Goldsmiths to build new gallery

The divisive Damien Hirst, the conceptual Michael Craig-Martin, the celebrated Antony Gormley, the humorous Sarah Lucas, the intriguing Rebecca Warren and the probing Ceal Floyer have, among others, been asked to donate works to raise money for the construction of a significant new art gallery.
Opening to the public in the autumn of 2016, the £1.8 million institution is to be constructed in and around Laurie Grove baths, which sits opposite the Ben Pimlott Building on Goldsmith’s campus at the University of London. It is being funded entirely by external donations.
As the roster of names above indicates, a lot of money is expected to come from the sale of works by Goldsmiths’ rather amazing alumni. Christie’s will oversee an auction in February 2015.
Designed by the London-based architecture collective Assemble, the gallery is intended to capture the ‘raw and robust’ aesthetic of the existing baths and give them a new lease of life with a complementary modern character.
Visitors will therefore be able to experience a clever juxtaposition between the old and the new in a cohesive way. The gallery itself will be an attraction in its own right.
The Turner Prize-winning artist Gormley, who was on the panel that selected Assemble from a shortlist of tenders to design the building, commented that the new gallery will be a space where curators can develop their skills and where artists, from the college and beyond can make, exhibit and discuss their work.
“Goldsmiths remains one of the liveliest, most challenging and ambitious of Britain’s universities – its art department is blessed by being part of a university campus with many allied disciplines, engaged in research that has direct relevance for the evolution of the visual culture of our time,” he said.
“The arrival of a gallery is an important moment in the development of Goldsmiths. This will become a resource for the university and for London: a place where students and the wider public can experience and test-drive new forms of art as well as see relevant examples of art from the past, ancient and modern.”
Assemble’s Paloma Strelitz and Adam Willis said the collective believes that the gallery will become a new centre for the arts in South London, adding that it was an honour to be able to be part of an institution that historically has been a space of creativity and innovation.
It is a sentiment shared by Richard Noble, head of the Department of Art at Goldsmiths, who lauded the university’s contribution to art and culture in Britain. This, he continued, is something Goldsmiths is keen to continue delivering for many centuries to come.
“Assemble’s innovative design proposal has helped us to see how we can develop a strong identity for the gallery that reflects the ethos of experimentation and intellectual engagement that defines Goldsmiths,” Mr Noble went on to say.
“We hope the gallery will bring the London and international art public to Goldsmiths, while at the same time providing an important impetus to Lewisham’s burgeoning community of galleries, artist-run spaces, architecture practices and design.”
Tweet text: Goldsmiths is to open a new £1.8 million institution in the autumn of 2015. The new building is to be constructed in and around Laurie Grove baths, which sits opposite the Ben Pimlott Building on Goldsmith’s campus at the University of London.
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