© copyright The Artist


Damien Hirst (1965 – )


624 x 861 mm
Accession number


Hirst’s screenprint is a critique of the culture of taxonomy. He presents a collection of stones in a grid formation reminiscent of the ordering of geological samples from a page of his school geography text book. His abiding interest in methods of preservation s linked with his preoccupation with mortality. His most notorious work, a fourteen foot tiger shark preserved in a tank of formaldehyde, The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Some Living, 1991 (Saatchi Collection, www.saatchi-gallery.co.uk) was a work born out of an irrepressible confidence, and it has become a contemporary icon, seeming not only to express the ideas of the artist but also the aggressive, predatory, forward-looking spirit of its time.

This work comes from the Londonportfolio, one of the most significant British print publications of the 1990s.

Multiple Choice: Prints by Young British Artists, The British Council 1997

Further reading:
Contemporary British Arts in Print, Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art and The Paragon Press, 1995 (texts by Jeremy Lewison, Patrick Elliott and Duncan Macmillan)