31 March 2012
Last updated at 01:48
London's Tate Modern gallery is to showcase the first "substantial survey" of contemporary artist Damien Hirst’s work in the UK. A Thousand Years (pictured) was created in 1990 and features an actual life-cycle. Maggots hatch inside a white box, turn into flies, then feed on a cow's severed head.
Hirst's most well known works feature dead animals, which have been preserved in formaldehyde. The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living (pictured) was originally commissioned in 1991 by Charles Saatchi, who eventually sold the piece in 2004.
For the Love of God is another famous Hirst work. The platinum cast of an 18th-Century skull features real human teeth and nearly 9,000 real diamonds and was first exhibited in 2007. Valued at £50m, at the time it was unveiled, the artwork was said to be the most expensive piece of contemporary work ever made. Hirst said he found this particular work "uplifting".
The gallery said the exhibition "will provide a journey through two decades of his work". This artwork is an example of one of Hirst's spin paintings, which he creates using household gloss paint. Each canvas is spun on a turntable, while different coloured paints are poured onto the rotating canvas from above.
One of the most influential artists of his generation, Hirst shot to fame in 1988 when he conceived and curated the Freeze exhibition which was held at a disused warehouse in London. At the time he had just completed the second year of a three-year undergraduate course. Hirst sought out the building, organised its cleaning and preparation, chose the artists who he wanted to display and hung the works himself.
The exhibition, which opens on 4 April, is part of the London 2012 Festival, the cultural programme of the Olympics. It will feature over 70 of the artist's seminal works. Curator Ann Gallagher told the Art Newspaper that the display provides "an important opportunity for everyone to examine the works themselves at first hand".
Mother and Child Divided comprises of four glass-walled tanks, containing the two halves of a cow and calf. They have both been bisected and preserved in formaldehyde solution. The tanks are installed in pairs, with enough space between each pair for a visitor to walk between them and view the animals' insides. Originally created for an exhibition at the 1993 Venice Biennale, it became the focal point of the 1995 Turner Prize at Tate Britain, the year that Hirst won the prize.
Sinner (pictured) contains pharmaceutical packaging, including boxes of scalpels and white latex gloves. Hirst's work often features associations to life and death.
Hirst often uses butterflies as inspiration for his work. He created one of his most famous butterfly pieces in 1991 at his first London show, In And Out Of Love. Held in an empty shop, he covered the walls with black caterpillar pupae on the walls. He times the opening of the show, so that the pupae hatched and the butterflies flew from the paintings to pots of flowers he had placed around the space. Since then, he has created several butterfly pieces, where he uses thousands of butterflies arranged in kaleidoscopic patterns that look like stained-glass windows.