Hirst to open his own gallery on London's South Bank

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The Independent Online
First he fell out with Charles Saatchi. Then he famously bought back his artistic works from the man who created him. Now Damien Hirst is planning to rival his one-time mentor by opening a gallery of his own.

Hirst has earmarked a set of anonymous railway arches in Vauxhall, south London, as a forum for his own provocative works, as well as those of colleagues from his private collection.

He already runs the 2,500 sq ft site as a workshop and, when up and running, it would provide a new starting point for the contemporary art trawl along the south bank of the Thames, which take in the Saatchi Gallery and Tate Modern.

It would be the latest chapter in a feud between Hirst and Saatchi which saw the artist refuse to take part in a retrospective which Saatchi was mounting at his gallery in London's County Hall.

Hirst's gallery would be another major addition to the London scene, which saw one of the art world's best-connected figures, Larry Gagosian, open the city's largest private gallery in King's Cross last year. Gagosian is Hirst's international dealer and has premiered several recent works at his other London gallery.

Hirst is already believed to own a number of his own works. In 2003 he also bought back some of the pieces that had been collected by Saatchi, who championed and nurtured Hirst's talent early on.

Little is known about his own collection, but he is believed to have substantial holdings in artists such as Sarah Lucas, Rachel Whiteread and Angus Fairhurst.

A source close to Hirst said there were plans to develop the site as a "showing area", although the idea is still at a very early stage both in terms of planning permission and in commissioning architects.

A spokeswoman for Hirst's company Science Ltd said: "He certainly has an interest in a gallery."

Additional reporting by Helen McCormack