Damien Hirst found fame in the nineties as leader/curator of the British art movement (or loose grouping) the YBAs (Young British Artists). Well, now he’s injected that entrepreneurial spirit into his own gallery. His Newport Street Gallery opened mid-October on, yes, Newport Street, Vauxhall after three years of development and with much media fanfare.
It is very much an artist’s vision of the kind of space sought out by fellow artists to bring out the best in their work. The five buildings comprising the exhibition space were once his studios but now Hirst will be curating work from his considerable 3,000-piece collection.
The exhibition will kick off with paintings by John Hyland, produced from 1964 to 1982.
Each floor covers a different decade in his creative evolution, ranging from Rothkoesque geometric paintings developed as an abstract expressionist to jarringly original colourist work with layered gestures of dripping paint. All of these large-scale pieces lean towards the broader appeal of abstraction without distraction. An interesting choice for the launch.
Next year, there are plans for an adjoining restaurant called Pharmacy 2, named after his restaurant and bar in Notting Hill Gate called The Pharmacy.