Magnificent Obsessions: The Artist as Collector

Group Exhibition. Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts, Norwich, United Kingdom.

12 September 2015 – 24 January 2016

'Last Kingdom' (detail), (2012)

Photographed by Prudence Cuming Associates
© Damien Hirst and Science Ltd. All rights reserved, DACS 2015

A selection of Damien Hirst's extraordinary collection of anatomical models, taxidermy, specimens and skeletons form part of the major exhibition of the personal collections of post-war and contemporary artists. Originally on display at the Barbican Art Gallery, this exhibition is now presented at the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts. Ranging from mass-produced memorabilia and popular collectibles to one-of-a-kind curiosities, rare artefacts and specimens, these collections provide insight into the inspirations, influences, motives and obsessions of artists.

While some artists are connoisseurs, others accumulate hoards of objects, never letting anything go. Many live with and make direct use of their collections and others keep them under wraps or in storage. Collecting objects for research and study is key to the practice of many artists in the exhibition. Presented alongside examples of their work, their collections, in turn, help to elucidate their art. 

Hirst's 'Entomology Cabinet', 'Last Kingdom' is also on display alongside the pieces from his Muderme collection. Hirst's collection has previously been the subject of major exhibitions at the Serpentine Gallery in 2006 and Pinacoteca Agnelli, Turin in 2012.

Other featured artists are: Arman; Peter Blake; Hanne Darboven; Edmund de Waal; Damien Hirst; Howard Hodgkin; Dr Lakra; Sol LeWitt; Martin Parr; Jim Shaw; Hiroshi Sugimoto; Andy Warhol; Pae White and Martin Wong/Danh Vo.