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Jeff Koons’ « Now » exhibition at Damien Hirst Newport Street Gallery



Tuesday 13th September


11:30 am to 12:30 pm, guided tour followed by lunch at the Pharmacy restaurant (optional)

at Newport Street Gallery, Vauxhall.

Price Member (please login) Free
Price Non-Member £30.00




13th September 2016

11:30 am to 12:30 pm

12:30 pm lunch at Pharmacy (optional)



Newport Street Gallery, Newport St, London SE11 6AJ



Michael Archer is a critic and writer on modern and contemporary art. His work has appeared in many journals, including Artforum, Art Monthly, Frieze and Parkett, and in numerous catalogues. He is the author of Art Since 1960 (Thames & Hudson 1997/2002, new edition forthcoming), and has contributed the later chapters on modern and contemporary art to Hugh Honour and John Fleming’s A World History of Art (Laurence King 2009).

In addition to a study of Jeff Koons’ One Ball Total Equilibrium Tank in the Afterall One Work series (2011), he has recently written on Miroslaw Balka, Dexter Dalwood, Helen Marten, Keith Tyson, Liam Gillick, Eva Rothschild, Cerith Wyn Evans, and the Politics of Minimalism.


Academic qualifications

  • 1982 MA Aesthetic Education, University of Manchester
  • 1976 BA History of Art, University of Cambridge


Michael teaches courses in critical studies and art and design history and theory. Before arriving at Goldsmiths, where he was the programme leader for the MA in Fine Art in 2009, he served as the head of the University of Oxford’s Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art (2005-2009). He was a tutor in Fine Art at the Ruskin School from 2000-2005.

He has been a lecturer at Chelsea College of Art and Design, Wimbeldon School of Art, Slade School of Fine Art, Epsom School of Art & Design, and Havering Technical College, as well as a Visiting Research Fellow at Chelsea College of Art and Design.


Area of supervision

Michael has supervised PhD and MPhil students at Royal College of Art, Wimbledon School of Art, Oxford University and Goldsmiths College, and administered PhD examination at Oxford University, Goldsmiths College, and Brighton University.


Professional projects

Michael has been a freelance critic since 1979. He served as the editor of Artscribe International from 1989-1991 and as the assistant editor for Art Monthly from 1987-1989. He has been a regular contributor to Artforum for over twenty years.

He curated exhibitions for the Hayward Gallery in 2006 (‘How to Improve the World: Sixty Years of British Art’) and 1997 (‘Material Culture: the Object in British Art of the 80s and 90s’), as well as for Houldsworth Fine Art in 2002 (‘Reverberator’) and the South Bank Touring exhibition (‘Voice Over: Sound and Vision in Current Art’) in 1998.

He has been a member of the Art Purchasing Committee of the Arts Council of England (2002-2005) and of the Art Panel of the Arts Council of Great Britain (1987-1989). He was a trustee of the Showroom Gallery in London from 1995-1998 and a jury member for the 2002 Turner Prize.



Hardcore porn, balloon animals, choo-choo trains, seaside tat and mountains of play-doh. It can only be a Jeff Koons retrospective.


He’s one of the most talked-about artists in the word, so it’s pretty incredible that there’s never been a major Koons show in London before. His name is synonymous with American Post-Pop; his work digests the trash of contemporary culture and spits it back out in lurid pantomime. Koons is a millionaire, many many times over. His works sell for astronomical, record-breaking sums.


It is fitting, then, that his first big exhibition in the capital should come courtesy of Damien Hirst, his younger British descendent, at the latter’s Newport Street Gallery. The artists share a lot of common ground, not least the hatred levelled at them by many a-critic. (“the world’s most overpraised child, a disgrace to his generation” / “lobotomy by art…the triumph of stupidity » apiece).



Newport Street Gallery is the realisation of Hirst’s long-term ambition to share his art collection with the public. Designed by architects Caruso St John, the gallery spans 37,000 square feet and includes six exhibition spaces – one with a ceiling height of eleven metres – split over two levels.


The Murderme collection, which Hirst has been acquiring since the late 1980s, contains over 3,000 works. Featured artists include Francis Bacon, Banksy, Tracey Emin, Richard Hamilton, Jeff Koons, Sarah Lucas, Pablo Picasso, Richard Prince, Haim Steinbach and Gavin Turk, as well as a number of young and emerging artists and a significant collection of indigenous artists from the Pacific Northwest Coast. Also featured are natural history specimens, taxidermy, anatomical models and historical artefacts. The collection has previously been the subject of large-scale exhibitions at the Serpentine Gallery, London (2006) and the Pinacoteca Agnelli, Turin (2013).


The construction of Newport Street Gallery involved the conversion of three listed buildings, which were purpose-built in 1913 to serve as scenery painting studios for the booming Victorian theatre industry in London’s West End. With the addition of two new buildings, the gallery now spans half the length of the street.