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Charles Saatchi's Art Gift

Charles Saatchi's Art Gift

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British collector Charles Saatchi announces plans for London Museum of Contemporary Art, to begin with a gift to the nation of his art and Gallery.
British collector Charles Saatchi announces plans for London Museum of Contemporary Art, to begin with a gift to the nation of his art and Gallery.

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Categories:Topics, Art & Design
Published by: Lee Rosenbaum, CultureGrrl on Jul 07, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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London UK – 1 July 2010, Charles Saatchi is gifting over 200 works, and the Saatchi Gallery, to create aMuseum of Contemporary Art for London, with a powerful permanent collection.The artworks included are worth more than £25 million at current market value, and the Saatchi Gallery,now located in Chelsea, is one of the largest in the world, providing a 70,000 sq ft showcase for art.The gift will ensure that the Saatchi Gallery, which is planning to change its name to MOCA London[Museum Of Contemporary Art, London] when Saatchi retires, will have a strong, rotating permanentcollection of major installations.Included will be many well-known key works by Tracey Emin, Jake & Dinos Chapman, Grayson Perry, aswell as a roster of other UK and international artists.The works will be donated to a foundation, MOCA London, and the Saatchi Gallery is currently indiscussion with potential Government departments who would own the works on behalf of the nation. TheMuseum will be free to display the works at all times, but when not being exhibited, the Government bodymay lend the works to other institutions.Cadogan Estate, owner of Duke of York Square where the Saatchi Gallery is based, has stated its hopethat the Museum will remain at the Duke of York’s HQ for the foreseeable future.Saatchi’s view is that it is vital for the Museum always to be able to display a “living” and evolvingcollection of work, rather than an archive of art history.Alongside the permanent collection the gift will therefore include many works which the management ofthe Museum may trade, using the revenues to acquire new works. The new acquisitions will all be addedto the foundation's holdings. This will enable the Museum to remain actively involved in the newestdevelopments in contemporary art, and continue the same policy established by the Saatchi Gallery sinceit began presenting public exhibitions 25 years ago. 
 Saatchi believes this approach will maintain the direction that has resulted in the Saatchi Gallery'sopening shows being ranked as the two most visited in London in the recent Art Newspaper survey ofmuseum attendance. But his view is that this is primarily a result of the Gallery being entirely free, with noentry charge to any exhibitions.The Saatchi Gallery’s management team will ensure that the Museum will continue to be free to thepublic, and run as it is today by securing sponsorship, and by using revenues from its new Gallery Messrestaurant/bar, the Gallery bookshop, and hosting events for leading organizations such as, Audi, CreditSuisse, Deutsche Bank, Google, Jaguar, Microsoft, Samsung and Vodafone.Staff and all other costs will be entirely funded by these revenue streams; the Saatchi Gallery has fiftyemployees, eight of whom form the senior management.The permanent collection that Saatchi is gifting includes the famous Richard Wilson Oil Room installation,currently on display at the Gallery. It has been installed at each Saatchi Gallery location, and is a highlightof many visitor tours.Another gift will be Tracey Emin's "My Bed", her well-known signature piece.The Chapman Brothers’ “Tragic Anatomies”, their seminal installation with mutated mannequins frolickingin a garden setting, last seen in the “Sensation” exhibition, will be another important holding.Also included is the recent installation by Emily Prince, which filled a gallery room with over 5000drawings of dead US servicemen and women from the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, which shecontinues to build upon as each soldier passes.Another recently seen work included in the gift is the major display from the Saatchi Gallery’s recentIndian show, the wall of bones forming the text of a speech by Gandhi, by leading Indian artist JitishKallat.From the Gallery’s 2009 survey of Middle Eastern artists, the Kader Attia room of hundreds of life-sizepraying figures made from aluminium foil, will also form part of the museum's permanent collection.The disturbing work from the Gallery’s inaugural exhibition at Duke of York’s HQ, Chinese Offspring byZhang Dali, with life-size naked figures strung up by their feet from the rafters, will also be a highlight ofthe permanent collection.The Museum will aim to continue its association with other galleries in the UK and around the world,including the State Hermitage in St. Petersburg, Russia, for whom it has produced exhibitions of recentUS and UK art. At TriPostal in Lille, France, a large-scale exhibition ‘The Silk Road’ will take place thisOctober, with another at the UK’s Ipswich Museum.
For any press-related enquiries or images please email
Rachel Duffield or Ruth CairnsColman GettyTel: 00 44 (0)20 7631 2666Mobile (Rachel Duffield): 00 44 (0)7803 248829Email: Rachel@colmangetty.co.uk / Ruth@colmangetty.co.uk
All costs associated with the storage, restoration or cataloguing the collection will be borne by theMuseum, and no charges will fall to the state. 
The Saatchi Gallery opened in October 2008 and over £20 million has been spent by Cadogan Estateand Charles Saatchi to create an ideal environment to showcase contemporary art. 
There is no offset in lieu of taxes involved in the passing of the gift.
Saatchi will continue to own many hundreds of works privately, which will be passed to his family onhis death, though more works can be added to the gift while he remains the head of the Gallery. 
The entire gift will be unveiled in three exhibitions that fill the Gallery, starting in 2012. 
“I’m thrilled. I wish more people had that kind of vision”
- Tracey Emin
“This is fantastic news! I’m very proud to be part of another national institution”
- Grayson Perry
"This is fantastic news for a country currently numbed by recession and World Cup failure. This generouspresent is not just about a number of works but about being given the gift of looking. It's uplifting and thatmakes us happy. With the entire collection unveiling in 2012 this is a big cultural plus for London and toour visitors to this Capital for the Olympics" -
Richard Wilson
 “This is wonderful news indeed. ‘Public Notice 2’ recounts a moment of sub-continental colonial historythat is inseparably tied to modern British history; so donating the piece in a national holding fittinglydelivers Gandhi’s words and his poetic call of combining truth and non-violence with civil disobedience,into the custodial possession of the state” -
Jitish Kallat
 ‘We have worked very closely with the Saatchi Gallery in accommodating them in this wonderful Grade IIListed building and have been delighted to witness the great success of the Gallery itself and also thecontribution it has made and continues to make, to the rich tapestry of Chelsea’ -
Hugh Seaborn
The Cadogan Estate
Richard Wilson,
, 1987

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