This installation was subsequently acquired by the Yale Center for British Art. To mark its thirtieth anniversary, In and Out of Love (Butterfly Paintings and Ashtrays) is presented here alongside works of historic, modern, and contemporary art that address the core themes of Hirst’s work: love and death; beauty, desire, and suffering; permanence and fragility; the symbolic and the real; the relationships between people, places, and things; and the boundary between art and life.
The exhibition space for In and Out of Love was provided by Tamara Chodzko (now Dial), an American gallerist, who had recently taken on vacant premises on Woodstock Street. The nascent Woodstock Street Gallery, previously a travel agency, was located in the heart of Mayfair, an area known for its exclusive luxury boutiques. The gallery was short-lived—In and Out of Love was the only show mounted there before it closed down. For Hirst, however, the exhibition was a critical and commercial success. Butterfly Paintings and Ashtrays sold immediately to a private dealer and quickly passed through further hands before it was acquired by the Center in 1997 and displayed later that same year.