What the critics are saying about Damien Hirst

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'Malaise is a word one wants to use a lot around Hirst . . . I stand in awe of Hirst the impresario: for all its resonance, he must be well aware of what a visual downer most of his work is' - Richard Dorment, Daily Telegraph.

'Hirst calls his dead sheep Away From the Flock and that, in the context, looks like something of an admission. The work is really another kind of self-portrait . . . a small bleat of discontent' - Andrew Graham-Dixon, the Independent.

'It's as though he wishes to make operatic gestures within the art gallery as a substitute for art itself. I grant that he's a successful publicist. When have so many column inches been filled with so little?'

Tim Hilton, Independent

on Sunday.

'It is a sheep from a dream. It hovers in the white framed tank, a miracle of suspended animation. Its cleansed wool is a luminous cumulus cloud, good enough to wear. What Hirst seems to be saying is that because death is a fact of life, all art can do is offer small mercies. Through the agency of art, a beautiful shard has been saved' - James Hall, the


'One of his projected works, which he admits he will probably never be able to make, would consist of the bodies of a man and a woman coupling, but sawn vertically through the middle, 'so you could walk through the halves' ' - Martyn Harris, Daily


'He has worked with a cow and a calf. Each is cut in half and pickled in a pair of perspex tanks. But these carcasses haven't quite got their act together, and don't really come off. The eyes of the cow and calf are closed, so they look exactly what they are - lumps of dead meat' - James Hall, the


'I know it sounds corny, but you feel you are in the presence of a real artist. He's in touch with his time' - Larry Gagosian, a New York art dealer (quoted in Daily Telegraph by Jon Stock).