Thursday, 14 October 2010

Damien Hirst exhibition coming to Leeds Art Gallery


Caption: Away from the Flock will form part of the Hirst exhibition (if used mandatory credit Away from the Flock © Damien Hirst. All rights reserved, DACS 2010 must be added)

Leeds Art Gallery has announced it is to host a major exhibition of works by world-famous artist Damien Hirst next year.

The exhibition will be coming to the art gallery on The Headrow from July to September 2011 as part of the national ARTIST ROOMS programme which will see collections of modern and contemporary art held by Tate and National Galleries of Scotland going on display at venues around the country.

Hirst has strong links with Leeds, as he grew up in the city and also attended Leeds College of Art and Design before shooting to national and international prominence in the mid-1990s with his groundbreaking and controversial use of animals preserved in formaldehyde in many of his works. In September 2008 items of Hirst’s work smashed the record for a single-artist auction at Sotheby’s selling for an amazing £111 million.

The Leeds Art Gallery exhibition will be the first dedicated display of Hirst’s work ever seen in Leeds, and will trace the artist’s career from his student days to his later works after he had established himself as one of the world’s highest profile artists. The key ideas behind his career - birth, illness, death and religion – will all be identifiable in the display, and it will include one of his seminal works ‘Away from the Flock’ which was first exhibited in 1994 at the Serpentine Gallery in London.

Following the successes of 2009 and 2010, 21 museums and galleries across the UK (including 17 venues outside of London and Edinburgh) in 2011 will be showing ARTIST ROOMS exhibitions and displays from the collection assembled by Anthony d’Offay.

ARTIST ROOMS is owned jointly by Tate and National Galleries of Scotland and was established through The d’Offay Donation in 2008, with the assistance of the National Heritage Memorial Fund, the Art Fund and the Scottish and British Governments. ARTIST ROOMS is being shared with galleries and museums throughout the UK thanks to the support of independent charity, the Art Fund and the Scottish Government. ARTIST ROOMS On Tour with the Art Fund has been devised to enable this collection to reach and inspire new audiences across the country, particularly young people.

Leeds City Council executive member for leisure Councillor Adam Ogilvie said:

“This is tremendously exciting news for Leeds as a city and for Leeds Art Gallery to be hosting a major exhibition by one of the most famous artists in the world.

“It will also be a wonderful homecoming as Damien Hirst’s career was formed in Leeds so having his work on display in the city like this for the first time is perfectly fitting and we are all hugely looking forward to it.”

To find out more information about ARTIST ROOMS On Tour please visit www.artfund.org/artistrooms. To see the full ARTIST ROOMS collection please visit www.tate.org.uk/artistrooms and www.nationalgalleries.org/artistrooms

For more information on Leeds Art Gallery visit the website at www.leeds.gov.uk/artgallery

Notes to editors:

The Art Fund is a membership charity that helps museums and galleries buy works of art for all to enjoy through awarding grants, campaigning and fundraising. Recent highlights include leading the £3.3 million campaign to save the Staffordshire Hoard, and helping to buy a new commission, Antony Gormley’s 6 Times, for the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art. The Art Fund is financed by the generosity of its 80,000 members and supporters who have a passion for art and the institutions that house great collections. For more information contact the Art Fund Press Office on 020 7225 4888 or visit www.artfund.org.

ENDS

For media enquiries please contact:
Roger Boyde, leisure media relations officer,
Tel 0113 247 5472, Email: roger.boyde@leeds.gov.uk