16 Facts About Saatchi Gallery


Saatchi Gallery is a London gallery for contemporary art and an independent charity opened by Charles Saatchi in 1985.

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Exhibitions which drew upon the collection of Charles Saatchi, starting with US artists and minimalism, moving to the Damien Hirst-led Young British Artists, followed by shows purely of painting, led to Saatchi Gallery becoming a recognised authority in contemporary art globally.

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In 2019 Saatchi Gallery became a registered charity and begun a new chapter in its history.

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Saatchi Gallery's mission is to support artists and render contemporary art accessible to all by presenting projects in physical and digital spaces that are engaging, enlightening and educational for diverse audiences.

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The Saatchi Gallery presents curated exhibitions on themes relevant and exciting in the context of contemporary creative culture.

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In 2019, Saatchi Gallery transitioned to becoming a charitable organisation, relying upon private donations to reinvest its revenue into its core learning activities and to support access to contemporary art for all.

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From September 1987 – January 1988, the Saatchi Gallery mounted two exhibitions entitled New York Art Now, featuring Jeff Koons, Robert Gober, Peter Halley, Haim Steinbach, Philip Taaffe, and Caroll Dunham.

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Saatchi Gallery augmented this with his own choice of purchases from art colleges and "alternative" artist-run spaces in London.

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Saatchi Gallery's first showing of the YBAs was in 1992, where the star exhibit was a Hirst vitrine containing a shark in formaldehyde and entitled The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living.

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In 1998, Saatchi Gallery launched a two part exhibition entitled Neurotic Realism.

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Saatchi Gallery was angry that a Mini car that he had decorated for charity with his trademark spots was being exhibited as serious work.

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Saatchi Gallery, said that most YBAs would prove "nothing but footnotes" in history, and sold works from his YBA collection, beginning in December 2004 with Hirst's iconic shark for nearly £7 million, followed by at least twelve other works by Hirst.

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In 2005, Saatchi Gallery changed direction, announcing a year-long, three-part series, The Triumph of Painting.

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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.

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On 6 October 2005, a court case began, brought by the owners and landlord of County Hall, the Shirayama Shokusan Company and Cadogan Leisure Investments, against Danovo, trading as the Saatchi Gallery, for alleged breach of conditions, including a two-for-one ticket offer in Time Out magazine and exhibition of work in unauthorized areas.

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Saatchi Gallery's goal is to show contemporary work that would otherwise not be seen in London institutions such as Tate Modern.

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