A highlight of the exhibition will be two large-scale outdoor sculptures. A 12-foot-high sculpture The Monk will be exhibited in the centre of the frozen Lake St. Moritz, and Two Figures with a Drum installed on the north-eastern edge of the lake.
Titled Mental Escapology and organised with the assistance of the city of St Moritz, the exhibition, held between 23 January to 28 February 2021, will be presented in multiple venues, including two historical buildings: the neo-classical Forum Paracelsus in St Moritz Bad and the Protestant Church in the centre of St Moritz.
A highlight of the exhibition will be two large-scale outdoor sculptures. Hirst's 12-foot-high sculpture The Monk will be exhibited in the centre of the frozen Lake St Moritz, with Two Figures with a Drum installed on the north-eastern edge of the lake.
The installation of The Monk represents the first time an artwork has been exhibited on the lake itself. Additionally, Mental Escapology will be Hirst's first public exhibition in Switzerland.
The exhibition will also feature works from some of Hirst's most well-known series, including Natural History, Spot Paintings, Butterfly Colour Paintings and Mental Escapology, after which the exhibition is named.
The exhibition, spread across indoor and outdoor sites, will engage with both the region's spectacular landscape and the city's most important civic spaces in which to show art, creating a dialogue between nature, the man-made, the contemporary and the historic.
Mental Escapology will also feature previously unseen paintings, including works from the Spot (Pharmaceutical) Paintings series Tests, Reagents, Diagnostics and Random Samples, which dates from 1998.
Unlike Hirst's best-known Pharmaceutical paintings, these works consist of unique, irregularly-sized and coloured spots that rarely follow any uniform grid structure.
Born in 1965 in Bristol, UK, Damien Hirst is one of the most well-known members of the Young British Artists. That reputation generated sales and made him one of the richest living artists in the UK.
In 2012, Tate Modern, London presented a major retrospective survey of Hirst’s work in conjunction with the 2012 Cultural Olympiad. In 2017, he presented his most complex project to date, ‘Treasures from the Wreck of the Unbelievable’, across two spaces in Venice.
Mental Escapology has been curated by Jason Beard and produced by Oscar Humphries and Marco Voena. We are grateful to the city of St Moritz for their assistance in staging this exhibition.