Damien Hirst: greatest hits in pictures

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.

3. Spot paintings

Damien Hirst, 'L-Lyxose', 2009 Damien Hirst, 'L-Lyxose', 2009 - © Damien Hirst & Science Ltd. All rights reserved, DACS 2012, courtesy Gagosian Gallery. Photo: Prudence Cuming Associates

Since first painting coloured dots directly on to the warehouse walls at the legendary exhibition ‘Freeze’, which Hirst organised in 1988, the artist has continued to churn out spot paintings (executed by assistants) in all shapes and sizes. Easy on the eye but not on pocket, Hirst’s spots are the perfect works for any corporate collection. In a bid for global spot exposure, in February this year Hirst showed 300 spot paintings across all 11 Gagosian Galleries around the world. His bid for universal spot exposure was not quite so successful. A spot painting specially created to be carried on ‘Beagle 2’, the European Space Agency’s 2003 Mars Express Mission, was lost in space when the craft failed to return.

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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