This is a bold show, something demonstrating huge maturity and focus - and not just from the new proprietor Damien Hirst but from John Hoyland too. His star has wained over the last few decades but as this exhibition does much to remind us, he had solo shows in the Serpentine in '79 and significant exposure at the Whitechapel back in mid 1960s.
A Yorkshireman, like Hirst himself, Hoyland's initial art education was very tradition. Even upon accepting a place at the Royal Academy in the mid 1950s, it was the art he was exposed to around it, in London and the wider world, that was to make more of an impression on him and steer his own practise. Abstract Expressionism and works from America opened him up to a new way of working and the paintings here, dating from 1964 to 1982, echo many forms and themes familiar with any large collection.
Fantastic bold reds and contrasting greens, very definite colour blocking and formal shapes as well as more gestural drippings and stains - the hard edges and blurred forms carry on over thirty paintings; satisfyingly large and a wonderful first curation for the six new galleries.
I used to cycle past these buildings on my commute and to see how the spaces have been transformed is very rewarding. Gallery 2 in particular has the added benefit of an exaggerated ceiling, the full height of the building and a balcony view down to it between Galleries 4 and 5 will make for some great perspective in future shows. For this public reevaluation of Hoyland to occur in Frieze Week will do much to bolster his value and I think Hirst's new gallery will be met with more praise.
Beaconsfield down the road has got a facelift and the in-house sequel restaurant Pharmacy 2 is set to open some time early next year. With Gasworks having had it's own reopening last month, Vauxhall has become a distinct destination.
http://www.newportstreetgallery.com/exhibitions until 3rd April 2016