The Pursuit of Oblivion, 2004



The Pursuit of Oblivion
3526 x 2778 x 1602 mm | 138.8 x 109.4 x 63.1 in
Glass, painted stainless steel, silicone, stainless steel butcher's rack and meat hooks, knives, sharpening steels, cleavers, saws, stainless steel chain, umbrella, resin hat, cloak, bird cage, resin books, resin armchair, resin walking cane, resin shoes, motorcycle helmet, sides of beef, sausages, dove and formaldehyde solution
Image: Photographed by Prudence Cuming Associates © Damien Hirst and Science Ltd. All rights reserved, DACS 2013


The British painter Francis Bacon has remained a fundamental influence on Hirst’s work for the entirety of his career. Bacon’s technique of boxing in his figures within three-dimensional ‘spaceframes’ relates directly to Hirst’s practise of containing his sculptures within vitrines and tanks. 'The Pursuit of Oblivion'  is Hirst’s own imagining of Bacon’s 'Painting' 1946. Hirst explains of his interpretation of the artist’s work that, ‘when [a work] becomes three-dimensional it turns into something else. And [Bacon’s paintings] work incredibly well, three-dimensionally.’