"Art's about invention and we are all desperately trying to invent a better future, and to learn from the past." (Damien Hirst, in conversation with Eckhard Schneider)
In his work over the last two decades, Hirst has continually produced paintings, sculptures and drawings that radically and directly address our shared quest for life in the face of inevitable death. Through an exploration of beauty and decay, love and desire, science and religion, history and art, Hirst has created some of the most conceptually profound and challenging artworks of our time.
Requiem brings together many of the artist's most celebrated works. Ranging from early iconic sculptures such as A Thousand Years, 1990 and Away from the Flock, 1994 to more recent works like the monumental butterfly triptych, Doorways to the Kingdom of Heaven, 2007 as well as Death Explained, 2007, a sculpture of a shark cut in half in formaldehyde, the exhibition shows the extraordinary breadth of Hirst's artistic enterprise.
Since the start of his career, Hirst has pushed the boundaries of art and what it means to be an artist. Requiem bears witness to a bold new direction in his work by showing for the first time a series of skull paintings he created between 2006 and 2008. In works such as Floating Skull, 2006, The Meek Shall Inherit the Earth, 2008 and Men Shall Know Nothing, 2008, Hirst returns to the solitary practice of painting and confronts, in very personal terms, the darkness that lies at the heart of human nature and experience.
Victor Pinchuk: "This exhibition is of great significance but what is most important for me is that the opportunity to see Hirst's new body of work occurs first in Kyiv. Damien's exhibition in Kyiv symbolises the reciprocal and mutually beneficial relationship between contemporary Ukrainian culture and that of the rest of the world. They share a common ground."
Eckhard Schneider, General Manager of the PinchukArtCentre: "With this fundamental retrospective including a cycle of new paintings the PinchukArtCentre gives an important international contribution to the debate surrounding one of the leading artists of our time."
Requiem is made possible by the loaning of key works from private collections. The exhibition was curated by Eckhard Schneider and developed in close cooperation with Damien Hirst and Victor Pinchuk. In hosting a major retrospective of one of the most important artists working today, the PinchukArtCentre is testament to the Ukraine's ongoing cultural development. -- www.gagosian.com