Damien Hirst: Schizophrenogenesis
Paul Stolper Gallery – London
October 9th, 2014 – November 15th, 2014
“Pills are a brilliant little form, better than any minimalist art. They’re all designed to make you buy them… they come out of flowers, plants, things from the ground, and they make you feel good, you know, to just have a pill, to feel beauty.” – Damien Hirst
Predominantly based upon the minimalist aesthetic of the medicinal pill, the works on display act as a continuation of Hirst’s life-long investigation into our almost-spiritual relationship with the rigours of science and the pharmaceutical industry.
A three metre neon sign reading ‘Schizophrenogenesis’, each letter in a different colour, lights the space. Both a warning sign and a beacon, the work entices the viewer into the gallery, where they are confronted by ‘The Cure’; a wall of thirty silkscreen prints, each depicting a two-colour pill set against vibrant backgrounds of pop-candy colours. Corresponding sculptural works fill the space; fourteen hugely enlarged resin pills, each measuring thirty centimetres long, as well as ten smaller pills, rendered in an array of seductive, immaculate colours.
Sculptures of medicine bottles, pharmaceutical boxes, ampoules, syringes, a scalpel, and drug packaging that all play with concepts of scale – the tallest measuring nearly one and a half metres – combine to form an Alice in Wonderland playground of pharmaceuticals which further Hirst’s enduring exploration of contemporary belief systems; religion, love, art and medicine. The manipulation of scale, is just one of the techniques employed by the artist to analyze the confident aesthetic of the pharmaceutical industry.