Damien Hirst’s Newport Street Gallery will open its inaugural exhibition with paintings by John Hoyland, who was – ironically – the British artist who objected to the Royal Academy’s 1997 Sensation exhibition of works by Young British Artists. The new show John Hoyland: Power Stations is due to open on 8 October (until 3 April 2016) and will include paintings from 1964 to 1982.
This survey of the artist’s career will be installed across all six galleries in the Newport Street space, it is the first major exhibition of Hoyland’s work since 2006; the artist, who was elected a Royal Academician in 1991, died in 2011.
Hirst described Hoyland as “easily the greatest British abstract painter” In an interview between Hirst and Hoyland in RA Magazine in 2009. At that time of the interview, Hirst had taken up painting with an ever-increasing desire to emulate his favourite British painter Francis Bacin, after decades of referencing the artist’s visceral horrors via the conceptuality of his vitrines.
Hirst’s Newport Street Gallery, was designed by the British architects Caruso St John.The 37,000 sq. ft gallery in Vauxhall, south London, has been under construction for three years, with the project cost of £25 million entirely funded by Hirst himself. The former enfant terrible of British art will curate group and solo exhibitions in the space drawn from the artist’s extensive Murderme Collection, which he started to build in the late 1980s.
Hirst’s 3,000-strong collection of art includes works by Francis Bacon, Banksy, Tracey Emin, Richard Hamilton, Jeff Koons, Picasso and Richard Prince, as well as indigenous artists from the Pacific Northwest Coast. Hirst’s collection also includes taxidermy, anatomical models as well as ancient artefacts. Entry to Newport Street Gallery will be free.