Sotheby's to auction Damien Hirst works
LONDON (Reuters) - Sotheby's will auction a series of new works by artist Damien Hirst, including a trademark animal preserved in formaldehyde that is expected to fetch up to 12 million pounds.
Hirst, one of contemporary art's most bankable stars, said he chose to sell his latest work in the auction room rather than the gallery because "the world's changing".
The 43-year-old also based his decision on the success of a 2004 auction, also hosted by Sotheby's, which raised 11.1 million pounds from the sale of objects he designed for the defunct Pharmacy restaurant in London.
"After the success of the Pharmacy auction, I always felt I would like to do another auction," Hirst said in a statement on Thursday. "It's a very democratic way to sell art and it feels like a natural evolution for contemporary art.
"Although there is risk involved, I embrace the challenge of selling my work in this way," he added. "I never want to stop working with my galleries. This is different. The world's changing, ultimately I need to see where this road leads."
The main lot in the auction, to be held in London on September 15 and 16, is "The Golden Calf", a bull in a glass tank of formaldehyde with its head crowned by a solid gold disc and its hooves and horns cast in 18-carat gold.
The work, which Sotheby's said united the artist's preoccupation with "science, religion, beauty and death", is estimated to realise eight to 12 million pounds.
The sale, called "Beautiful Inside My Head Forever", will also include paintings, cabinets and preparatory drawings.
It coincides with the 20th anniversary of the Freeze exhibition in London which launched the careers of curator Hirst and some of his fellow "Young British Artists".
Gagosian Gallery, which has worked with Hirst before, confirmed it would be at the auction.
"As Damien's long-term gallery, we've come to expect the unexpected," it said in a statement. "He can certainly count on us to be in the room with paddle in hand."
Hirst's medicine cabinet "Lullaby Spring" sold for 9.65 million pounds at auction in 2007.
His diamond-encrusted skull also fetched $100 million (51 million pounds) last year, but it was a private transaction and the fact that Hirst was part of the group of investors who bought it raised questions about its true value.
(Reporting by Mike Collett-White; Editing by Charles Dick)
(To read more about our entertainment news, visit our blog "Fan Fare" online at blogs.reuters.com/fanfare )
- Tweet this
- Share this
- Digg this