Hirst’s Newport Street Gallery opens to mixed reception from critics

The Newport Street Gallery in Vauxhall has opened its doors to critics, with a show by the abstract painter John Hoyland (1934-2001), Power Stations Paintings 1964 -1982.

The Art Newspaper’s Louisa Buck described the works as “gloriously vivid”, and that the “lofty, beautifully proportioned top lit galleries… provide a grand and generous setting for this long overdue re-assessment”.  

In The Telegraph Mark Hudson dismisses the building itself, calling it “unremarkable: a tasteful warehouse conversion that looks just like any other white-walled gallery”, but calls the show a “knock-out” and ‘finely-judged”.

Jonathan Jones of the Guardian calls the venture “a perverse and pointless attempt to impose [Hirst’s] lack of insight on the public”, and that Hoyland was nothing more than “a poor imitator of much better American artists”. Jones does praise the exhibition space, however, calling it “generous” and “exciting.”

The 37,000 foot space is the brainchild of YBA Damien Hirst, who envisioned the space as a way to share his own substantial “Murderme” art collection with the public. The former scenery warehouse has been redesigned by the architects Caruso St John – whose other projects include the recent overhaul of Tate Britain – to create six gallery spaces over two floors.

The public will have to wait a little longer before they make their own assessment of the newest addition to the South London art scene. The gallery opens its doors to the public on October 8th.

‘John Hoyland – Power Stations Paintings 1964-1982’, Oct 8-April 3 2016, newportstreetgallery.com. Admission is free. 

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