End of An Era

30 January 2010 – 6 March 2010
Solo Exhibition. Gagosian Gallery, Madison Avenue, New York , United States.

Photographed by Prudence Cuming Associates © Damien Hirst and Science Ltd. All rights reserved, DACS 2012

The exhibition addressed the concepts of illusion and reality, myth and idolatry. The eponymous sculptural work was a severed bull’s head in a gold vitrine (‘End of an Era’ (2010)). The work acts as a sequel to ‘The Golden Calf’ (2008); the idol’s mythical status is rendered defunct through the transition from illusory life to death.

The ‘Famous Diamonds’ series, shown here for the first time, depicts the world’s most illustrious jewels as ‘Fact’ paintings. The series is described by the artist as being “solely about trying to copy photographs.” The works explore illusion and reality, Hirst explains: “The paintings are big and garish, while real diamonds are small and beautiful.”[1]

The diamond was elsewhere present by way of tens of thousands of cubic zirconia stones displayed in the two exhibited diamond cabinets, ‘Judgement Day’ (2009) and ‘Forgotten Promises’ (2010).

[1]  Damien Hirst cited in Hans Ulrich Obrist, ‘Epiphany: A Conversation with Damien Hirst’, ‘End of an Era’ (Other Criteria/Gagosian Gallery, 2012), unpag.