Friday, 2 July 2010

Charles Saatchi, 1943 -

Charles Saatchi has announced his intention to give a part of his collection and the Saatchi Gallery to the nation. See Guardian news story and comment by Adrian Searle. Reactions have been mixed. The following comments by Andrew Graham-Dixon are transcribed from BBC Radio 4's Front Row, broadcast on 1st July:

[Kirsty Lang (presenter): It was announced today that Charles Saatchi is gifting over 200 works, and his Saatchi Gallery in Chelsea, to the nation, to create a Museum of Contemporary Art… I asked [Andrew Graham-Dixon] for his reaction]

Just too late… I would have had Charles Saatchi’s collection, I would have bitten his hand off in 1987 - this was probably the greatest collection of contemporary art built up by anyone in the second half of the twentieth century…all those Warhols, all those Anselm Kiefers, that extraordinary collection: Bruce Nauman, Sol Lewitt, Carl Andre… incredible. … He’s sold them all… all the pies have been eaten [Kirsty Lang: …but it’s still a pretty impressive list of artists in there...?] No, not really, not for me. No, this is the crumbs on the table after all the pies have been eaten. This is the loose change in the box….It is just a terrible, terrible… shame that the greatest collection of contemporary art that the world has ever seen art was allowed to turn into - talcum powder - just disappear.

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