New London Space To House Bacon Koons Banksy and YBA Collection
Damien Hirst has expressed his intention to open a public art gallery, in South London to display his vast collection of Modern and Contemporary art. “It’s my Saatchi gallery, basically,” Hirst told the Observer, describing the development project in Lambeth that will soon display the highlights of his personal collection of more than 2,000 artworks. “It’s about as big as the Whitechapel, six galleries, a café and a shop – and it’s a place to show my collection of contemporary art. It feels bad having it all in crates. It’s basically Bacon and beyond,” said the artist. He also remarked that five paintings by the late Francis Bacon would also comprise part of the display. “He didn’t make many and he’s not making any more”; the artist added.
Hirsts collection includes works by Banksy, Jeff Koons and others like fellow Goldsmiths graduate Sarah Lucas, Gary Hume,Matt Collishaw and Michael Landy. He also has work by Tracey Emin, Jake and Dinos Chapman, Marc Quinn and Jenny Saville. Many of the works were traded with the other artists, for his own.
Damien Hirst was born in Bristol in 1965. He studied Fine Art at Goldsmiths, University of London from 1986 to 1989 and is considered by many to be the leading figure of the group known as “Young British Artists”. The YBAs are characterized by their entrepreneurial spirit, independence and their ability to manipulate the media. Hirst dominated the art scene in Britain during the 1990s. His early career was closely linked with the collector Charles Saatchi, however over the last few years Hirst has distanced himself from this association. Hirst’s work explores the uncertainty at the core of human experience; love, life, death, loyalty and betrayal. His work has been exhibited widely,in Britain, the USA, Australia, and Europe. Work is included in many public and private collections.He was awarded the Turner Prize in 1995.
This new state of the art gallery will be designed by architect Caruso St John who created the New Art Gallery Walsall. Plans are to build the public space by gutting a long terrace of listed buildings, formerly used as production workshops for a theatre. The ground and other floors will be knocked through to create large and small exhibition spaces. It will also include a restaurant and offices for the artist. Hirst is not a new comer to the restaurant trade, having bankrolled the cult eatery, “Pharmacy” in Notting Hill Gate in the 1990’s. The restaurant boasted a number of classic displays of the artists work including vitrines stuffed with pills and a large DNA sculpture ,which greeted the cliental.