Damien Hirst’s Bodies and Antipyrylazo III go on sale


Looking for a piece of iconic artwork? You’ll find the perfect remedy in Phillips’s upcoming London auctions: The Robert Tibbles Collection: Young British Artists & More.


If you've ever wanted to pick up seminal works by Damien Hirst, Gilbert & George, Gary Hume, Michael Craig-Martin, Sarah Morris, and Julian Opie, now's your chance. Many were acquired directly from the artists or galleries the same year of their creation, too!


Robert Tibbles’ collecting journey began at the start of an exciting movement for contemporary British art. Built on rebellion and audacity, a principle author of this was Damien Hirst, whose degree show in 1989 marked the beginnings of his ‘Medicine’ series.



Damien Hirst Bodies 1989

Damien Hirst, Bodies, 1989


Named after the 12 tracks from the Sex Pistols’ UK debut album, the show featured the first four from a suite of 12 cabinets, created using empty medication packages. Robert Tibbles acquired Bodies in 1989 from Karsten Schubert, for just £600, marking him as the first collector of Hirst’s work. In the three decades since it was purchased, Bodies has only been shown three times, at the Museo Archeologico Nazionale, Naples; L&M Arts, New York; and finally, in 2012 at Tate Modern, London. It will go on sale with a guide price of £1,200,000-1,800,000.


Cheyenne Westphal, Global Chairwoman, said: “Robert is one of the most visionary and forward-thinking collectors of his generation. He was the first person to buy Damien Hirst alongside Charles Saatchi, and collected on the grounds that you buy a work of art because you respond to it, and because you love it. Robert saw something that others did not, and the result is an unrivalled collection that captures a defining moment in the history of contemporary British art.”


Robert Tibbles added: “The collection has filled my head and my heart. I have been incredibly lucky to have been shown fantastic stuff whilst in a position to buy it, and to put this collection together. It is great the idea that these works will go on to new owners, and I hope they are able to enjoy them just as much as I have.”


The Robert Tibbles Collection: Young British Artists & More comprises six works by Hirst. Antipyrylazo III, 1994 (estimate: £900,000-1,200,000), is an early example of his ‘Spot Paintings’, and has been hanging above the collector’s fireplace since he purchased the work from Jay Jopling the same year of its creation.



Damien Hirst Antipyrylazo Iii 1994

Damien Hirst, Antipyrylazo III, 1994 


Beautiful tropical, jungle painting (with pink snot), 1997 (estimate: £270,000-350,000) is a leading example of Hirst’s ‘Spin Paintings’. Capturing Hirst’s preoccupation with life and death, Summer Breeze, 2002 (estimate: £250,000-350,000), depicts a clear blue sky scattered with butterfly wings glued to the canvas, whereas Aids/The Martyrdom of Saint Matthew/Hatred, 2003 (estimate: £80,000-120,000) engulfs the viewer in darkness, with thousands of flies trapped behind glass.


The 30 works in The Robert Tibbles Collection are expected to realise a total in the region of £4 million. The first works will be auctioned as part of the 20th Century & Contemporary Art sales on 13 and 14 February.