PLACEText: Mike Sullivan

Yet at the same time these are just simple staircases – however I guess this being a Damien Hirst gallery there always needs to be something slightly unexpected. The inside of the gallery brings a real feeling of space, such as the upper galleries which benefit from really high ceilings.

NPSG stairwell_┬® Victor Mara Ltd_4
Newport Street Gallery © Victor Mara Ltd

One of the biggest indicators that this is Hirst’s gallery is the restaurant, which he designed. In Pharmacy 2 one can find his famous Medicine Cabinets and Butterfly Kaleidoscope paintings, so that you feel like you aren’t really in a restaurant but in one of his exhibitions. The restaurant is actually in collaboration with Mark Hix, who opened his first restaurant in 2008 and who has since made his presence on the food scene known by opening fantastic restaurant after restaurant, such as the Tramshed.

Newport Street Gallery, Restaurant © Victor Mara Ltd

The Tramshed features an artwork by Damien Hirst in the centre of the restaurant; a chick standing on a cow – which is quite fitting as that is exactly what is on the menu! Any visit to a Hix restaurant is something to look forward to, but to eat while surrounded by Damien Hirst’s work is certainly an experience I will have to try soon.

A rather commercial aspect of the gallery is the existence of a shop, but commercial considerations or not it is certainly making art more accessible to people who might not otherwise buy anything. You can find limited edition artwork by established and emerging artists, including work by the man himself – Damien Hirst.

The gallery itself exhibits work from Hirst’s collection which includes art by Francis Bacon, Banksy, Jeff Koons, Tracey Emin, Pablo Picasso, Richard Prince, Haim Steinbach and Gavin Turk. However, there is no permanent collection which is constantly on display, art is shown according to the exhibitions which are regularly held here, so you shouldn’t expect to visit this gallery just to see hirst’s own artwork – as his work can only be found in the restaurant.

Newport Street Gallery

Opening Hours: 10:00 – 18:00 (last admission 17:45)
Closed Monday
Address: Newport Street, London SE11 6AJ

Tel: +44 20 3141 9320

Text: Mike Sullivan

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