Artist: Damien Hirst (English, b.1965).
Title: "Pharmacy Panel (Gold) (1997) (4 panel)".
Medium: Color silkscreen and offset lithograph.
Date: Composed 1997.
Dimensions: Overall size: 36 x 42 1/2 in. (914 x 1079 mm). Image size: 36 x 42 1/2 in. (914 x 1079 mm).
Lot Note(s): Signed lower right. Printed with five colors and metallic gold ink. The full sheet. Fine impression. Fine condition. Backed with a conservation support sheet. Provenance: Private collection, Birmingham, England. Comment(s): A panel of wallpaper (the complete pattern). In 1997, for his restaurant called 'The Pharmacy' located at Notting Hill Gate, London, Hirst designed wallpaper (the "wall chart") based on the pharmaceutical giant Merck’s handbook endpapers, showing pills and products and describing them with their pharmaceutical titles. Merck objected and he withdrew it as an artwork of wallpaper, after he had already plastered the restaurant with silver and gold sheets of the material. Hirst's venture gained further publicity thanks to a dispute with the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain, which claimed the name, pill bottles, and medical items on display could confuse people looking for a real pharmacy. The name itself breached the Medicines Act 1968, which restricts the use of the word "pharmacy". The restaurant's name was subsequently changed to "Army Chap" and then "Achy Ramp" (anagrams of "pharmacy"). Initial plans to open further restaurants outside London were quietly dropped and the restaurant itself closed in September, 2003. Sotheby's dispersed its contents in 2004. There was a small overrun of the 1997 rolls, from which our example is a part. For the massive Pharmacy sale at Sotheby’s in 2004, though, new wallpaper was designed and made that didn’t offend copyright laws, using biblical titles and references to biblical passages. The 1997 wallpaper is much scarcer and more valuable than the 2004 version. Image copyright © Damien Hirst. [27848-6-1600]