The Beautiful Afterlife, Bruno Bischofberger, Zurich, Germany (solo)
Sensation, Royal Academy of Arts, London, England; Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin, Germany; Brooklyn Museum, New York, USA
Picture Britanica: Art from Britain, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, Australia
Turning Up #4, Kunstmuseum, Wolfsburg, Germany
Sunny Days / Critical Times: An Exhibition of Works from the Bohen Foundation’s Collection, The Bohen Foundation, New York, USA
Veronica’s Revenge: Oeuvres photographiques de la Lambert Art Collection, Centre d’Art Contemporain, Geneva, Szitzerland
Material Culture, Hayward Gallery, London, England
1996
No Sense of Absolute Corruption, Gagosian Gallery, New York, USA (solo)
Life/Live, Musee d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, Paris, France; Centro de Exposições do Centro Cultural de Belém, Lisbon, Portugal
Other Men’s Flowers, Galerie Aurel Scheibler, Cologne, Germany
Do It, Raum Aktueller Kunst, Vienna, Austria
Twentieth Century British Sculpture, Jeu de Paume, Paris, France
A Small Shifting Sphere of Serious Culture, Institute of Contemporary Art, London, England
Spellbound, Hayward Gallery, London, England
Works on Paper, Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin, Ireland
Happy End, Kunsthalle, Düsseldorf, Germany
1995
Pharmacy, Kukje Gallery, Seoul, South Korea (solo)
Still, Jay Jopling/White Cube, London, England (solo)
Sings and Wonders, Kunsthaus, Zurich, Switzerland
Minky Manky, South London Gallery, London, England; Arnolfini Gallery, Bristol, England
A Bonnie Situation: Truth and Fiction, Contemporary Fine Arts, Berlin, Germany
Laboratories, Galerie Art et Essai, University of Rennes, Rennes, France
The Reflected Image, Museo Pecci, Prato, Italy
Turner Prize Exhibition, Tate Gallery, London, England
Brilliant! Art from London, Walker Art Centre, Minneapolis, USA; Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston, USA
1994
Pharmacy, Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas, USA (solo)
Making Beautiful Drawings, Bruno Brunnet Fine Arts, Berlin, Germany (solo)
Currents 23, Milwaukee Art Museum, Milwaukee, USA (solo)
A Bad Environment for White Monchrome Paintings, Mattress Factory, Pittsburgh, USA; DAAD Gallery, Berlin, Germany (solo)
Cocido Y Crudo, Reina Sofia, Madrid, Spain
Nature Morte, Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York, USA
Some Went Mad, Some Ran Away, Serpentine Gallery, London, England; Nordic Arts Centre, Helsinki, Finland; Kunstverein, Hannover, Germany; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, USA; Portalen, Copenhagen, Danemark
1993
Damien Hirst, Galerie Jablonka, Cologne, Germany (solo)
Visual Candy, Regen Projects, Los Angeles, USA (solo)
Here and Now: Twenty Three Years of the Serpentine Gallery, Serpentine Gallery, London, England
The 21st Century, Kunsthalle, Basel, Switzerland
The Nightshade Family, Museum Fridericianum, Kassel, Germany
Aperto: Venice Biennial, Aperto Section, Venice, Italy
Displace, Cohen Gallery, New York, USA
A Wonderful Life, Lisson Gallery, London, England
Visual Candy, Regen Projects, Los Angeles, USA (solo)
1992
Where’s God Now, Jay & Donatella Chiat, New York, USA (solo)
Marianne, Hildegard, Unfair/Jay Jopling, Cologne, Germany (solo)
Damien Hirst: Third International Istanbul Biennial, British Council, Istanbul, Turkey (solo)
Pharmacy, Cohen Gallery, New York, USA (solo)
Young British Artists, Saatchi Collection, London, England
Portfolio, Karsten Schubert Ltd., London, England
Posthuman, Fondation Asher Edelman, Lausanne, Switzerland; Museo D’Arte Contemporanea, Torino, Italy
Group Exhibition, Luis Campaña Gallery, Frankfurt, Germany
Strange Developments, Anthony d’Offay Gallery, London, England
British Art, Barbara Gladstone Gallery, New York, USA
Turner Prize Exhibition, Tate Gallery, London, England
1991
When Logics Die, Emmanuel Perrotin, Paris, France (solo)
Internal Affairs, Institute of Contemporary Art, London, England (solo)
In & Out of Love, Woodstock Street, London, England (solo)
Damien Hirst, Institute of Contemporary Art, London, England (solo)
Louder Than Words, The Cornerhouse, Manchester, England
Broken English, Serpentine Gallery, London, England
1990
Modern Medicine, Building One, London, England
Gambler, Building One, London, England
1989
New Contemporaries, Institute of Contemporary Art, London, England
1988
Freeze, Surrey Docks, London, England

Public Collections

Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, Amsterdam, Neatherlands
Astrup Fearnley Museet for Moderne Kunst, Oslo, Norway
National Center For Contemporary Art (NCCA) - Moscow Branch, Moscow, Russia
ESSL MUSEUM - KUNST DER GEGENWART, Klosterneuburg, Austria
ARKEN Museum for Moderne Kunst, Ishoj, Denmark
Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg, Wolfsburg, Germany
Museum Brandhorst, Munich, Germany
The Israel Museum, Jerusalem, Israel
Trevi Flash Art Museum Of Contemporary Art, Trevi, Italy
21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art - Kanazawa, Japan
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C., USA
Williams College Museum of Art, Williamstown, MA, USA
Gallery of Modern Art, Glasgow, Scotland
Leeds City Art Gallery, Leeds, UK
Hiscox Art Projects, London, UK
Tate Britain, London, UK
Tate Modern, London, UK
Denver Art Museum, Denver, CO, USA
Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas City, MO, USA
Rubell Family Collection, Miami, FL, USA
Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, CT
Broad Contemporary Art Museum, Santa Monica, CA, USA

Literature

2012
Damien Hirst by Ann Gallagher
2011
The Complete Medicine Cabinets by Damien Hirst, James Frey, Arthur C Danto and Steve Jones
2009
Bracewell, Michael. Requiem I & II Slipcase Edition. London, UK; Kiev, Ukraine: Other Criteria / Pinchuk Art Centre, 2009 (catalogues)
2008
Bracewell M., Burn G. and Macaulay Michael. Beautiful Inside My Head Forever. London, UK: Sotheby's, 2008 (catalogue)
Fuchs, Rudi, Damien Hirst, Hans Ulrich Obrist and Will Self. Beyond Belief. London, UK: Other Criteria and Jay Jopling / White Cube, 2008 (catalogue)
Miller, Harland. You dig the tunnel, I’ll hide the soil. London, UK: Jay Jopling / White Cube, 2008
2007
Superstition. New York: Other Criteria / Gagosian Gallery, 2007 (catalogue)
Fuchs R., Kausmally T., Swain H. and Bill White. For the Love of God The Making of the Diamond Skull. London, UK: Other Criteria and Jay Jopling / White Cube, 2007
2006
The Elusive Truth. New York: Other Criteria / Gagosian Gallery, 2006 (catalogue)
The Death of God. London, UK: Other Criteria, 2006 (catalogue)
Baker, Simon. Corpus: Drawings 1981 - 2006. New York: Other Criteria / Gagosian Gallery, 2006 (catalogue)
Hirst, Damien,Burn, Gordon. I Want To Spend the Rest of My Life Everywhere, with Everyone, One to One, Always, Forever, Now. London, UK: Other Criteria, 2006
Peyton-Jones J., Miller H. and Obrist H.U. In the darkest hour there may be light - Works from Damien Hirst. London, UK:Other Criteria / Serpentine Gallery, 2006 (catalogue)
New Religion. London, UK: Other Criteria / Paul Stolper Gallery (catalogue)
2005
The Elusive Truth, New Paintings. London, UK: Other Criteria, 2005 (catalogue)
2004
Shani, Annushka. From the Cradle to the Grave, Selected Drawings. London: Other Criteria, 2004
Cicelyn Eduardo and Codognato Mario. Damien Hirst. Edited by the Museo Archeologico Nazionale. Naples, Italy: Electa, 2004 (catalogue)
2003
Shani, Annushka. Romance in the Age of Uncertainty. London, UK: Jay Jopling / White Cube, 2003 (catalogue)
2001
Burn, Gordon. On the Way to Work - Damien Hisrst. London, UK: Faber and Faber, 2001
2000
Burn, Gordon and George Poste. Theories, Models, Methods, Approaches, Assumptions, Results and Findings. New York: Other Criteria / Gagosian Gallery, 2000 (catalogue)