The Newport Street Gallery‘s name might be a bit confusing. Nothing is for sale (outside of the gift shop.) It’s Damien Hirst‘s private London museum opened to showcase some of his 3,000-piece collection, nicknamed “Murderme”.
With the latest exhibition True Colours: Helen Beard/ Sadie Laska/ Boo Saville, the artist added another 21 works to his holdings as he commissioned three emerging artists to make new paintings for the occasion.
Working from found images Helen Beard uses a rainbow palette to create interlocking arrangements of bright primary colors which illustrate sexual encounters. New York-based artist Sadie Laska creates compositions using paint and collage incorporating recycled waste materials and found objects and Boo Saville’s colour field paintings are shown in the exhibition with her older figurative works.
Hirst invited both Saville and Beard to create larger works in his studios in England. Saville told The Art Newspaper,
“I’ve wanted to work bigger for ages but there are challenges with working at that scale. Lots of those challenges are practical ones and you need a certain level of infrastructure to make it possibl. Damien has been an amazingly kind mentor.”
The three artists are united by their use of color, from Saville’s color field canvases to Laska’s collages featuring found objects and Beard’s rainbow-colored canvases depicting sexual encounters from pornography.
Beard said in an interview for the exhibition catalogue,
“Sex in the media is full of shame right now, and it’s pretty much always from the perspective of the male gaze. So, we’re concentrating on men like Weinstein and their warped ideas about sex, the way it’s used, the power that men like that have had over women, and it ends up taking away from the beautiful thing that sex can be. I would like to celebrate sex from my point of view. There’s no shame in that, a woman who is centering her work on that.”
True Colours runs through September 9, 2018 at the Newport Street Gallery, Newport Street, London, SE11 8AJ.
(Photos, Prudence Cuming Associates, courtesy Newport Street Gallery; via Artnet News)