Hardly any other contemporary artist has enjoyed as much international attention and financial success as Damien Hirst, born in Bristol in 1965. He belongs to the group of Young British Artists who have mastered the production techniques of art just as thoroughly, making use of sales channels available to them in the same matter-of-course fashion. With his animal carcasses conserved in formaldehyde, provocatively staged cages, cabins and display cabinets, Hirst quickly attracted criticism as well as recognition. In an often ironic way his works aim at confronting the viewer with existential subjects such as death and transitoriness, sexuality and love, while triggering reflection. Hirst lives and works in London.
The works E.M.I. (1989), Looking Forward to a Complete Suppression of Pain (1994), Waste (1994), Hymn (2000) and In This Terrible Moment (2002) in the Brandhorst Collection deal, by and large, with the possibilities and limits of modern medicine. The especially impressive monumental sculpture Hymn, which harks back to the long tradition of anatomical depictions of the human body since the late Middle Ages, is here exaggerated to an extreme and freed of its didactic function.