Damien Hirst’s wonder year

to establish a provenance for a subject also seemingly springing fully formed out of nowhere, augmented with Hirst’s citation of the anatomical
drawings he produced at the morgue, whose apparent significance surely demanded display at

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the Tate, or reproduction in the catalogue.

Hirst first addressed in 1990, in public, the subject which subsequently became his motif-à-clef,

the topos of Vanitas,

the subject addressed by the drawings exhibited at Reliance in 2002.

The third element of his Leeds experience neglected in the record is the core component of the programme he

whose epistemological grounding lay in the cabinet of curiosities. This of course imposes an obligation to /* 9-970x90 */ consider what Hirst is google_ad_client = "ca-pub-3967079123942817"; specifically contributing to the subject of Vanitas.


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of the institution

​ could their work acquire validation via the imprimatur of the institution – which is why people go to art school. That institutional endorsement is crucial to Hirst’s identity, as his view that “If it’s in the Tate, it must be Art”

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confirms, is underlined src="//pagead2.googlesyndication.com/pagead/show_ads.js"> by Ann Gallagher in her introduction to the catalogue; on page 14 she refers to
“… Hirst’s early institutional google_ad_client = "ca-pub-3967079123942817"; endorsement, his 1991 show at the I.C.A. in London…”

Hirst was introduced to the history of appropriationism as a legitimate strategy in the philosophy and practice of modern art /* xin2 */ at the very latest

at Jacob Kramer, during the history and theory of art lectures delivered, by myself, to all students attending the Foundation course.

Once inscribed within the corpus, in

providing a bridge from Hirst’s youthful fascination with
the eternal verities to his first mature expressions, the content of the drawings takes on google_ad_width = 970; the character of a missing link – as if in attending Jacob Kramer Hirst’s intuitions were for the first time self-consciously critically contextualised by art history and theory. And when so
inscribed, the content of the drawings confirms a thematic continuity between Hirst’s deep seated,
long-held preoccupations and his mature expressions.

Glyn Thompson

The Jackdaw, Jul-Aug 2012