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Damien Hirst

Untitled (from The Souls on Jacob’s Ladder), 2008

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Lot 17
Monoprint and photogravure etching on 400gsm Velin Arches paper
47.0 x 42.0 in (119.4 x 106.7 cm)
Unique proof outside main edition of 72
Signed and inscribed "U.P." on recto


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Butterflies have been a motif within Damien Hirst’s oeuvre since 1991 when the artist made use of live pupae in his first ever solo-show, 'In and Out of Love.' Attached to canvases, the insects developed, hatched, and ultimately died within the duration of the exhibition. Hirst’s attraction to butterflies stems from their rich symbolism. This monoprint depicts a pristine yellow butterfly set against black ground. Invoking the morbid, scientific collection and display of insect specimens while also capturing the species’ inherent beauty, this work illustrates the duplicities essential to nature’s designs.

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About Damien Hirst

Damien Hirst (British, b. 1965) is a contemporary, conceptual artist, best known for his role in the Young British Artist (YBA) movement of the 1990s. Always revolving around themes of mortality and science, his artistic practice varies widely—from dead animals submerged in formaldehyde to pristine, ominous medicine cabinets to multi-colored paintings of butterflies and spots. He was awarded the prestigious Turner Prize in 1995, and has had over 80 solo exhibitions and 260 group exhibitions worldwide at the Gagosian Gallery, Serpentine Gallery, Tate Modern, and more. His work currently resides within the collections of the Tate and the Hirshhorn Museum.