Damien Hurst comes to the rescue of Tate museum
Taken from MuseumLab / December 14, 2007
Artist Damien Hirst pauses during an interview near his 2007 artwork entitled ”Love’s Paradox (Surrender or Autonomy, Separateness as a Precondition for Connection)” at the White Cube Gallery in London on June 1, 2007. (Photographer: Suzanne Plunkett/Bloomberg News)
Damien Hirst, the second-most- expensive living artist at auction, gave London’s Tate museum four of his trademark artworks, including pickled cows and a canvas of dead flies, the Tate said in a statement today. Museums are struggling to buy works by top contemporary artists like Damien Hirst after prices quadrupled over the last 11 years. “With such a limited budget for acquisitions, and when art market prices are high, Tate is indebted to international contemporary artists such as Damien Hirst for working with us on building the collection,” Tate Director Nicholas Serota said in the statement.
It is not the first time that artists come to the rescue of an art institution in London. In 2006, Whitechapel Gallery in London’s East End auctioned works donated by leading painters, sculptors and photographers from across the world, all of whom have shown at the gallery. The sale raised £2.78m to fund the 100-year-old gallery’s expansion into the now-empty Whitechapel Library. An exhibition of the works was held in the former library building in the days before the auction, which was carrierd out by Sotheby’s. The auctioneer also contributed to the gallery’s investment fund, by donating the usual commissions, and the government charged no value-added tax.
Espaces Arts & Objets Swiss Art Gallery
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