Posts Tagged ‘Britart’

London — By Andrea Kirkby on January 15, 2010 at 5:41 pm
Filed under: Britart, featuredarticle, london art, modern art, saatchi gallery

The Saatchi Gallery

Fine art lovers in London usually head for the National Gallery or Tate Britain – or, for those of a more contemporary bent, Tate Modern. But to get really up to date, you need to head for the Saatchi Gallery where you’ll find the best (or worst, depending on your taste) of contemporary art.


There’s not a lot of point trying to describe what you’ll see, as the exhibitions change every three months; there’s no permanent collection.The gallery opened with a display of contemporary Chinese art, and at the moment it’s displaying a mysterious and affecting work – Richard Wilson’s 20:50, which features a huge, reflective reservoir of sump oil.That might not sound exciting, but when you see how it reflects the room, and seems to double its size, and creates strange geometries like Mondrian painting, you see how the effect is far more subtle than the means employed.

At the same time, the gallery is hosting Emily Prince’s drawings of the American war dead in Afghanistan; a project that is a work in progress, with over 5,000 pencil portraits so far.

The galleries are just right for modern art – huge, high white spaces full of light.  And the philosophy of the gallery is to show what’s being made right now – not retrospectives of twentieth-century greats, but genuinely new art. So as well as familiar names, you’ll find some complete unknowns.

In fact Charles Saatchi has made a real career out of chasing down new art – sometimes selling works from his collection once the artists become more established. So whenever you go, you should see things that are bang up to date.

I find the Saatchi gallery’s exhibitions  sometimes thought provoking, sometimes affecting, and often infuriating – but very rarely a bore!

Where: Duke of York’s HQ, King’s Road, Chelsea

When: 10-6 every day, but check the website for occasional closures

How much: free.

Photo by Simon Welsh  on flickr

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