2 April – 30 September 2010
The Oceanographic Museum of Monaco launches its centenary celebrations with a major exhibition of paintings and sculptures by Damien Hirst
“And now the Science of the ocean enters into possession of this palace, on which the architect has impressed the conception of his genius, thus fulfilling my desire of paying the same honour to the two directive forces of civilization: Art and Science.“
Prince Albert I of Monaco, inaugural speech, 29 March 1910
“I am thrilled and excited to be showing my work at the Oceanographic Museum of Monaco and in particular look forward to exhibiting key works from my Natural History series in the context of the Museum’s beautiful exhibition spaces and collection. It is a wonderful combination of art and science, the two subjects that fascinate me.“
The Oceanographic Museum of Monaco, which this year celebrates its centenary, opens its galleries to contemporary art for the first time, to present a major exhibition of works by celebrated British artist Damien Hirst.
CORNUCOPIA is the title of the exhibition, which spans the last 15 years of the artist’s career and comprises over 60 key works, including early paintings and sculptures. The exhibition is presented with the Nouveau Musée National de Monaco.
Gathering together an exceptional ensemble of works, displayed throughout the museum in the company of the existing and remarkable collection of sea creatures and marine fauna, the exhibition stages a conversation between the past and the present, between art and science.
The dialogue between the museum’s collection of specimens and aquariums and the artist’s work allows the viewer to consider each discipline in a new light. Art and science here become mutually enlightening.
The display brings together seminal early works such as Away from the Flock, Divided, 1995, in which the artist suspended a sheep in formaldehyde in a glass tank, with the more recent After The Flood, 2008, featuring a dove in flight suspended in formaldehyde and The Forgiveness, 2008, a nine-metre-long stainless steel cabinet with 3,502 butterflies and other insects displayed along the shelves.
From the exquisitely composed butterfly wing paintings, the Psalms, 2008, to the monumental sculptures such as Sensation, 2003, and The Virgin Mother, 2005, the exhibition reveals the breadth of the artist’s creative output over the last decade and a half.
Damien Hirst was born in 1965 in Bristol, UK. He lives and works in London and Devon. Solo exhibitions include ‘No Love Lost’, The Wallace Collection, London (2009), ‘Requiem’, Pinchuk Art Centre, Kiev (2009), ‘For the Love of God’, Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam (2008), Astrup Fearnley Museet fur Moderne Kunst, Oslo (2005), Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (2005) and Archaeological Museum, Naples (2004). He received the DAAD fellowship in Berlin in 1994 and the Turner Prize in 1995. An exhibition of the artist’s private collection, ‘Murderme’, was held at Serpentine Gallery, London in 2006.
The Nouveau Musée National de Monaco
While pursuing its development to create a major museum, the Nouveau Musée National de Monaco has two exhibition spaces in the Principality – Villa Sauber and Villa Paloma, where it organizes exhibitions based on themes linked to Monaco’s history and environment: Performing Arts, Territory and Landscape, Art and Science.
The Museum’s mission is to present the collections which form part of the Principality’s patrimony while opening its galleries to contemporary art. The Nouveau Musée National de Monaco is accompanying the Oceanographic Museum of Monaco in its centenary celebrations and hosting Damien Hirst in the heart of the prestigious institution.
The Oceanographic Museum of Monaco
Inaugurated on 29 March 1910 by its founder, Prince Albert I of Monaco, the Oceanographic Museum is part of the Oceanographic Institute, Fondation Albert Ier Prince de Monaco. It is an exceptional institution with 5,000 sq metres of exhibition space, dedicated entirely to the sea. The museum has a remarkable collection of marine fauna and sea creatures and houses a world-famous aquarium with 4,000 species of fish and over 200 families of invertebrates. Its latest creation, the “Shark Lagoon”, reveals the extraordinary diversity and extraordinary colours of the coral reef and its inhabitants. A pioneer in coral culturing, the Oceanographic Museum is the first true modern scientific aquarium with the specificity of reconstructing complete ecosystems. The Museum seeks to bring art and science closer together, as called for by its Founder, and to continually develop the public’s understanding of science. Its objective is to ensure a better knowledge of the sea in order to ensure its protection. The Museum provides a unique platform for the public to learn and to be consistently surprised by the wonders of the sea.
Roya Nasser Communication
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