Page last updated at 15:29 GMT, Thursday, 19 June 2008 16:29 UK

New Hirst works to be auctioned

Damien Hirst. Photo: Prudence Cumming
Hirst dominated the British art scene during the 1990s

A series of new works by artist Damien Hirst - including a trademark animal preserved in formaldehyde - are to be auctioned in London.

Sotheby's in London will host the auction, titled Beautiful Inside My Head Forever, in September.

The main lot, The Golden Calf - a preserved bull crowned by a solid gold disc - is estimated to fetch 8-12m.

Hirst, 43, said he chose to sell the work at auction rather than a gallery because "the world's changing".

The sale follows a 2004 auction of objects Hirst designed for the defunct Pharmacy restaurant in London, which raised 11.1m.

'Risky route'

Hirst said: "After the success of the Pharmacy auction, I always felt I would like to do another auction. It's a very democratic way to sell art and it feels like a natural evolution for contemporary art.

"Although there is risk involved, I embrace the challenge of selling my work in this way. I never want to stop working with my galleries. This is different. The world's changing, ultimately I need to see where this road leads."

Beautiful Inside My Head Forever will incorporate a range of works by Hirst, including paintings, cabinets and preparatory drawings.

It coincides with the 20th anniversary of the Freeze exhibition in London, which launched the careers of curator Hirst and some of his fellow Young British Artists.

Cheyenne Westphal, chairman of contemporary art at Sotheby's Europe, said: "Damien Hirst is the leading artist of his generation.

"The extraordinary body of new work to be showcased at Sotheby's is among his best yet - ambitious, exquisite and incredibly powerful."

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