British artist Damien Hirst is to be given his first major solo exhibition in the UK. More than 70 of his works will be on show from April at Tate Modern in London.
The works will include his 2007 For the Love of God which visitors will be able to see for free. The life-size platinum cast of an 18th-century human skull is covered by 8,601 flawless diamonds and inset with the original skull’s teeth. At the front of the cranium is a 52.4 carat pink diamond. It was allegedly sold for £50 million in 2007 to a consortium that included Hirst. The skull will be on show in a special viewing room in the Turbine Hall – the first time it has been displayed in a public gallery in Britain.
Other works in the exhibition will include The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living, the 1991 work consisting of a shark suspended in formaldehyde, Sinner, a medicine cabinet he made in 1988 while Hirst was still a student, and the two-part installation In and Out of Love, which has not been seen in its entirety since its creation in 1991. It’s the perfect exhibition to visit if you’re looking for holiday deals – the Tate is free!
Ann Gallagher, Head of Collections (British Art), Tate and curator of the exhibition, says of the diamond skull: ‘We are delighted to be showing this key work by Damien Hirst to coincide with our major exhibition at Tate Modern in 2012. Visitors will be given the opportunity to view For the Love of God as an independent exhibit or as a culmination of many of the themes revealed in the exhibition, which surveys Hirst’s work from the late 1980s onwards.’
The Hirst show is part of the Cultural Olympiad’s London 2012 festival. Tate Modern is open daily 10am–6pm (10pm Fri and Sat), admission free. The Damien Hirst exhibition will run from 4 April to 9 September, admission £15.50 (£13.50 concessions). For the Love of God will be free to view from 4 April to 24 June.