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Main pageNewsDamien Hirst Requiem at the PinchukArtCentre in Ukraine

Damien Hirst Requiem at the PinchukArtCentre in Ukraine

16 March 2009

“Art’s about invention and we are all desperately trying to invent a better future, and to learn from the past.” (Damien Hirst, in conversation with Eckhard Schneider)

The PinchukArtCentre (Kyiv, Ukraine) is pleased to announce Requiem, a major retrospective of over 100 works dating from 1990 to 2008, by Damien Hirst. Requiem opens on 25th April and continues through 20th September 2009.

In his work over the last two decades, Hirst has continually produced paintings, sculptures and drawings that radically and directly address our shared quest for life in the face of inevitable death. Through an exploration of beauty and decay, love and desire, science and religion, history and art, Hirst has created some of the most conceptually profound and challenging artworks of our time.

Requiem brings together many of the artist’s most celebrated works. Ranging from early iconic sculptures such as A Thousand Years, 1990 and Away from the Flock, 1994 to more recent works like the monumental butterfly triptych, Doorways to the Kingdom of Heaven, 2007 as well as Death Explained, 2007, a sculpture of a shark cut in half in formaldehyde, the exhibition shows the extraordinary breadth of Hirst’s artistic enterprise.

Since the start of his career, Hirst has pushed the boundaries of art and what it means to be an artist. Requiem bears witness to a bold new direction in his work by showing for the first time a series of skull paintings he created between 2006 and 2008. In works such as Floating Skull, 2006, The Meek Shall Inherit the Earth, 2008 and Men Shall Know Nothing, 2008, Hirst returns to the solitary practice of painting and confronts, in very personal terms, the darkness that lies at the heart of human nature and experience.

Victor Pinchuk: “This exhibition is of great significance but what is most important for me is that the opportunity to see Hirst’s new body of work occurs first in Kyiv. Damien’s exhibition in Kyiv symbolises the reciprocal and mutually beneficial relationship between contemporary Ukrainian culture and that of the rest of the world. They share a common ground.”

Eckhard Schneider, General Manager of the PinchukArtCentre: “With this fundamental retrospective including a cycle of new paintings the PinchukArtCentre gives an important international contribution to the debate surrounding one of the leading artists of our time.”

Requiem is made possible by the loaning of key works from private collections. The exhibition was curated by Eckhard Schneider and developed in close cooperation with Damien Hirst and Victor Pinchuk. In hosting a major retrospective of one of the most important artists working today, the PinchukArtCentre is testament to the Ukraine’s ongoing cultural development.


The exhibition will be open from 25 April till 20 September 2009.

Viewing hours:
Tuesday – Sunday: 12:00 – 21:00
Closed – Monday
Admission is free

Press-view will be held on 23 April.
For accreditation please contact: [email protected]

A vernissage will be held on 24 April.

PinchukArtCentre Block А, 1/3-2, Chervonoarmiyska Street/Baseyna Street Besarabka quarter
Kyiv 01 004

Contact information:
Tel.: +38 044 590-0858 or [email protected]


Background information:

Damien Hirst

Born in Bristol in 1965, Damien Hirst grew up in Leeds and studied at Goldsmiths College, London. Most notable amongst the exhibitions he curated whilst at college was Freeze, in 1988, in which he exhibited his work and that of his contemporaries. The exhibition is widely believed to have been the starting point of the Young British Artists’ careers, and a defining moment in kick-starting cutting edge British contemporary art.

Hirst’s body of work confronts the scientific, philosophical and religious aspects of human existence and includes sculpture, painting and printmaking. He has exhibited widely and was awarded the Turner Prize in 1995 for ‘The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living’. In 2004, Hirst collaborated with Sarah Lucas and Angus Fairhurst to exhibit recent works at Tate Britain, under the title In-a-Gadda-da-Vida. In 2006, works from the artist’s murderme collection were exhibited at the Serpentine gallery, London: ‘In the darkest hour there may be light.

Hirst’s work can be found in many important collections worldwide, including Tate, London, UK; British Council, UK; MoMA, New York, USA; Hirshorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington DC, USA; National Galleries of Scotland, Edinburgh, UK; Broad Art Foundation; Centraal Museum, Utrecht, Netherlands; Neue Galerie Graz, Austria and State Museum of Berlin, Germany.

PinchukArtCentre is one of the largest centres for contemporary art in the Eastern Europe, opened in September 2006. The art-centre is one of the projects of the Victor Pinchuk Foundation in the realm of culture. Among the key missions of the PinchukArtCentre is to present exhibitions by leading international and Ukrainian artists, support varied cultural projects and other. To the date, the PinchukArtCentre has presented nine major exhibitions viewed by over 500 000 visitors. In June–November 2007, the PinchukArtCentre officially presented Ukraine at the 52nd Venice Biennale with the art project: “Poem about an Inland Sea”.

On 25 February 2009 the names of the 20 shortlisted nominees for the PinchukArtCentre Prize, a nationwide prize in contemporary art for young Ukrainian artists, have been announced. The exhibition of the works by the shortlisted young artists is to be opened in the PinchukArtCentre in October 2009.

Established in 2006 by a businessman and philanthropist Victor Pinchuk, the Victor Pinchuk Foundation is one of the largest Ukrainian private philanthropic organisations. The Foundation develops and implements social projects aimed at modernising Ukraine and nurturing a new generation of Ukrainian leaders.

The Foundation's priority fields of activities are health care, education, culture, human rights, Ukraine's global integration and local communities' development.

Among the largest projects of the Foundation are: the "Cradles of Hope" programme for opening neonatal health care centres throughout Ukraine, student scholarship programme "Zavtra.UA", the PinchukArtCentre contemporary art institution, international network YES (Yalta European Strategy) to support Ukraine’s aspirations for European integration.

The Victor Pinchuk Foundation is a member of European Fund Centre and Ukrainian Grant makers Forum and partner of the Yalta European Strategy (YES). The Foundation cooperates with Clinton's Global Initiative and other non-governmental organisations.