Bristol Museum and Art Gallery has received a selection of contemporary works by Damien Hirst, Barbara Hepworth & Ai Weiwei

A private collector has generously loaned Bristol Museum & Art Gallery a painting by one of the world’s most infamous contemporary artists, Damien Hirst, which will be displayed alongside other contemporary works. Beautiful Hours Spin Painting IX (pictured) went on display on Tuesday 6 December in the museum’s Modern and Contemporary art gallery.

Bristol-born Hirst first found fame when he captured the attention of Charles Saatchi in 1988. 2017 marks the 20th anniversary of the Sensation exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts that made Hirst – and his fellow Young British Artists including Tracy Emin and Sarah Lucas – household names.

In the same gallery, visitors can see Winged Figure I by Dame Barbara Hepworth, a sculptor credited as the most influential of the mid-20th century. The sculpture is a dramatic construction of bronze and isopon (the substance used to fill dents in car panels), and forms the prototype of the futuristic aluminium form that the artist designed for the exterior of the John Lewis store on Oxford Street in London.

Bristol Museum

Ai Weiwei’s Ton of Tea

Also on display in the Modern and Contemporary art gallery is Ai Weiwei’s monumental metre cube of compressed ‘pur eh’ tea. Ton of Tea fills the gallery with a subtle aromatic scent.

“It’s brilliant to be able to bring these very diverse works together in the gallery where we tell the story of art in the 20th and 21st centuries,” says Julia Carver, Modern and Contemporary art curator. “I hope they will inspire people to visit the museum and take some time to enjoy our beautifully refurbished art galleries.”