Hirst at Tate; 4/5 from Dorment

April 2 2012

Image of Hirst at Tate; 4/5 from Dorment

Picture: Tate/Dacs/Damien Hirst & Science Ltd

Richard Dorment in The Telegraph gives the new show at Tate four stars out of five:

For more than 20 years pretty much everything Damien Hirst he has made, done or said has received media attention. But attention is different from respect, and if you ask the man in the street he’ll tell you that Hirst became a billionaire by cynically exploiting our collective greed and stupidity.

For reasons that I don’t understand, he insists on presenting himself as a fraud who is somehow pulling the wool over the eyes of the public. And that’s a pity, because in Tate Modern’s full-scale retrospective he comes across as a serious - if wildly uneven - artist.

We emerge from this strange, flawed, but hugely ambitious show with a sense of Hirst as complex and troubled personality. As an artist his work is indeed difficult to take - not because it is dumb, but because no one in his right mind wants to think about the painful subjects it deals with.

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