Damien Hirst returns with his first major survey exhibition showcasing at MUCA, Munich

DAMIEN Hirst, a seminal figure in the contemporary art world, prepares to make his first major display in Germany with a comprehensive survey exhibition at the Museum of Urban and Contemporary Art (MUCA), Munich, titled The Weight of Things.

The exhibition, set to open on October 26, 2023, curates over 40 works, signifying four decades of Hirst’s artistic journey. Visitors will get an exclusive peek into the artist’s mind as they traverse the vivid landscapes of his formaldehyde sculptures, the harmonious chaos of Spin Paintings, the neatly structured Medicine Cabinets, the mythically mesmerizing Treasures from the Wreck of the Unbelievable, and his whimsical reinterpretations of nature in Cherry Blossoms.

Hirst’s exploration of beauty, science, religion, life, and death, has redefined the face of contemporary art, evident in his initial breakthrough in London’s 1988 Freeze exhibition. Notably, his usage of formaldehyde since 1991 has seamlessly bridged the realms of art and science, presenting a unique dialog that will feature prominently in The Weight of Things.

Damien Hirst, next to Myth Explored, Explained, Exploded, 1993

Damien Hirst, Bold, 2020

Damien Hirst, The Fragility of Love, 2000

The exhibition also includes his spot paintings series, an assembly of seemingly machine-created dots that originated in 1986, and his Spin Paintings, acclaimed for their unpredictable energy and chromatic bursts.

Treasures from the Wreck of the Unbelievable, first unveiled in 2017, will weave its narrative through marble, bronze sculptures, and lightboxes, blurring the lines between fact and fiction. A playful, ironic twist on traditional landscapes, the Cherry Blossoms series takes cues from Impressionism, Pointillism, and Action Painting.

Damien Hirst, 1-Benzoylacetone, 1997

Damien Hirst, BeauFful Dogshit, Diarrhea, Pizza, Vomit, with Love and Trust PainFng, 2021

Damien Hirst, Flower Arranging, 1995

MUCA’s founder, Christian Utz, expressed his excitement stating, “Damien Hirst is one of the world’s most influential artists, his work has transformed the contemporary art world and ignited the imagination of a generation. We are delighted to welcome him to Munich and to give this important and exciting exhibition its debut at MUCA.”

by Zlata Kryudor