Damien Hirst: greatest hits in pictures

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View the artist's works that rocked and shocked the world

Damien Hirst's work may divide critical opinion but there's no denying that his art creates impact. Everyone has heard of his shark, spots and diamond skull. Now he has a major retrospective at Tate Modern. Helen Sumpter charts the works that rocked and shocked the world.

2. ‘A Thousand Years’, 1990

'A Thousand Years', 1990, by Damien Hirst 'A Thousand Years', 1990, by Damien Hirst - © Damien Hirst and Science Ltd. All rights reserved. DACS 2011. Photographed by Prudence Cuming Associates

If Hirst’s shark allowed viewers to stare death in the face but ‘A Thousand Years’ confronted gallerygoers with an entire life cycle, from flies laying eggs in a severed cow’s head to maggots and then more flies to begin the cycle again – except for the ones zapped by the insect-o-cutor. It provoked disgust and outrage in the press but this 3D homage to Hirst’s hero Francis Bacon is arguably Hirst’s most respected work and was even admired by Bacon himself, who saw the piece just months before he died in 1992.


Find your favourite Hirst hit

‘The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living’, 1991 ‘A Thousand Years’, 1990 Spot paintings Spin paintings ‘Lullaby, the Seasons Spring’ 2002 Butterflies Pharmacy ‘For the Love of God’, 2007

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