Damien Hirst graduated from Goldsmiths College in London in 1989. Today he lives and works in Devon outside London. When still at school he curated the famous "Freeze" (1988) in the London Docklands, an exhibition regarded as the kickoff for YBA (Young British Artists) who dominated the British art scene in the 1990s.
Hirst sold his exhibited works and gained the attention of advertising supremo Charles Saatchi who subsequently became one of the foremost champions of the YBA generation. His purchase of the major piece "The Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living" (1991) (the work features a tiger shark caught in Australia) financed the creation of the very expensive work.
When Charles Saatchi inaugurated his new museum The Saatchi Gallery, he did so with a retrospective of Hirst's works. Damien Hirst has been very successful in gaining fame outside of the narrow art scene and has decorated a number of London restaurants.
Hirst has participated in an extremely large number of exhibitions across the globe, just as he has curated some of the most famous "YBA exhibitions," primarily in London. In 1995 he received the Turner Prize for which he had previously been nominated. In addition he was awarded the DAAD fellowship in Berlin in 1994.
His solo exhibitions include: "Artists Rooms: Damien Hirst", Leeds Art Gallery, Leeds (2011), "For the Love of God", Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, "Beautiful Inside My Head Forever", Sotheby’s Auction, London (2008), "The Elusive Truth!", Gagosian Gallery, New York (2005), "The Agony and The Ecstasy: Selected Works from 1989-2004", The Archaeological Museum, Naples (2004), "Romance in the Age of Uncertainty", White Cube, London (2003), "Theories, Models, Methods, Approaches, Assumptions, Results and Findings", Gagosian Gallery, New York (2000), "Pharmacy", Tate Gallery, London (1999) "Damien Hirst", Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art, Oslo (1997), "No Sense of Absolute Corruption", Gagosian Gallery, New York (1996) and his breakthrough show "In & Out of Love" at Woodstock Street, London (1991).
Leaving out the majority, a small selection of his group exhibitions includes: "Modern British Sculpture", Royal Academy, London (2011), "Cream", KIASMA, Helsinki, 2010, "The Dark Monarch: Magic & Modernity in British Art", Tate St. Ives, St.Ives, "Pop Life: Art in a Material World", Tate Modern, London (2009), "Color Chart: Reinventing Color, 1950 to Today", MoMA, New York City, NY, "Statuephilia: Contemporary Sculptors in the British Museum", British Museum, London (2008), "Art Machines", Schirn Kunsthalle, Frankfurt, "‘Re-Object’", Kunsthaus Bregenz, Bregenz, "Aftershock: Contemporary British Art 1990-2006", Capital Museum, Beijing (2006), "The Stations of the Cross", Gagosian Gallery, London, "Secrets of the 90s", Museum voor Moderne Kunst Arnhem, "Singular Forms (Sometimes Repeated)", Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York , "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida", Tate Britain, London (2004), "Bull's Eye. Works from the Astrup Fearnley Collection", ARKEN, "Dreams and Conflicts: The Dictatorship of the Viewer", 50th Venice Biennial (2003), "Art > Music, Rock Pop Techno", Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, "Public Offerings", The Museum of Contemporary Arts, Los Angeles, "Century City", Tate Modern, London (2001), "Examining Pictures", Whitechapel Art Gallery, London; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago (1999), "Sensation", Royal Academy of Arts, London; Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin; Brooklyn Museum, New York (1997), "Life/Live", Musee d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, Paris; Centro de Exposições do Centro Cultural de Belém, Lisbon (1996), "Minky Manky", South London Gallery , London, "Brilliant! Art from London", Walker Art Centre, Minneapolis; Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston (1995), "Some Went Mad, Some Ran Away", (curated by Damien Hirst) Serpentine Gallery, London; Nordic Arts Centre, Helsinki; Kunstverein, Hannover; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; Portalen, Køge (1994), "Aperto", the Venice Biennial (1993), "Turner Prize Exhibition", Tate Gallery, London (1992), "Modern Medicine", Building One, London (1990), "Freeze", Surrey Docks, London, (curated by Damien Hirst) (1988).
Today Damien Hirst is represented in international museums and collections, including Tate Modern in London.