Damien Hirst, Britain’s most famous living artist, has announced plans to open his own public gallery in which to exhibit and house his personal collection of art.
Hirst, who is seemingly unavoidable in the media at present, due to his forthcoming Tate retrospective, unveiled his plans for a public gallery to be located in South London. The project, which is being developed to display his personal art collection, will open in 2014, the artist has said.
Image Credits: © Damien Hirst/ Science Ltd, 2012 Photography Prudence Cuming Associates
The project has been years in the planning and is eagerly awaited. The space in Newport Street, Vauxhall, is "a place to show my collection of contemporary art", which reportedly includes more than 2,000 pieces. Hirst continues, “it feels bad having it all in crates. It's basically Bacon and beyond."
The gallery - designed by architects Caruso St John - will take up the whole of Newport Street, incorporating a conversion of a long terrace of three listed buildings, formerly used as theatre carpentry and scenery production workshops, flanked by two new buildings.
The space is being designed to include six galleries, a cafe/restaurant as well as office rooms for Hirst himself. The ground and upper floors of the listed buildings will be linked to allow the space to be used for both small and large exhibitions.
Hirst’s gallery follows in the freshly laid footsteps of White Cube, who recently opened their third space in Bermondsey, as well as Saatchi, of course, who opened the Saatchi Gallery in 1985 as a means to display his own collection to the public.
Hirst comments, "it's my Saatchi gallery, basically. Collecting is the way the world works, as a human being you go through life, you just collect… I always think collections are like a map of a man's life." Works on display are set to include some by Hirst as well as others including Banksy, Francis Bacon and US artist Jeff Koons.
Tate Modern's Hirst retrospective will run from 4 April to 9 September and one of Hirst's most famous pieces - the £50m diamond-encrusted skull entitled For the Love of God, will be on display in the Turbine Hall from 4 April to 24 June.
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