“Damien Hirst and Georg Baselitz have withdrawn from a planned exhibition, provisionally titled “Strange Friends”, at the Albertina museum in Vienna. The original concept, developed by director Klaus Albrecht Schröder, was to present a show of works by artists who collect each other. Instead, the Albertina will present works by the two artists in a new installation within the permanent collection, each displayed in separate, physically unrelated rooms.
“Schröder developed the original concept for “Strange Friends” last year, when Baselitz asked whether he would be interested in displaying Hirst’s installation Contemplating a Self-portrait as a Pharmacist, 1996, which he was in the process of acquiring.
“Baselitz has long collected contemporary art, but he sold most of the pieces when he moved in 2006 from his castle at Derneburg to smaller properties in Munich and the Italian resort of Imperia. Hirst remains one of his favourite artists, so Baselitz kept some of the works. However, Contemplating a Self-portrait as a Pharmacist is more than three metres long and two metres high, so it would be difficult to install in any of his homes…”