In a significant artistic event, the Museum of Urban and Contemporary Art (MUCA) in Munich will host the first-ever major survey exhibition of Damien Hirst’s iconic works in Germany.
Entitled “The Weight of Things,” the exhibition, opening on October 26, 2023, promises to be a grand tapestry of Hirst’s artistry, spanning over 40 years of his notable career.
“I’m so happy and excited to be invited by Christian and Stephanie Utz to put on this exhibition, The Weight of Things, in Munich, where I have the opportunity to show many of my earlier works through to my later series like works from Treasures from the Wreck of the Unbelievable. And a giant new outdoor spot painting that will be visible from all over the city. I’m so pleased to be working on this show and bringing it all together for such a unique and dynamic space at MUCA.” – Damien Hirst
The exhibition delves into Hirst’s intricate exploration of complex themes such as beauty, religion, science, life, and death. Hirst, a transformative figure in contemporary art, first captured public attention in 1988 with the London groundbreaking ‘Freeze’ exhibition. This pivotal moment ushered in a new era for British artists, known as the YBAs, Young British Artists. The loose group reinvented the landscape of contemporary art.
One of the exhibition’s highlights is Hirst’s distinctive use of formaldehyde, notably in his renowned ‘Natural History’ series. He delves into the intriguing interplay between art and science through this medium. The exhibition will also feature the mesmerising ‘Spot Paintings,’ initiated in 1986, known for their colourful dots arranged with machine-like precision, and the vibrant ‘Spin Paintings,’ characterised by their energetic bursts of colour.
In addition to the exhibition is Hirst’s ‘Treasures from the Wreck of the Unbelievable’ series, which blurs the lines between fact and fiction. Rooted in a fabricated legend of an ancient shipwreck, these works challenge traditional narratives, weaving a captivating tapestry of imagination and reality.
Furthermore, the exhibition will introduce Munich to Hirst’s unique reinterpretation of the Cherry Blossoms series. This collection playfully explores the conventional subject of landscape painting, infusing it with Hirst’s trademark blend of irony and creativity.
Christian Utz, the founder of MUCA, expressed his delight in welcoming Hirst to Munich and showcasing this significant exhibition. Filled at the opportunity, Hirst spoke of his excitement to present a wide range of his works, from his early pieces to his recent series. A particularly exciting addition will be a giant new outdoor spot painting set to adorn the cityscape, adding an innovative touch to the exhibition.
Damien Hirst, born in Bristol in 1965, has become one of the world’s most influential artists. His extensive work has graced over 100 solo exhibitions worldwide and featured in more than 300 group shows. Notable among his recent projects is the intricate ‘Treasures from the Wreck of the Unbelievable,’ which spanned two museum spaces in Venice in 2017.
As Munich eagerly anticipates the grand unveiling of “The Weight of Things” at MUCA, this exhibition promises to be a milestone in the city’s vibrant contemporary art scene, bringing together Hirst’s legacy and Munich’s artistic spirit in an unforgettable experience for art enthusiasts and novices alike.
Top Photo: Damien Hirst with For the Love of God, 2012 Photographed by Prudence Cuming Associates L td. © Damien Hirst and Science Ltd. All rights reserved, DACS/Artimage 2023 Photo Courtesy MUCA