Damien Hirst, ‘Sanctum (Green and Orange)’, 2010, Koller Auctions

U.P., unique print.
Image 99.8 x 97.8 cm on firm vélin by Arches 118.5 x 115.6 cm.

From the Catalogue:

With the “Freeze” exhibition at the London Docklands in 1988, the Young British Artists stepped onto the stage of the art market, and prominent amongst them was the organiser of the exhibition, Damien Hirst. They soon developed into a rebellious, loose grouping, who played with the limits of art, of taste and social acceptability, which culminated in the scandal-ridden exhibition “Sensation”. Born in Bristol in 1965, Damien Hirst studied at the renowned Goldsmith College in London from 1986 to 1989. After the overwhelming success of “Sensation”, he took part in the 1993 Venice Biennale. In 1995, he was awarded the Turner Prize, which is the most important prize for contemporary art. Again and again his art causes a stir – in part because, as hardly any other contemporary artist, he understands and knows how to play the art market, and in part because his main theme – death – is depicted unsparingly and without taboos in his art.

In the “Sanctum” series, from which we have here at auction a one-off print in a unique colour combination, Hirst skilfully employs both the composition, the motif and the title, in order to illustrate his recurring examination of death. A Gothic rose window serves as the underlying compositional framework, and with the luminous colours it is indeed reminiscent of a church window flooded with sunlight. The butterfly itself is an integral component of Christian iconography and stands for the Resurrection. In the end, the title itself, “Sanctum” – holy – steers the viewer towards a possible religious interpretation of the work. Despite the seriousness of the actual theme, Damien Hirst has succeeded in producing an impressive, light and cheerful work of art.
—Courtesy of Koller

Signature: Signed in pencil lower right: Damien Hirst

Image rights: Courtesy of Koller Auktionen

Publisher: Published by Paragon Press, London

The Andipa Gallery, London (verso with the label).
Purchased from the above in 2012 by the present owner, since then private collection Switzerland.

About Damien Hirst

Damien Hirst first came to public attention in London in 1988 when he conceived and curated "Freeze," an exhibition in a disused warehouse that showed his work and that of his friends and fellow students at Goldsmiths College. In the nearly quarter of a century since that pivotal show (which would come to define the Young British Artists), Hirst has become one of the most influential artists of his generation. His groundbreaking works include The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living (1991), a shark in formaldehyde; Mother and Child Divided (1993) a four-part sculpture of a bisected cow and calf; and For the Love of God (2007), a human skull studded with 8,601 diamonds. In addition to his installations and sculptures, Hirst’s Spot paintings and Butterfly paintings have become universally recognized.

British, b. 1965, Bristol, United Kingdom, based in London, United Kingdom