steve mcqueen, damien hirst and sarah lucas donate millions to new goldsmiths gallery

The Gallery will reinvent the historic steel water tanks on the Goldsmiths campus, providing south London with a new centre for the arts.

by Francesca Dunn
20 January 2015, 2:35pm

Damien Hirst, Ipratropium Bromide

Goldsmiths alumni including Steve McQueen, Damien Hirst, Sarah Lucas, Julian Opie, Antony Gormley and Sam Taylor-Johnson are giving back to their south-east London art school by donating works to raise money for a new exhibition space. The art will go under the hammer at a special Christie's auction on 12th February and go towards the £2.8 million required to build The Gallery.

A key player in the art world, Goldsmiths is consistent in incubating serious talent. In the past 25 years, graduates have played a huge part in bringing contemporary art into the forefront of British culture, with students winning the Turner Prize seven times and scoring thirty nominations. "Goldsmiths has inspired three successive generations of artists," notes Richard Noble, Head of the Department of Art at the university. "This has impacted not just the art world but by extension the wider fabric of our society, with Steve McQueen winning the Oscar for Best Director last year and Sarah Lucas representing Britain at the Venice Biennale this year."

Michael Craig Martin, Untitled (light bulb)

The Gallery will be constructed in a Grade-II listed building on the Goldsmiths campus, incorporating the Victorian steel water tanks originally used for the Laurie Grove baths. London architecture collective Assemble will oversee the development designed to expose the hidden character of the bathhouse while housing a series of galleries amongst the tanks. The building will not only provide a research, work and show space for students, but also a new arts centre for south London offering a full programme of exhibitions and residencies. Artist Antony Gormley refers to the venture as an important moment in the development of the university. "It will be a place where curators can exercise their skills, " he comments. "A place where artists both international and from the college can make, exhibit and discuss their work and where all the ways in which Goldsmiths extends our understanding of the culture of our time can be shared with a curious public."

Sarah Lucas
Damien Hirst
steve mcqueen