Time Out London's one-liner summation of this new show of work by Damien Hirst points out how there are none of the artist's figurative paintings in his blockbuster show, but that they can be found here, in his first exhibition at White Cube's new space in Bermondsey. It's pretty astute. It's also full of gargantuan ambition, to hold a show of thirty-five paintings in this massive gallery space. In what promised to be a Damien Hirst year, the artist and his galleries have left no stone unturned.
There are dots, butterflies, birds, dogs and even an installation thrown in for good measure. Clearly inspired by the geometric perspective of Francis Bacon, there is no question, despite what you may think of the man and his work, that this is 'art' in the traditional sense. And despite artists and critics telling you that there's little room for value judgements in 'art' inevitably visitors to exhibitions will come away thinking that they either enjoyed it or they didn't - they thought it was good or they thought it was bad.
And here we have Hirst the Fine Artist. With the exception of the size of the gallery there's little to tell a visitor of the hubris that surrounds the figure of this particular artist. Which leaves us with the work. Far beyond this writer to pass a value judgement, though I did enjoy the scale and the presentation of it all. It's good ol' fashioned art, without the clamour or mess that goes on around it. Is it any good? Well, it's art.
Damien Hirst: Two Weeks One Summer is at White Cube Bermondsey until 08 July.