Damien Hirst - Pharmacy London - 2021
In 2005 Damien Hirst began photographing every dispensing pharmacy in the Greater London area. Shooting both the individual pharmacists behind their counters and the exterior views of the city’s 1,856 chemists, the project took over a decade to complete. The images are brought together in their entirety in this extraordinary ten-volume artist’s book, which presents a portrait of the city through the people and places that prescribe the medicines we take on a habitual and daily basis.
Hirst’s career-long obsession with the minimalist aesthetics employed by pharmaceutical companies—the cool colors and simple geometric forms—first manifested in his series of Medicine Cabinets, conceived in 1988 while still at Goldsmiths College. For his 1992 installation Pharmacy Hirst recreated an entire chemist within the gallery space, stating: “I’ve always seen medicine cabinets as bodies, but also like a cityscape or civilization, with some sort of hierarchy within it. [Pharmacy] is also like a contemporary museum. In a hundred years it will look like an old apothecary.” Pharmacy London similarly embodies the artist’s realization of an “idea of a moment in time.” The publication also, however, reads as a distilled expression of Hirst’s continuing belief in the near-religious role medicine plays in our society.
Medium: Ten screen-printed clothbound hardcovers in individual cardboard sleeves, all housed in a wooden crate.
3800 pages. 3565 Images.
Limited edition of 750
Signed and numbered by the artist
Price: € 1,500
This Damien Hirst Collector's Edition is available at Steidl
Vol. 1: Barking & Dagenham, Barnet, Bexley. 340 pages
Vol. 2: Brent, Bromley, Camden. 416 pages
Vol. 3: City of London, Croydon, Ealing. 324 pages
Vol. 4: Enfield, Greenwich, Hackney, Hammersmith & Fulham. 420 pages
Vol. 5: Haringey, Harrow, Havering. 344 pages
Vol. 6: Hillingdon, Hounslow, Islington, Kensington & Chelsea. 420 pages
Vol. 7: Kingston upon Thames, Lambeth, Lewisham, Merton. 380 pages
Vol. 8: Newham, Redbridge, Richmond upon Thames. 340 pages
Vol. 9: Southwark, Sutton, Tower Hamlets. 436 pages
Vol. 10: Wandsworth, Westminster. 380 pages