Rome: Galleria Borghese – home to masterpieces by Bernini, Canova and Caravaggio – will present the works of contemporary British artist Damien Hirst in a new exhibition opening on 8 June.
Titled Archaeology Now, the major new show will include more than 80 works from Hirst’s Treasures from the Wreck of the Unbelievable series, featuring monumental and small-scale sculptures made from bronze, rock crystal, coral and Carrara marble.
Also on display in the Rome exhibition, curated by Anna Coliva and Mario Codognato, will be Hirst’s Colour Space paintings, exhibited in Italy for the first time.
Held with the support of luxury fashion house Prada, the exhibition will see Hirst’s colossal sculpture, Hydra and Kali, displayed outdoors in the Secret Garden of the Uccelliera.
Galleria Borghese says the installation stems from one of Hirst’s most original projects over the last two decades: Treasures from the Wreck of the Unbelievable, exhibited for the first time in 2017 in Venice at Palazzo Grassi and Punta della Dogana.
Critics were divided when the works were first displayed in Venice, with a review in The Art Newspaper stating: “This is what art looks like when unbridled ambition meets apparently limitless financial resources.”
The Daily Telegraph dismissed the shipwreck treasure show as “a spectacular, bloated folly” however the Guardian described it as “a titanic return to form” for Hirst.
Retracing his colourful career, the retrospective highlights the multimedia approach of the British artist who is known for his provocative art charged with social commentary.
Hirst shot to international fame in 1991 with The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living, featuring a shark in formaldehyde, and gained new audiences in 2007 with For the Love of God, a diamond-encrusted platinum cast of a skull. The exhibition runs from 8 June until November and reservations are obligatory.