The infamous, eponymous Saatchi Gallery is a leading light in London’s contemporary art scene and home to the extensive collection of the art world’s enfant terrible. To enter Charles Saatchi’s world is to dive into a controversial, questionable, often amusing and always intriguing collection that is almost used as the dictionary definition of contemporary art.
Saatchi, an advertising mogul turned self-confessed ‘artoholic’, curates three exhibitions a year from his private collection and is a leading opinion former in the UK art scene. He supports the near-mythical YBAs (Young British Artists) and has been showcasing the most provocative young artists for years.
Opinion remains passionately divided over the Saatchi Gallery’s artistic value, but its public appeal is undeniable. In 2011, two of its four exhibitions were the most visited in the UK, proving that for most art lovers the best way to find out is to pay it a visit. You may be amused, disturbed, inspired or appalled, but you certainly won’t be bored.
18 November 2011 – 30 April 2012
London seemed to have a German moment during this time. Gerhard Richter was at the Tate Modern, Anselm Kiefer at White Cube Bermondsey, and Gersamkunstwek: New Art from Germany was on show at the Saatchi Gallery. Presenting work by young and largely unknown artists living and working in the country (irrespective of their nationalities), this eclectic display of painting and sculpture provided a whirlwind insight into the edgier side of its artistic output.
The sculptures and artworks in the indoor dining area of this café/restaurant/bar create a continuity of culture between the gallery and restaurant. Gallery Mess is perfect for a date with its elegant and stylish interior, topped off with an excellent cocktail and champagne bar. We recommend sitting outside if the weather will allow, where you can drink a coffee, have a light snack, or a full meal.
Monday – Saturday 10.00 – 23.30
Sunday 10.00 – 19.00
This shop is very Charles Saatchi. Everything in here relates to contemporary or modern art. Alongside some lovely books about Saatchi himself and the artists he supports, there are lots of fun gifts including cameras that produce special effects and colourful watches. The kids section is inspired, lots of books and art sets that will get your child learning about art, possibly without even realising it.
This shop is the perfect place to start your art collection, should you have the desire. Seemingly an extension of the gallery and laid out like an exhibition, there are a dozen or so works and editions for sale, and can buy a Hirst spot painting or a Chapman Brothers print. Prices range from £500 to £30,000.
Duke of York’s HQ
+44 (0) 20 7811 3070
Monday – Sunday 10.00 – 18.00
Tube: Sloane Square (District Line, Circle Line), Victoria (Victoria Line, District Line, Circle Line)