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In the darkest hour, there may be light: Works from Damien Hirst's Murderme collection
25 November 2006
25th November 2006 – 28th January 2007
Serpentine Gallery, London
Photography © 2006 Stephen White © The artists: Sarah Lucas, John Isaacs, Steven Gregory.
Photography © 2006 Stephen White © The artists: Sarah Lucas, Michael Joo, Tom Ormond, Banksy, 2012.
Photography © 2006 Stephen White © The artists: Michael Joo, Andy Warhol, 2012.
Photography © 2006 Stephen White © The artists: Jim Lambie, Andy Warhol, Richard Prince, John Isaacs, 2012.
In 2006 Hirst curated an exhibition of works from his collection, Murderme, at the Serpentine Gallery. Although he had curated the warehouse exhibitions ‘Freeze’ (1988) and ‘Modern Medicine’ (1990), as well as the Serpentine’s ‘Some Went Mad, Some Ran Away’ (1994), this was Hirst’s first curatorial project that excluded his own work. Instead, over 60 works from 24 artists were exhibited, including paintings, sculptures, photographs and installations.
The exhibition title is taken from Hans Christian Andersen’s story ‘The Galoshes of Fortune’ (1838). Explaining it was initially “that sort of entropic collecting that I found myself interested in, just amassing stuff while you’re alive,” Hirst made a selection including artworks from a variety of prolific but little-known artists.
Francis Bacon’s ‘A Study for a Figure at the Base of a Crucifixion’ (1943-44) and Andy Warhol’s ‘Little Electric Chair’ (1965) were shown alongside works from Hirst’s Goldsmiths contemporaries Angus Fairhurst and Sarah Lucas. As well as work from one of his first studio assistants, Rachel Howard, Hirst also chose to include a number of emerging artists, such as his studio employees Nick Lumb and Tom Ormond. With reference to their inclusion, Hirst explained: “I think it’s more of an American tradition. I suppose it’s Italian really, like with the workshops. That’s the way it should work. There’s so much to learn. You shouldn’t have to fucking learn it new every time.”
To coincide with the show, Hirst curated a limited edition of 50 signed print portfolios, including 23 works from the exhibited artists.
A major publication was produced on the occasion of the exhibition, including an essay by Harland Miller and an interview with Hans Ulrich Obrist (Other Criteria/Serpentine Gallery, 2007).
The artists featured in the exhibition were Francis Bacon, Banksy, Don Brown, Angela Bulloch, John Currin, Tracey Emin, Angus Fairhurst, Steven Gregory, Marcus Harvey, Rachel Howard, John Isaacs, Michael Joo, Jeff Koons, Jim Lambie, Sean Landers, Tim Lewis, Sarah Lucas, Nicholas Lumb, Tom Ormond, Laurence Owen, Richard Prince, Haim Steinbach, Gavin Turk and Andy Warhol.