20th century millionaires and modern medicis, by JOHN A.

WALKER (Tate Gallery lecture, 22 Feb 2001) (copyright 2001)
To begin with, I am going describe briefly a number of British private collectors of modern and contemporary art who have been influential during the 20th Century. Such collectors are, of course, crucial to the functioning of the modern arts apparatus and will be as long as the capitalist economic system continues to result in huge differences of wealth and poverty. Since we are in the Tate Gallery, we should start by mentioning the 19th century collector Sir Henry Tate whose wealth came from being a master grocer and sugar refiner. He bought British landscape and pre-Raphaelite paintings, and founded this gallery in 1897 (the building was designed by Sydney Smith); My second example is Samuel Courtauld, a rayon manufacturer who collected the Impressionist and PostImpressionist paintings now in the Courtauld Institute Gallery; he also gave money to the Tate to buy French pictures. Edward James (who died 1984), the son of an American millionaire and a British aristocrat, collected surrealist pictures (Magritte, 200 Salvador Dalis!) and British Neo Romanticism. Pictures from the collection were loaned to the Tate. James was a tax exile who lived for many years in Mexico.

Douglas Cooper, who inherited a fortune and was a passionate collector of Cubism; he lent pictures to the Tate Gallery but he was an irascible character – so much so that he was physically attacked by Sir John Rothenstein, Director of the Tate in the 1950s. Ted Power and his son Alan Power, whose wealth derived from manufacturing radio and television sets, who collected modern and post-1945 contemporary art; they gave 31 works from their collection to the Tate between 1960 and 1996. Sir Robert and Lady Lisa Sainsbury, of the Supermarket chain, who collected international modern art including Henry Moore and Francis Bacon during the 1950s, plus objects from ancient and ‘primitive’ cultures. Charles Saatchi established his own gallery in 1985 but this was not unprecedented because the Sainsbury’s established the Sainsbury Centre in Norwich for their collection, housed in a high-tech building designed by Norman Foster. #### Tim Scott, Peach Wheels 1961 Lord Alistair McAlpine, a Tory Party Chairman and building contracting magnate who bought New Generation colour sculptures in the Swinging Sixties and then gave them to the Tate Gallery;

**** Peter Palumbo. Lord Peter Palumbo, a property tycoon who collects examples of modern art and classics of modern architecture; he also commissions new buildings. He was Chairman of the Tate trustees during the era of Thatcherism and has given money to the Gallery. Lord Jeffrey Archer, who was a Tory MP and rich, famous novelist, lives in a penthouse across the river opposite the Tate, has bought and sold contemporary art especially Andy Warhols. Paul Wilson, who inherited a modest fortune, which he used to buy two-dimensional art works by British artists such as Helen Chadwick, Alison Wearing, Tracey Emin and Andy Goldsworthy during the 1980s and ‘90s. His collection was called ‘the MAG Collection’ and he formed it, not for personal use, but in order to give it away to provincial art galleries. Janet Wolfson de Botton, who inherited a fortune from her grandfather Sir Isaac Wolfson, founder of the Great Universal Stores chain, collected a range of contemporary British and American art – mostly abstract - during the 1980s and ‘90s. She made a substantial gift of 60 works to the Tate Gallery in 1996. Janet was married to Gilbert de Botton, who died in August 2000. He was a financier and banker for Global Asset

Management and a multi-millionaire who collected late Picassos, Lucian Freuds and Francis Bacons. He was also a trustee of the Tate, a benefactor, and Chairman of the Gallery’s International Council. Janet de Botton is also a friend of Charles Saatchi, who is the collector that Rita Hatton and I have researched in detail and so the rest of this talk is going to focus on him. As must be clear by now, many British collectors have been involved in the affairs of the Tate Gallery – by making bequests, loans and gifts; serving as trustees, as Friends and Patrons of new art, etc. As a result, they have influenced the content of the collection, its programme of exhibitions and its rebuilding programme. It is clear, therefore, that there has been an interaction between the private and public sectors even though, at times, this has caused friction with the Tate’s staff and has raised problems associated with a conflict of interests. (For a history of the Tate see: Frances Spalding’s book: The Tate: A History, Tate Gallery Publishing, 1998).

### Peter Clarke, manipulated photo of Charles Saatchi Guardian,

Cover image for the Book: Supercollector: A Critique of Charles

Saatchi, ... ellipsis, 2000. I wrote with Rita Hatton, an exstudent of mine, who wrote a dissertation on art and advertising focusing upon Saatchi. Reading this dissertation made me realise there was scope for a book. The term ‘supercollector’ was coined by an American journalist. ### Photo of Charles

Charles Saatchi was born in 1943 - he is one of four brothers – a Jewish-Iraqi family, which came to London in 1946. His father was a businessman, hence born into the bourgeoisie. Charles had poor academic record at school, spent a year in the USA and then became a copywriter in London advertising agencies during the ‘Swinging sixties’ - he worked with art directors who had trained in art schools and met his future wife Doris Lockhart, an American who was also a copywriter.

There is a vast amount of literature on the two main Saatchi brothers; Charles and Maurice; what we tried to do was to boil down all this material into a coherent narrative and to provide a historical and systematic account with special emphasis on the links between Saatchi the advertising man and Saatchi the supercollector. We also tried to apply certain theories from major thinkers such as Marx, Thorstein Veblen (author of

Theory of the Leisure Class, and Raymonde Moulin, a French sociologist who studied the art market in France during the 1960s. Our book cites a range of opinions about Saatchi - some favourable - but it is primarily a hostile critique written from a socialist perspective.

### Pregnant Man poster (1969-70).

Creativity is something common to art and advertising. An early example of the creativity and daring of Saatchi & Saatchi advertising, the agency the two brothers founded in 1970. We think Charles developed an eye for striking images which enabled him to make quick decisions about effective adverts and to make similar quick decisions about art, and that, in so far as he has any personal taste in art, he favours art that with high visual impact, with sensation or shock value.

*** Ron Mueck, Baby. The sculpture is on the left. He also seems to like sculpture of the hyper-realist variety. He has supported the Australian model maker Ron Mueck; indeed, he has made his name as a sculptor.

### Stock photo of Charles & Maurice c. 1976.

This portrait photo was reproduced for about a decade over and over again in the press - the Saatchis never seemed to age - they had apparently achieved eternal life. As I have already mentioned, in 1970, Charles and Maurice (who had studied at the LSE) founded their own agency Saatchi & Saatchi - a highly effective name - that has prompted pictorial comments by certain artists eg

### Colin Lowe and Roddy Thomson (1996) However, ironically, by the time this was painted, Charles and Maurice had lost control of the advertising agency Saatchi & Saatchi and the global advertising group known as Saatchi & Saatchi PLC. They went on to found another agency - M & C Saatchi - in 1995, which has since proved successful.

**** Silk Cut billboard.

Another example of creativity: the Silk Cut adverts series of the 1980s, which may well have been influenced by the slit canvases of the Italian artist Lucio Fontana. Charles and Maurice Saatchi made fortunes via advertising which, in our view, is the most visible sign and advocate of the private

property, free market, capitalist system,

***** Barbara Kruger I Shop therefore I am

which, in my opinion, encourages a suicidal materialism, overproduction and consumption without regard to the negative effects on the environment. Advertising too may be thought of as a kind of visual pollution in its own right. Saatchi can be regarded as a compulsive shopper for art.

### Richard Maris, caricature of Charles and Maurice, New Statesman) 1988. Another objection socialists have against the Saatchi brothers and their close associates, is that they are Conservative in their politics. (Aside, that is, from Doris Lockhart Saatchi.) Maurice Saatchi, and his business associate Tim Bell (both of whom are now Lords - Frank Dobson called Maurice ‘Lord of the Lie’) assisted the Tory party and the Thatcher government to win several elections - a Party which many socialists believe did untold damage to this nation during their 18 years of power (1979-97). During the 1980s - the decade of greed Thatcherism suited the Saatchis, and the Saatchis suited Thatcherism.

### Labour isn't working poster (1978). For instance, this impressive poster has been credited with helping Thatcher win the election of 1979. It promised that life would be better under the Tories but unemployment - which was around 1 million under Labour, rose during Tory rule to 3 million; their policies also greatly increased the problem of homelessness.

### Mark Wallinger, painting from the Capital series (1991).

and then Charles Saatchi had the gall to collect and display paintings of the homeless - actually a friend of Mark Wallinger posing as a homeless person in order to question the normal representations of the homeless.

### Hans Haacke, ‘Taking Stock’ (1983-84) specifically for a show Haacke was holding at the Tate Gallery.

This is a satirical painting of Margaret Thatcher and the Saatchi brothers. Many artists are grateful to Saatchi for buying their work and helping to make them famous but not all artists regard Saatchi favorably. Peter Blake, for example,

refuses to sell to him; and the German-American Hans Haacke has undertaken detailed research into his finances and produced art works critical of Saatchi and Thatcher and her Victorian values. This painting with Saatchi bros images on broken plates was a reference to Julian Schnabel, an American painter whose works were owned by Saatchi but also shown at the Tate Gallery while Charles was a patron of new art – hence a conflict of interests.

### The anti-Labour, anti-Tony Blair 'Demon Eyes' posters of 1997. As in the past, the Saatchi advertising tactic was to be negative - to attack Labour. Apparently, there was nothing positive to say about the Tory policies. But this time the advertising did not turn the tide running against the Tories and Labour won with a huge majority in 1997.

#### Globe with all the Saatchi and satellite agencies from an annual report 1984-5. Globalisation, Accumulation, Conspicuous Consumption and Loss of Empire. During the 1970s and ‘80s, the Saatchi brothers built a huge global empire of companies mainly by buying them with money

raised on the stock market until they became the biggest advertising group in the world. So, the accumulation of clients and businesses paralleled the accumulation of artworks. I should explain that there were two collections – a corporate one (art for offices) and a private one (those works owned by Charles and Doris). Slogans 'Law of dominance', 'Nothing is impossible'. The brothers’ greed and lust for power was rationalised by the adoption of the 1983 Theodore Levitt theory of 'The globalisation of markets'.

**** BA Advert. Population of Manhattan flies to London each year. Their first global advert was for British Airways, which was privatised by Sir John King who sacked thousands of workers to make BA profitable. BA, a global company, needed its brand servicing worldwide, it needed adverts that could appear in 25 countries around the world at more or less the same time. ### Hans Haacke artwork 'The Saatchi Collection (Simulations)’ 1987, Victoria Miro Gallery.

When someone buys companies around the globe, they are likely to end up with properties in countries with poor human rights records. Hans Haacke - critical of the Saatchis'

connections with South African advertising agencies supporting the Apartheid regime in South Africa. (It seems Doris and Charles argued about this issue and their different political views may have contributed to the breakdown of their marriage.) Haacke’s attack was double-pronged: it was also directed at the simulation art of the Americans Jeff Koons and Ashley Bickerton that Saatchi was collecting.

### Doris Lockhart Saatchi, Robert Mapplethorpe, (1983.)

Let us backtrack to consider Charles the collector - he has colleted comics, jukeboxes and art. In our book we discuss some of the motives for forming collections but since we are not psychoanalysts and could not get Charles to recline on a couch, we avoided speculating as to his inner, mental motivations. History of his art collecting activities from the late 1960s to the 1980s. Importance of the role of his first wife Doris Lockhart (An American b. 1938 who had studied art history) married in 1973, they separated in 1987 and divorced in 1990. No children. Charles second wife - Kay Hartenstein is also American with an interest in art (they have one child, daughter Phoebe). NB Saatchi divorced Kay and is now married to Nigella Lawson.)

#### Donald Judd, Minimal sculpture - huge

Lockhart's taste was for Minimalism in both art and interior design. They began to buy art in bulk - mainly American. Collection now has 2,000 items, half by British artists. ### Lansdowne House, Berkeley Square,(c. 1990).

Art for Offices. 1) corporate collection; Management location, top floor, office decorated with art works. Confusion as to who owned the pictures. ### 12 Langford Place, St Johns Wood. Exterior. (1999). Home. Victorian Neo-Gothic style house in St John’s Wood.

2) personal collection, displayed in home and also lent to public galleries.

**** Interior: Reception room with Bruce Mclean.

**** Jennifer Bartlett 'the Garden' (1982).

Charles and Doris also acted like traditional patrons by commissioning art eg. The American painter Jennifer Bartlett to decorate a dining room in their home in St John's Wood. The works were returned to her after Charles and Doris divorced and she sold them to American collectors.

### Julian Schnabel in front of Accatone (1978), photo 1982 Tate Gallery. Before Charles had his own gallery he was involved with public galleries such as the Tate Gallery - Patrons of New Art - and the Whitechapel (trustee) which later caused him embarrassment because of criticisms of his conflicts of interest. eg the Julian Schnabel paintings loaned for a show. Schnabel was put out when Saatchi sold Accatone. As a Trustee of the Whitechapel, Charles learnt about plans for future shows and then bought work by the artists - eg Malcolm Morley. Akin to insider trading.

### Entrance Gate. Gallery in St John's wood.

### interior with with Warhols. To escape criticisms of conflicts of interest, Charles established his own gallery in 1985 to display his expanding collection. The

architect Max Gordon adapted the interior – Saatchi set new standards in the display of contemporary art.

######### Chairman Mao by Warhol.

The paradoxical presence of a great communist leader Warhol’s images of Chairman Mao in Saatchi gallery's first show. Supporters of Saatchi praise him for mounting shows of new American and German art and for his later attention to young British art - a series of shows that gave rise to the label 'yba’.

### Richard Wilson's '20:501 (1987), long term sump-oil installation – Virtually the only permanent work in the Gallery, which is not so much a museum as an Institute of Contemporary Art, and can be seen as a rival to the ICA, Serpentine, Whitechapel and Tate. Example of the shift in power from the public sector to the private sector during the 1980s. (Tate Modern is surely Serota’s riposte.) Jamie Wagg’s critical art proposals for the gallery – remove false walls, add portraits of the Thatcherites. Shifting character of the collection – you have heard of serial killers, well Saatchi is a serial collector – there has been a

number of them. Role of the catalogues and the Critics commissioned to write texts. The programme of exhibitions Saatchi is a curator and dealer as well as collector. (Hirst, also a curator of exhibitions and a businessman like his mentor.)

### George Grosz ‘caricature of a bourgeois businessman’. Art as a commodity and as an investment - the way Saatchi can create values, buying and selling art - is he a collector or a dealer? The collection is a 'living' collection, self-funding, always orientated to the latest trends and so it is virtually mpossible to analyse and judge. His use of the secondary market in art to unload works he has tired of - use of the American dealer Larry Gagosian and Sotheby's in New York. (Gagosian now operating in London.) Complaints by artists – Sandro Chia, Sean Scully, Schnabel - unhappy with his selling off of their works - they felt betrayed because they had assumed their works had entered a permanent collection. Criticisms were also made of the impact of Saatchi on the art market in general. For some years Charles sold off work from his collection via dealers and auctions in a secretive manner to avoid adverse publicity. But in December 1998 £1.6 million was raised via a well-publicized sale organised by Christie’s of work by artists made famous by the ‘Sensation’ exhibition a year

before. This profit-taking exercise was then justified by saying that bursaries to some London art students/colleges was going to be established. They rationalize what he has been doing for years - trying to get to young artists before they are signed up with a dealer.

### Sensation show with Chapman bros and Myra picture by Marcus Harvey in background. Charles's relations with artists – often pays them quick visits and buys in bulk. However, in some cases he has acted as a patron rather than a collector. His long-term support and commissions from Jenny Saville. Relation with other key figures in the artworld such as Norman Rosenthal - hence the Sensation show 1997 at RA and the controversies it provoked –

#### Cover of The Mirror. The Myra painting by Marcus Harvey was vandalized. Other art dealers complain they do not have access to the RA to mount shows promoting the work of their stables of artists. The Sensation show traveled to Germany but did not shock them – but it did disturb some New Yorkers when it went there. As a result, an invitation from Australia was rescinded.

#### Neurotic realism book. This marked a return to painting and sculpture - The New Neurotic Realism book (1998) and exhibition (1999) - and the fabrication of a whole new art movement with the help of the painter Martin Maloney - a spurious non-movement, Saatchi was seeking to determine the history of art. In 1997 Professor Lisa Jardine of London University, a fan of the supercollector wrote admiringly: 'Charles Saatchi appears to be successfully inventing the history of British art before it has even happened.'

### Photo of Charles giving cheque to Antony Gormley at Tate in 1982 when the sculptor won that year’s Turner prize. Irony of the fact that Charles does not collect work by Gormley. One of Charles few public appearances. He actually made a speech transmitted on TV. In spite of its large size, the Saatchi Collection has been criticised for its absences - eg No Gormleys, no Lathams and for its negative effect on other and socialist alternatives to the cult of the art object, the commodification of art, and the museum system.

*** Charles in go-karting gear. In our final chapter, we discuss the pros and cons of Saatchi's

public benefactions and the various kinds of power he has exercised: economic, ideological, political, and cultural/semiotic. Saatchi is a highly competitive individual who enjoys playing games that he likes to win. In the 1990s, he was reported to be spending £50,000 a year on the hobby of go-karting. We suspect that he enjoys playing games with culture too.

### colour photo of Charles Many entrepreneurs accumulate huge fortunes by exploiting their workers and the natural environment and then feel some guilt or remorse. They then try to redeem themselves by charitable and philanthropic acts. Often they use art for this purpose. But to me, this is fundamentally a bribe to society in order to justify the continued existence of an unequal, unjust economic system.

CODA. Rich people who collect art also exploit the creativity and labour of artists by buying artworks when they are cheap and selling them later for a profit once they have increased in value. The majority of young artists have a very low income

and hence they are grateful to anyone who buys their work. Perhaps they don't see that they resemble a reserve army of labour, which enables employers to pick and choose and to pay very low_yages. The huge profits that investors and speculators can make by re-selling art (true, they can also lose money, the market goes up and down, but in the long-term values rise) should benefit artists also - hence the need for resale rights for British artists which European artists already enjoy. In the case of Charles Saatchi he has established not simply a personal collection for his own pleasure but a whole, valueadding apparatus which attracts enormous free publicity from the media virtually every week. Thus, he buys in bulk at cheap prices and then sells now and then, when the value of the work has been increased by very system he has established! What a money-making machine! The profits made he then re-invests by buying yet more art for this collection and exhibitions-- so its overall value (£200 million?) does not decrease and Charles continues to enjoy a lavish lifestyle. There is an artwork by Jenny Holzer reproduced in the book – sorry there is no slide of it - but it is an electronic sign board which states 'Money creates Taste'. Doris Lockhart Saatchi also once stated: 'Collecting is a way of ordering and

controlling the world and we were both, in our different ways, very concerned with having control'.

The book 'Supercollector: A Critique of Charles Saatchi', (London: Institute of Artology, 3rd edn, 2005) by Rita Hatton and John A. Walker is sold via Amazon and is distributed by Turnaround Publisher Services, London.

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