Newport Street Gallery is currently showing a solo exhibition of early works by renowned British artist Damien Hirst. The exhibition features Hirst’s early pieces including the famous shark in formaldehyde and the 20ft bronze sculpture, Hymn. Inspired by an anatomical model belonging to his son. The 1999 piece has become one of his most recognisable works. This is a first for Newport Street Gallery, more commonly known to hold exhibitions and works from Hirst’s private collection.
End of a Century deals with the 80s and 90s leading up to 2000, the early period when he was a student and burst onto the scene as one of the Young British Artists, winning a Turner prize, tearing up the rule book while horrifying traditionalists. Hirst first came to public attention in London in 1988 when he conceived and curated the group exhibition ‘Freeze’ during his second year at Goldsmiths, which launched a new wave of British artists who would go on to reinvent contemporary art.
Rarely exhibited together, the works include some of Hirst’s most iconic series, including Natural History, Spot Paintings, Spin Paintings and Medicine Cabinets. Up, Up And Away from 1997 shows three ducks suspended in formaldehyde, while Waster from the same year is a vitrine filled with medical waste.
Entry to the exhibition is free but advance booking is required.
Vauxhall is home to many galleries making it the perfect spot to take in some of the most underground and exceptional exhibitions happening in London. Gasworks and Beaconsfield, both in walking distance of Newport Street, are currently running exhibitions from South American and European artists. It’s a must-do Sunday afternoon of culture in South London.