False alarm

Damien Hirst cleared of leaking dangerous formaldehyde gas
By Alex James Taylor | Art | 18 July 2016
Above:

Damien Hirst, ‘The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living’ (1991)

Top image: Damien Hirst, ‘The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living’ (1991)

This week, a study claiming that Damien Hirst’s iconic artworks featuring preserved dead animals were leaking high levels of formaldehyde gas during a show at London’s Tate Modern gallery has been proved ill-founded.

No stranger to controversy, Hirst rejected the claims at the time and cooperated in further tests to prove the findings incorrect.

“The cause of the discrepancy with the readings published in the paper was identified and it was agreed that there cannot have been formaldehyde present at the dangerously high levels originally cited,” a spokesperson for Science Ltd and Prof Righetti – one of the authors of the paper – explained, as reported by the BBC.

Tate Modern’s 2012 Damien Hirst retrospective was the most-visited solo show and the second-most visited exhibition in the gallery’s history, showcasing the YBA artist’s most renowned and controversial pieces including The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living, which features a tiger shark suspended in formaldehyde, or Mother and Child (Divided), showing two halves of a cow and calf, each bisected and preserved in formaldehyde.

Gallery: Damien Hirst’s most controversial artworks

GALLERY

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