DAMIEN HIRST b.1965 "CANT SEE THE WOOD FOR THE TREES" signed Damien Hirst lower left recto. pencil on paper 75 by 109.9 cm. 29 1⁄2 by 43 1⁄4 in. Executed in 1996. PROVENANCE: Gift from the artist to the present owner. Private sales Sothebys. Darbyshire framed. SCIENCE work ref number 1659 (HIAC).
In 2008 Hirst auctioned his own works direcly at Sothebys in the sale exhibition called "Beautiful Inside My Head Forever" - among those works a few of the other large scale drawings (same size) from The Corpus Drawings exhibited alongside this at Gagosian. Selling prices 150.000 - 200.000 GBP. One of the reasons that Hirst´s large drawings are so expensive is for the simple reason that demand is hign but supply is very low. Add to this that drawings unlike many other works are from the hand of the artist and not assistants.
From "The Artwolf"
"Hirst plays out his ideas through image as well as text with the urgency and immediacy of a child whose irrepressible, exhaustive imagination is engaged in a constant, passionate pursuit to describe, demarcate, question, invent, discover and even divine. In Can't See the Wood for the Trees (1996), he gives poetic insight into the conceptual basis of his drawings, chronicling their importance in the developmental process of his work, "constructing spaces, drawings for sculptures, ideas become reality, making spaces, ideas made real, in search of reality, looking for Mr. Goodsex, nothing is a problem for me, he tried to internalize everything, from head to paper."
The conceptual importance of drawing for Hirst is revealed in works such as ‘The Acquired Inability to Escape’ (1992), in which a tiny ink sketch of the vitrine, floats amidst a large expanse of white paper. That this drawing post dates the sculpture it depicts (‘The Acquired Inability to Escape’ (1991)) reveals Hirst draws not only to plan works, but as part of his preoccupation to explore the themes of life, death and human experience. He also draws compulsively purely for the sake of drawing, frequently making rapid sketches as gifts or as portraits of friends. In 2002, for example, he made a rough pencil triptych of Michael Wojas, the owner of The Colony Room (a Soho bar frequented by Hirst in the 90’s), asleep on a train. In sketched plans for a cow dissected into quarters titled, ‘Can’t See the Wood for the Trees’ (1996), Hirst’s annotations point to the central role of the medium to his creative output and also as a means of constructing possible titles for works: “constructing spaces, drawings for sculptures, ideas become reality, making spaces, ideas made real, in search of reality, looking for Mr. Goodsex, nothing is problem for me, he tried to internalise everything, followed from a note, from head to paper.”
Corpus: Drawings 1981 – 2006
14 September 2006 – 28 October 2006
Solo Exhibition. Gagosian Gallery, Madison Avenue,
The work is shown on www.damienhirst.com
Damien Hirst "Corpus: Drawings 1981 – 2006". Full page.
Therese Möllenhoff: "Damien Hirst i Astrup Fearnley samlingen" 2015