Last post about the Damien Hirst retrospective that opens at the Tate Modern in London on April 4 as part of the run up to the London Olympics, we promise. But Sarah Thornton has some interesting information about the work that makes up the retrospective. It primarily comes from private collectors, including Hirst himself. For all the market noise surrounding Hirst, there has been surprisingly little institutional support (or validation) for the artist:
Six of the works in the show are owned or partially owned by the Tate. This includes two “still lives” which flicker between poignancy and irony: “Away from the Flock” (1994), a white sheep suspended in a tank of formaldehyde, and “Mother and Child Divided” (1993), a cow and calf split between four tanks. Of the 67 pieces borrowed for the show, only three have come from public institutions. The rest are on loan from dealers and a range of private collectors, including Miuccia Prada, Bernard Arnault and Steve Cohen. Luckily for them, works that have been anointed by the Tate command more credibility and a premium upon resale.
Yet the number-one lender to the Hirst retrospective is the artist himself. In addition to some early pieces, a breezy spin painting and a six-tonne bronze sculpture of an anatomical model, he has lent “A Thousand Years” (1991), a glass box that bears witness to the life cycle of flies. It was one of a dozen early works that the artist purchased back from his first patron, Charles Saatchi, in 2003.
Is Nothing Sacred? (Economist)