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Charles Saatchi is one of Britain’s leading art collectors. He began by striving to promote young and hugely provocative talent by scouring colleges for promising students. Saatchi was excited by the idea of discovery and backed whom he thought were potentially the greatest artists of this generation.

In 1985, Saatchi owned a 30,000 sq. foot converted warehouse in North London, initially it was only those people with a dedicated interest in contemporary art who sought out the gallery, the audience however grew steadily and after 18 years of successfully acquiring and exhibiting work, the new Saatchi gallery opened at County Hall in Southbank, on 17th April 2003, a 40,000 sq foot converted gallery, the old home of the GLC.

On display, are works from the most popular and controversial artists of our time, some of whom Charles Saatchi discovered. The exhibition includes work by Damien Hirst, Tracey Emin, The Chapman Brothers, and Marcus Harvey, providing a diverse and ultimately intriguing collection of works being showcased, driving the term ‘Art’ into a new dimension.

The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living
Damien Hirst

This untamed seventeen foot Australian Tiger Shark is a trophy of masculine vitality. Captured and put on spectacle in a glass tank filled with formaldehyde, its frigid stillness is shockingly incomprehensible.




Mark Quinn

A sculpted self portrait cast from a mould of the artists head has been formed from a solid block of his own blood. Permanently frozen in a customised refrigeration unit, eight pints of blood bring this raw sculpture to life, questioning art and science with the developments of DNA cloning.












Great Deeds Against The Dead
Jake and Dinos Chapman

The Chapman Brothers continue to plough a rich vein of subversive and terrific humour by literally playing with history. Influenced by the nineteenth century Spanish painter, Francesco Goya, Great Deeds Against The Dead is a sculptural interpretation of one of Goya’s etchings. This life size hanging tree, hung with dismembered mannequins is a key piece of work amongst Saatchi’s collection.







Richard Wilson

This site-specific permanent display is undeniably an intriguing and encapsulating experience. Acting as a mirror, a shiny reflective black mass flooded to waist height, exploits the architecture and the entirety of the gallery. The initial unawareness of the spatial dimensions creates a deeply disorientating effect of mid air suspension.










Ron Mueck

Hyper-realist sculptor Ron Mueck alters the conventional scale of this unnerving self portrait. Mask is a four feet high sculpture made from acrylic and fibreglass resin, its scale and intricate detail makes the viewer feel intimidated like a frightened child looking up at an irate adult.











Jenny Saville

In Trace, Saville expresses the constriction marks left from a bra and knickers which has sunk into the female flesh. She constructs this oil painting with a weighty physicality as if it were a sculpture, her impressive visual and psychological penetration in the way she expresses her female models become a powerful theme within her work.












My Bed
Tracey Emin

My Bed is a highly ambiguous self portrait of Emin’s personal space, it is a stark reminder that this is where we spend large and crucial portions of our lives, sleeping, being ill, dreaming, making love and ultimately dying. Tracey Emin is a hard core expressionist, but by presenting her bed in its embarrassing glory, she is revealing she is also just as insecure and imperfect as the rest of the world.














Marcus Harvey

This 11ft x 9ft monumental portrait of Myra Hindley, is a shocking, yet powerful image of the serial killer. Created by thousands of tiny children’s handprints this copy of her famous image provokes an evil and unsettling resemblance.











The Holy Virgin Mary
Chris Ofili

Ofili’s holy mother is not the divine image of virtue, surrounded by porn and temptation, she is a tough disciplinarian. The virgin is a black woman in African dress and has all the trademarks of a renaissance painting.


Opens 17th April 2003

Sponsored by
The Observer


Sunday – Thursday 10.00 – 6.00pm
Friday – Saturday 10.00 – 10.00pm
Group Bookings available by appointment

Information Line: 020 7823 2363
Press: 020 7289 4440
Private Hire: 020 7354 0209


£8.50 Adults
£6.50 Concessions
£5.00 Pre-booked groups
Advanced Tickets: 0870 1160 278


Westminster on District, Circle & Jubilee Lines
Waterloo on Northern, Jubilee, Waterloo & City
& Bakerloo Southbank exit 6 right along Thames Path


Westminster Bridge 12, 53, 159, 211
York Road 211 77 381


All images copyright "The Saatchi Gallery - London" for more information contact

Reviewed by Nic Dew


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