Damien Hirst exhibits giant monk sculpture on a frozen lake in Switzerland


No longer content to show his works within the limited space and restraints of a museum, the enfant terrible of the Young British Artists scene, Damien Hirst has chosen to install one of his monumental sculptures in the middle of Lake St Moritz, which is frozen in the middle of winter.

The gigantic installation celebrates the opening of his first exhibition in Switzerland. Weather conditions had to be optimal before a helicopter was deployed to drop The Monk onto the ice covering the Swiss lake. A delicate operation given the colossal size of this 3.5m high bronze statue representing a monk in full meditation.

Art lovers familiar with the work of Damien Hirst will surely recognise The Monk from his exhibition The Treasures Of The Wreck Of The Unbelievable, which was held in 2017 at the Punta della Dogana in Venice.

The British artist also dug through his archives to give his Swiss fans the chance to discover the sculpture Two Figures With A Drum, which was installed on the northeastern shore of Lake St Moritz. The two statues are being brought together in the Alpine town for the occasion of the Mental Escapology, exhibition (Hirst's first in Switzerland).

It includes more than 40 pieces from iconic series such as Spot Paintings and Butterfly Colour Paintings. Among them are Stripper, a cabinet in which surgical instruments are meticulously arranged in a stainless steel display case, as well as new installations from the Mental Escapology series.

Another special feature of this exhibition is that Hirst's creations are presented to the public at various indoor and outdoor locations in St Moritz. Most of them will be grouped in the Forum Paracelsus, a building located on the site of a thermal bath dating back to 1400 BC. The church of St Moritz will host a selection of paintings from the Kaleidoscope and Butterfly Paintings series.

The Mental Escapology exhibition, organised by Jason Beard, is set to take place Jan 23 to Feb 28 in the Swiss town of St Moritz. - AFP

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