The Pinacoteca Giovanni e Marella Agnelli in Turin, which is hosting Freedom not Genius an exhibition of the private collection of Damien Hirst.

TURIN - Through March of next year the private collection of Damien Hirst will be on view in an exhibition entitled Freedom Not Genius. The Pinacoteca Agnelli in Turin is hosting what is only the second ever presentation of Hirst’s Murdeme collection, revealing the artist’s breadth of interests and influences.

The foundation of the collection was laid in the early 1990s as Hirst began exchanging his works with those of his artist friends, who went on to become known as the Young British Artists. The Turin show features over 50 artists and in addition to Hirst’s contemporaries such as Banksy, John Currin, Tracey Emin, Angus Fairhurst, Sarah Lucas, and Rachel Whiteread features works by Frank Auerbach, Francis Bacon, Alberto Giacometti, Mario Merz, Bruce Nauman, Richard Prince and Andy Warhol.

Jeff Koons, Three Ball 50/50 Tank (Spalding Dr. JK Silver Series) (1985) © Jeff Koons.


With each work chosen by the same eye, the dialogue between these works is fascinating, and will be supplemented by a section of the exhibition that presents a contemporary wunderkammer – a series of memento mori using Picasso’s Nature morte au crane et au pot as a starting point and showcasing 17th-century vanitas paintings, vintage photographs and reproductions of skulls made from a variety of materials and spanning over four centuries.


A memento mori by an unknown artist.


Discussing the exhibition, Hirst commented: “It’s been six years since my first show of Murderme works and I’m really excited about having another. Collecting has been important to me since the very beginning, I’ve always said it’s like making a map of someone’s life and this exhibition shows how I’ve evolved both as a collector and an artist. It’s great to be able to exhibit so many of my favourite artists together, and I think Freedom not Genius reveals a lot about me in a way you wouldn’t normally see. Gathering these works in one space, when they’re from such different times and places, is amazing and definitely says something about what’s remained important for mankind, artists and for me.”

Tags:Turin, Collections