- Saatchi Gallery
The Saatchi Gallery is a
Londongallery for contemporary art, opened by Charles Saatchiin 1985 in order to show his sizeable (and changing) collection to the public. It has occupied different premises, first in North London, then the South Bankby the River Thamesand Chelsea (opening to the public in 2008). Saatchi's collection, and hence the gallery's shows, have had distinct phases, starting with US artists and minimalism, moving on to the Damien Hirst-led Young British Artists, followed by shows purely of painting and more recently promoting once again art from America in an exhibition entitled USA Today at the Royal Academyin London.
The gallery has been a major influence on art in Britain since its opening. It has also had a history of media controversy, which it has courted, and has had extremes of critical reaction. Many artists shown at the gallery are unknown not only to the general public but also to the commercial art world: showing at the gallery has provided a springboard to launch careers.
The Saatchi Gallery opened in 1985 in a disused paint factory in Boundary Road,
St John's Wood, London, and ran a series of exhibitions, showing many American artists such as Andy Warhol, Cy Twombly, Richard Serra, Brice Marden, Bruce Nauman, Donald Judd, Carl Andre, Sol LeWitt, Alex Katz, Jeff Koonsand Philip Gustonmany of whom were to influence the subsequent generation of Young British Artistswho followed in the 1990s. The Saatchi Gallery in Boundary Road was unusual in London for its large, open space, filled with light reflected by high white walls and its 30,000 sq ft (2787.0912 m2) of gallery space devoted to recent art.
In an abrupt move, Saatchi sold much of his collection of US art, and invested in a new generation of British artists, exhibiting them in shows with his own title "Young British Artists" (YBAs). The core of the artists had been brought together by
Damien Hirstin 1988 in a seminal show called "Freeze". Saatchi augmented this with his own choice of purchases from art colleges and "alternative" artist-run spaces in London. His first showing of the YBAs was in 1992, where the star exhibit was a vitrine by Hirst containing a shark in formaldehyde and entitled "The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living". This was funded by Saatchi.
More recently Saatchi has been dismissive of the importance of "Freeze":
Saatchi's promotion of these artists dominated UK art throughout the nineties and brought them to worldwide notice. Among the artists in the groundbreaking series of shows were
Jenny Saville, Sarah Lucas, Gavin Turk, Jake and Dinos Chapmanand Rachel Whiteread. ( Tracey Eminwas initially hostile to Saatchi and was only finally included in the 1997 "Sensation" show.)
"Sensation" opened in September 1997 at the
Royal Academyin London to much controversy and showed 110 works by 42 artists from the Saatchi collection. In 1999 "Sensation" toured to The National Galerie at the Hamburger Bahnhofin Berlinin the autumn, and then to the Brooklyn Museumof Art, New York, creating unprecedented political and media controversy and becoming a touchstone for debate about the “morality” of contemporary art.
Meanwhile other shows with different themes were held in the gallery itself. In 1998 Saatchi launched a two part exhibition entitled "Neurotic Realism", though widely attacked by critics the exhibition included many artists who were later recognised as international stars including; Cecily Brown, Ron Mueck, Noble and Webster, Dexter Dalwood, Martin Maloney, Chantal Joffe, Michael Raedecker and David Thorpe. In 2000 "Ant Noises" (an anagram of "sensation"), also in two parts, tried surer ground with work by Hirst, Lucas, Saville, Whiteread, the Chapmans, Turk, Emin and
During this period, The Saatchi Gallery made several large philanthropic donations including 100 artworks in 1999 to the
Arts Council of Great BritainCollection, which operates a ‘lending library’ to museums and galleries around Britain, with the aim of increasing awareness and promoting interest in younger artists; 40 works by young British artists through the National Arts Collection Fund, now known as The Art Fund, to eight museum collections across Britain in 2000; and 50 artworks to the Paintings in Hospitals programme which provides a lending library of over 3000 original works of art to NHS hospitals, hospices and health centres throughout England, Wales and Ireland in 2002.
In April 2003, the gallery moved to County Hall, the
Greater London Council's former headquarters on the South Bank, occupying 40,000 ft² (3,700 m²) of the ground floor. There were 1,000 guests at the launch, which included a "nude happening" of 200 naked people staged by artist Spencer Tunick.
The opening exhibition included a retrospective by
Damien Hirst, who was, however, not involved with it, having previously fallen out with Saatchi. As well as work by other YBAs, such as Jake and Dinos Chapmanand Tracey Emin, there was the inclusion of some longer established artists including John Bratby, Paula Regoand Patrick Caulfield.
In 2004, Saatchi's recent acquisitions (including
Stella Vine) were featured in "New Blood", a show of mostly little-known artists working in a variety of media, including installation and machinery. It received a hostile critical reception, which caused Saatchi to speak out angrily and uncharacteristically against the critics. [ [http://www.thisislondon.com/entertainment/articles/10438437?source=Evening%20Standard thisislondon.com] ]
24 May, 2004, a fire in the Momart storage warehouse destroyed many works from the collection, including the major Tracey Emin work "Everyone I Have Ever Slept With 1963–95" ("the tent"), and Jake and Dinos Chapman's tableau "Hell". Saatchi was reported to be distraught at the loss. One art insurance specialist valued the lost work at £50m.
In 2005, Saatchi showed a major change of direction with the announcement of a year-long, three-part series (subsequently extended to two years and seven-part), "The Triumph of Painting". The opening exhibition focused on a number of already established European painters, including
Marlene Dumas, Martin Kippenberger, Luc Tuymansand Peter Doig, who had not previously received such significant exposure in the UK. Future shows in the series are scheduled to introduce Britain to young painters from America like Dana Schutzand Germans such as Matthias Weischer, as well as Saatchi's choice of up and coming British talent.
At the same time, Saatchi sold works from his YBA collection, beginning in December 2004 with Hirst's iconic shark for nearly £7 million (he had bought it for £50,000 in 1991), and was dismissive of the historic longevity of the YBAs (apart from Hirst).
The gallery's tenancy of County Hall had ongoing difficulties with Makoto Okamoto, London branch manager of the owners, who Saatchi complained had kicked artworks and sealed off the disabled toilets. [ [http://www.guardian.co.uk/arts/news/story/0,11711,1081182,00.html guardian.co.uk] ] On
September 27, 2005the gallery announced they would be moving to new premises. On October 7, 2005a court case began against the gallery, brought by County Hall landlords, Cadogan Leisure Investments, and owners Shirayama Shokusan Co Ltd, for alleged breach of conditions, including a two-for-one ticket offer in Time Outmagazine and exhibition of work in unauthorised areas. The judgement went against the gallery, who were forced to relinquish the premises, though the gallery had already announced it was moving to take on the entire Duke of York’s HQ building in Chelsea designed by architects Paul Davis + Partners. There is currently a halt to London shows while these new premises are being prepared. A selection from "The Triumph of Painting" was exhibited in Leeds Art Galleryin February 2006.
In 2006 Saatchi’s exhibition "USA Today: New American Art from the Saatchi Gallery" opened at the
Royal Academyin London. This exhibition toured to The State HermitageMuseum, St Petersburg, Russia in 2007.
"Saatchi Online" on Saatchi website
In 2006, during the period in limbo between premises, the Saatchi Gallery website began an open-access section, the most well-known aspect of which was called Your Gallery, [ [http://www.saatchigallery.com/yourgallery saatchigallery.com] ] where artists can upload up to 8 works of art and a biography onto their own page. Over 100,000 artists have done so, and the site receives an estimated 68 million hits a day. Your Gallery was later rebranded as Saatchi Online. In July 2008, the internet research organisation
Alexa Internetranked Saatchi Gallery at 316 in world’s Top 50,000 sites. In November 2007 it was estimated that the professional artists registered on the website sell over $100 million of art directly from the site annually. In 2008 Saatchi Online launched a Saleroom section that hosts over 84,000 entries from artists wishing to sell their work. The site takes no commission from either buyer or seller.
In October 2006 the Saatchi Gallery in association with
the Guardiannewspaper opened the first ever reader-curated exhibition, showing the work of 10 artists registered on Saatchi Online. In November 2006 the Saatchi Gallery launched a new site within Saatchi Online exclusively for art students, called Stuart. [ [http://www.saatchigallery.com/stuart saatchigallery.com] ] Art students from all over the world can have their own home pages with images of their art, photos, lists of their favourite artists, books, films and television shows, and links to their friends' home pages. The site also allows students to chat online with each other, enabling art students across the globe to talk and exchange ideas about their art work.
There are other spaces on Saatchi Online for meeting new people, a forum,
blogs, street art, videos, photographyand illustration. The site also publishes grant and funding opportunities for artists. A daily art magazine features 24 hour art news updates, as well as articles and reviews by well known art critics such as Jerry Saltzand Matthew Collings. The site recently began broadcasting an online televisionchannel.
One new feature was added beginning 2007 called "Museums around the World" where over 3300 museums can now be visited online, showing high-lights of their collections, exhibitions and other relevant information. These include The
Metropolitan Museum of Artin New York, The Museum of Modern Artin New York and The Tateand National Gallery (London)in London, The Louvrein Paris, and the State Hermitagein Russia, to relatively small museums all across the world.
As of July 2008, 4,300 art dealers and commercial galleries have loaded up their profiles on the site. Over 2800 of the world’s top universities and colleges have loaded their prospectuses and student information on the site. These range from
Yale, Harvard, the University of Cambridgeand the University of Oxfordto local art colleges across the world. And over 1500 schools have loaded up their pupils’ art work. These schools range from Eton Collegein the UK to small Primary and High schools in the US. This section of the site is expected to grow with the establishment of the Portfolio Schools Prize [http://www.artsaward.org.uk/news/viewarticle.php?id=130] that is open to all schools with pupils aged between 5 – 17.
Saatchi Online has recently expanded to Asian audiences with a
Mandarin languageversion of the site that allows Chinese artists to load up their profiles in Chinese and to be read in English. Although the site offers automated translations in most of the world’s leading languages, the Chinese site has been custom built to create a fully interactive version of the site with a Chinese language chatroom, forum, blog etc. Bespoke Russian and Spanish/Portuguese versions of the site are planned for other countries with large populations that speak little English.
The New Saatchi Gallery
The gallery is currently refurbishing the whole of the convert|70000|sqft|m2|sing=on space of the
Duke of York's Headquartersbuilding on Kings Road, London, near to Sloane Squarewith architects Paul Davis + Partners and Allford Hall Monaghan Morris.
Set to open on 9th of October 2008, it will be the only completely free entry contemporary art museum of its size in the world.
The New Saatchi Gallery will consist of 15 simple, equally proportioned, light filled exhibitions spaces, which provide an unobtrusive backdrop for the art, and will include a dedicated space for Saatchi Online artists to exhibit and sell their work commission free. The space will feature a rotating selection of artists chosen from Saatchi Online Magazine’s weekly critics’ picks [http://www.saatchi-gallery.co.uk/blogon/saatchi_online_critics_choice/] .
In its last year at County Hall, 1,350 schools organised group visited the gallery. The New Saatchi Gallery plans to expand its education programme, and will house special education rooms for visiting schools, colleges, universities, and groups. It will also house a café and a bookshop. A virtual tour [http://www.saatchi-gallery.co.uk/virtual-tour.htm] is available on the gallery website and shows spacious rooms in classic "white wall" gallery style.
The inaugural exhibition will be "The Revolution Continues: New Art from China", bringing together the work of 30 of China’s leading young artists in a wide reaching survey of recent painting, sculpture and installation.The exhibition will feature artists such as
Zhang Huan, Li Songsong, Zhang Xiaogang, Zhang Haiying[ [http://www.saatchi-gallery.co.uk/artists/new_art_from-china.htm] ] ,and controversial conceptual artists Sun Yuan & Peng Yu.
The exhibitions planned to follow include "Shape of Things To Come: New Sculpture" which will focus on European and American sculptors including
Olaf Breuning, Terence Koh, and Rachel Harrison[ [http://www.saatchi-gallery.co.uk/artists/sculpture/] ] ; and. "The Empire Strikes Back: New Indian Art Today", which will be the largest exhibition of contemporary Indian art exhibited in Britain to date. This show will feature artists such Subodh Gupta, Jitish Kallat, and Huma Mulji[ [http://www.saatchi-gallery.co.uk/artists/the-new-india.htm] ] .
Exhibitions of new American abstraction and new German artwork are planned for 2009, with shows titled "Abstract America" and "Germania".
aatchi Gallery Timeline
1985 – Charles Saatchi opens the 30 000 square foot Saatchi Gallery at Boundary Road, London NW8, featuring many key works by
Donald Judd, Brice Marden, Cy Twomblyand Andy Warhol. This was the first UK exhibition for Twombly and Marden.
1986 – The Saatchi Gallery exhibits works by
Anselm Kieferand Richard Serra. The caretaker’s flat and one wall of the gallery was demolished in order to allow the installation of large Serra sculptures.
1987 – The New York Art Now show introduces artists including
Jeff Koons, Robert Gober, Ashley Bickerton, Carroll Dunham and Phillip Taaffe for the first time to the UK. The blend of minimalismand pop arthas a profound influence on British art students.
1988-1991 ¬– The gallery introduces artists including;
Leon Golub, Phillip Guston, Sigmar Polke, Bruce Nauman, Richard Artschwager and Cindy Shermanto British viewers.
1992 – The Saatchi Gallery curates its first in a series of shows entitled Young British Artists introducing the term “YBA” for this generation of artists.
Damien Hirst, Marc Quinn, Rachel Whiteread, Gavin Turk, Glenn Brown, Sarah Lucas, Jenny Savilleand Gary Humewere all presented to a wider public in these shows.
1997 – "
Sensation: Young British Art from the Saatchi Gallery" opens at the Royal Academyof Arts featuring 42 artists including The Chapman Brothers, Marcus Harvey, Damien Hirst, Ron Mueck, Jenny Saville, Sarah Lucas& Tracey Emin. Sensation attracted over 300 000 visitors, a record breaking attendance for a contemporary art exhibition.
1999 – "Sensation" travels to The National Galerie at the
Hamburger Bahnhofin Berlin in the autumn, breaking attendance records.
1999 – "Sensation" tours to
Brooklyn Museum of Art, New York, creating unprecedented political and media controversy and becoming a touchstone for debate about the “morality” of contemporary art. This exhibition also broke attendance records at the museum.
1999 – The Saatchi Gallery donates one hundred artworks to the
Arts Council of Great BritainCollection, which operates a ‘lending library’ to museums and galleries around Britain, with the aim of increasing awareness and promoting interest in younger artists.
2000 – The Gallery donates 40 works by young British artists through the
National Arts Collection Fundto eight museum collections across Britain.
2000 – The Gallery begins a series of one person shows of major international figures who have been largely unseen in Britain, including
Duane Hanson, Boris Mikhailovand Alex Katz. Shows entitled "Young Americans" and "Eurovision" introduce a number of artists to the UK including John Currin, Andreas Gursky, Charles Ray, Richard Prince, Rineke Dijkstra, Lisa Yuskavageand Elizabeth Peyton.
2001 – "I am a Camera" exhibition opens at the Gallery, an exhibition of photography and other related works where traditional boundaries are blurred as photographs influence paintings, and paintings influence photographs. The show included work by many artists who had never exhibited before in the UK.
2002 – The Gallery donates 50 artworks to the Paintings in Hospitals programme which provides a lending library of over 3 000 original works of art to NHS hospitals, hospices and health centres throughout England, Wales and Ireland.
2003 – The Saatchi Gallery moved to
County Hall, the Greater London Council’s former headquarters on the South Bank, creating a 40 000 square foot exhibition space. The opening show included a retrospective by Damien Hirstas well as works by other YBAs such as the Chapman Brothers, Tracey Emin, Jenny Savilleand Sarah Lucas. There were 1,000 guests at the launch, which included a "nude happening" of 200 naked people staged by artist Spencer Tunick.
2004 – A fire in the
Momartstorage warehouse destroyed many works from the collection, including the major Tracey Eminwork "Everyone I Have Ever Slept With 1963–95" ("the tent"), and Jake and Dinos Chapman's tableau "Hell".
2005 – The Saatchi Gallery launches a year-long, three-part series exhibition, "The Triumph of Painting". The opening exhibition focuses on a number of influential European painters,
Marlene Dumas, Martin Kippenberger, Luc Tuymans, Peter Doig, Jörg Immendorff, and followed with younger painters including Albert Oehlen, Wilhelm Sasnaland Thomas Scheibitz.
2005 – The gallery announced it was moving to take on the entire
Duke of York’s Headquartersbuilding in Chelsea. This put a halt to Londonshows while the new premises were being prepared.
2005 – A selection of works from "The Triumph of Painting" was exhibited in
Leeds Art Gallery
2006 -– During the period in between premises, the Saatchi Gallery website began an open-access section where artists could upload works of art and a biography onto their own pages. The site currently has over 100 000 artist’s profiles and receives over 68 million hits a day, and is ranked at 316 in the Alexa Top 50 000 World Websites.
2006 – The Saatchi Gallery in association with
the Guardiannewspaper opened the first ever reader-curated exhibition, showing the work of 10 artists registered on Saatchi Online. In November the Saatchi Gallery launched a new site within Saatchi Online exclusively for art students, called Stuart. Art students from all over the world were able to create their own home pages with images of their art, photos, lists of their favourite artists, books, films and televisionshows, and links to their friends' home pages. The site also allows students to chat online with each other, enabling art students across the globe to talk and exchange ideas about their art work. Other sections on Saatchi Online include; a daily art magazine, a forum, written and video blogs, as well as sections for street art, photographyand illustration.
2006 – "USA Today: New American Art from the Saatchi Gallery" opens at the
Royal Academyin London
2007 – A new feature was added to Saatchi Online at the beginning of 2007 called "Museums around the World" where over 2 800 museums can now be found online, showing highlights of their collections, exhibitions and other relevant information. 2 700 Colleges and Universities from around the world also include their profiles, enabling potential students to examine their prospectuses.
2007– "USA Today: New American Art from the Saatchi Gallery" toured to The
State HermitageMuseum, St Petersburg, Russia.
2008¬ The Saatchi Gallery reopens on the 9th of October in the entire 70 000 square feet
Duke of York’s Headquartersbuilding on Kings Roadin Chelsea, London. The inaugural exhibition will be "The Revolution Continues: New Art from China", bringing together the work of 30 of China’s leading young artists in a wide reaching survey of recent painting, sculpture and installation.
* At County Hall the gallery received 800,000 visitors a year.
* There were over 1,350 school visits in 2006.
Julian Schnabel, Sean Scullyand (particularly) Sandro Chiacomplained about the disposal of their work from the collection. They had assumed it was part of a permanent collection, though this had never been promised.
*In 1997, in "Sensation", London,
Marcus Harvey's giant painting of Myra Hindleymade from children's hand prints, provoked an outcry from the parents of the murdered children. It was attacked with eggs and ink and had to be restored.
Chris Ofili's "Holy Virgin Mary" in "Sensation" in New York offended Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, who had not seen the show but still called the work an "aggressive vicious, disgusting attack on religion", and threatened to withdraw funding from the Brooklyn Museum. This did not happen and the show went ahead. Nevertheless, the exhibition was refused by the National Gallery of Australia, which had been scheduled to show it.
*In March 2001 police visited the gallery's exhibition "I Am a Camera", which featured
Tierney Gearon's photos of her two young children, including a naked pose. The press reported police threats to seize the work, but this was denied by the police and no further action was taken.
*In 2004, media controversy arose over two paintings by ex-stripper,
Stella Vine. One was of Princess Dianacalled "Hi Paul Can You Come Over", showing the Princess with blood dripping from her lips. The other was of drug user Rachel Whitear, whose body was being exhumed at the time; Whitear's parents and the police appealed for the painting to be withdrawn, [ [http://www.guardian.co.uk/arts/saatchi/story/0,13010,1187874,00.html www.guardian.co.uk] ] but it was not.
*In 2004 the Stuckists reported Saatchi to the
Office of Fair Tradingalleging unfair competition. The complaint was not upheld. They also picketed the opening of "The Triumph of Painting" claiming that Saatchi had stolen their ideas. [Hermione Eyre, [http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qn4159/is_20050130/ai_n9697646 "Talk of the Town",] The Independent on Sunday 2005-01-30.] [Nigel Reynolds, [http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2004/10/02/nsaat02.xml&sSheet=/news/2004/10/02/ixhome.html "Saatchi's Latest Shock For The Art World Is Painting",] "Daily Telegraph] ", 2004-10-04] (Vine had previously been involved with the Stuckists.)
*In 2006 the work of several artists in "USA Today", an exhibition of contemporary American art from the Saatchi Gallery at the
Royal Academyin London, provoked controversy in the media and among some Royal Academicians who called for certain works to be installed in an 'adult-only' room. A notice advising 'parental guidance' before viewing the work of Dash Snowand Gerald Davis was posted by the Royal Academy, [ [http://www.royalacademy.org.uk/exhibitions/usatoday royalacademy.org.uk] ] on a wall outside the room in which the controversial works were hung: Dash Snow's 'Fuck the Police', in which newspaper cuttings relating to police corruption are smeared with the artist's own semen, and a painting entitled "Monica" by Gerald Davis in which a young woman engages in fellatio.
Artists shown at the Saatchi Gallery
Noble and Webster
*The Chapman Brothers
*Galleon & Other Stories
*The Triumph of Painting
*The Triumph of Painting
*The Revolution Continues: New Chinese Art
*Out Of Focus: Photography Now
*The Power Of Paper
*Sarah Kent, "Shark Infested Waters: The Saatchi Collection of British Art in the 90s", Philip Wilson Publishers Ltd, 2003, ISBN 0-85667-584-9.
*Rita Hatton and John A. Walker, "Supercollector, a Critique of Charles Saatchi", The Institute of Artology, 3rd edition 2005, paperback, ISBN 0-9545702-2-7
*The Triumph Of Painting
*The Triumph Of Painting, Supplementary Volume
*The Triumph Of Painting, Supplementary Volume
*100 The Work That Changed British Art
*Hell, Jake & Dinos Chapman
*Fiona Rae & Gary Hume
*Shark Infested Waters, The Saatchi Collection Of British Art In The 90's
*Young German Artists 2
*Alex Katz: 25 Years Of Painting
*Young Americans 2
*Ant Noises 1
*Ant Noises 2
*The Arts Council Gift
*I Am A Camera
*Young British Art
*Boris Mikhailov: Case History
* [http://www.saatchi-gallery.co.uk Official website of the Saatchi Gallery]
* [http://arts.guardian.co.uk/gallery/0,,928861,00.html Pictures of the gallery at County Hall] [http://arts.guardian.co.uk/gallery/0,,928862,00.html highlights of the collection]
* [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/arts/4287558.stm BBC report on the move to the new Chelsea location]
* [http://www.saatchi-gallery.co.uk/charlesqa/qa.htm Charles Saatchi, Readers Q&A, The Art Newspaper]
* [http://www.saatchi-gallery.co.uk/charlesqa/qa_ind.htm Charles Saatchi, Readers Q&A, The Independent]
* [http://www.stuckism.com/Saatchi/index.html The Stuckists' criticisms]
* [http://www.saatchi-gallery.co.uk/artists/usa-today-exhibition.htm Artists in USA Today]
* [http://news.independent.co.uk/uk/this_britain/article2027070.ece STUART in The Independent November 30 2006 ]
* [http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2087-2517822,00.html STUART in The Sunday Times December 24 2006 ]
* [http://www.saatchi-gallery.co.uk/current/newyork_times.htm STUART in New York Times December 18 2006 ]
* [http://artabase.net/gallery/43-saatchi-gallery Saatchi Gallery Artabase page]
* [http://www.spoonfed.co.uk/spooners/tom-699/the-revolution-continues-the-opening-of-the-new-saatchi-gallery-534/ Review of 'The Revolution Continues' at the new Saatchi Gallery]
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