York Art Gallery

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DATE: 10 August 2021

A rare work by prominent British artist Damien Hirst is on display at York Art Gallery.

‘Side View of Skull’, is on loan from a private collector, and is a unique example of how Hirst combines two of his most distinctive motifs: the skull and the rows of spots.

The work is on show for free alongside other paintings in the Gallery’s Burton Gallery.

Damien Hirst is one of the Young British Artists (YBAs), which dominated the UK art scene in the 1990s. Throughout his career, death has been a central theme in his artistic practice, which encompasses sculpture, installation and painting.

Dr Beatrice Bertram, senior curator at York Art Gallery, said: “We are delighted to be able to display ‘Side View of Skull’ as York Art Gallery. Hirst is one of the most famous artists of his generation and we are extremely grateful to the lender for enabling us to share this striking work with our visitors.

“The painting is displayed in the Burton Gallery, a room dedicated to York Art Gallery’s permanent collection, giving visitors the chance to see it alongside other contemporary works as well as some of our most popular historic pieces.”

The work exhibited was originally created as part of a series of “Blue Paintings” around the time of the exhibition “No Love Lost: Blue Paintings” at the Wallace Collection, London, in 2009/10. This experimental piece was painted by the artist himself featuring his most iconic motifs the skull with spots in the background.