1111"Treasures from the Wreck of the Unbelievable": Palazzo Grassi and Punta Della Dogana celebrate British artist Damien HIrst
The world of Atlantis, monsters that emerge from the sea, the adventures of Captain Nemo. the deep emotions of the sea, or at least deep down, even the psyche, feelings of alienation and discomfort. Palazzo Grassi and Punta della Dogana will try to interpret all this with a great contemporary artist, the British artist Damien Hirst, born in 1965, one of the protagonists at the end of the last century, of a new contemporary art cycle that will be remembered in the history of contemporary art as "shocking art" that indeed provoked a lot of (also physical) disgusted reactions. Hirst was one of the most quoted artists in the world, enshrined in this "Sensation" exhibition at the Royal Academy in London in 1997.
Damien Hirst, in fact, made headlines in a context in which the Young British artists (YBA's) protagonists of the event, aimed to shock, to provoke, to incite disgust through their works using animals dissected and preserved in formaldehyde or parts of their own body as an artistic expression. Damien Hirst was consecrated as the new god in the Olympus of contemporary art and, definitely for a decade, the absolute protagonist of the world market, with works sold for tens of millions of euro. He was the (hugely payed) bad boy of international contemporary art.
However, when Hirst decided to sell his works through Sotheby's he made his first faux pas; the traditional trade channels inside the contemporary art world did not like the artist's choice and, in part, and to varying degrees, the enthusiasm began to subside. With them also the artist's inspiration.
The Pinault Foundation will provide both its Venetian sites for Hirst's exhibition: Palazzo Grassi and Punta della Dogana, from 9 April - a month before the opening of the Art Biennalel - will host more than 250 pieces of various sizes (with a symbolic price tag) including a malachite medusa headfor 4 million dollars and a jade object priced 400 thousand. The exhibition is curated by Elena Geuna, former curator of those devoted in the past to Rudolf Stingel (2013) and Sigmar Polke (2016) held at Palazzo Grassi.
As early as the title of the exhibition "Treasures from the Wreck of the Unbelievable" Hirst will transfer the visitor into a real journey "underwater" (and not only that) with the aim of telling ten years of life work starting from the most controversial pieces as the famous sharks in formaldehyde put on display. An exhibition in Venice which comes at a time, as mentioned before, not really of great inspiration for the artist who, in Venice, now accepts a daring challenge and a new platform for world visibility.
The exhibition which will open at Palazzo Grassi and Punta della Dogana is part of a cycle of monographic exhibitions that aims at hosting individual contemporary artists at one given time. It will be a great adventure especially in conjunction with the proposals that come from the Art Biennale.
And once again Venice will be the capital of high profile international contemporary art.