Best Acquisition

Damien Hirst's "The Last Supper"

Even if the Kemper Museum's first acquisition of work by British bad-boy artist Damien Hirst isn't one of his more notorious pieces (like the sliced-up cow or the dead whale suspended in liquid), it's still laudable. The Last Supper series consists of 13 60-inch-by-40-inch prints. It takes multiple viewings to absorb them fully, and even then Hirst's agenda is predictably subversive. Based on the packaging of pharmaceuticals such as ethanbutol hydrochloride (familiar to people who have been diagnosed HIV-positive), the images substitute the medical terminology with words like "Omelette" and "Steak and Kidney." What Hirst is saying about sustenance is debatable, but he says it with punch and personality.

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