Saatchi to donate art collection to nation

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

Celebrated art collector Charles Saatchi is gifting more than 200 works and his Saatchi Gallery to the nation, he announced today.

The works, by artists including Tracey Emin, Jake & Dinos Chapman and Grayson Perry, are worth more than £25 million.

The Saatchi Gallery in London's Chelsea will become the Museum of Contemporary Art, London (Moca London).

The works will be donated to the Moca London foundation and the Saatchi Gallery is in discussions with potential Government departments, which would own the works on behalf of the nation.

The permanent collection that Saatchi is gifting includes the Richard Wilson Oil Room installation, and Emin's signature work My Bed.

The Chapman Brothers' work Tragic Anatomies, with mutated mannequins frolicking in a garden setting, last seen in the Sensation exhibition, will be another major holding.

Also included is the recent installation by Emily Prince, which filled a gallery room with more than 5,000 drawings of dead US servicemen and women from the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, which she continues to build upon with the death of each soldier.

Another recently-seen work is from the Saatchi Gallery's Indian show, with a wall of bones forming the text of a speech by Gandhi, by Indian artist Jitish Kallat.

From the gallery's 2009 survey of Middle Eastern artists, the Kader Attia room of hundreds of life-sized praying figures made from aluminium foil will also form part of the museum's permanent collection.

The disturbing work Chinese Offspring by Zhang Dali, with life-size naked figures strung up by their feet from the rafters, will also be included.

The museum will be free to display artworks at all times, but when they are not being exhibited, the Government body may lend the works to other institutions.

A statement issued on the collector's behalf said: "Saatchi's view is that it is vital for the museum always to be able to display a 'living' and evolving collection of work, rather than an archive of art history."

Alongside a permanent collection, the gift will include several works which the museum may trade, using the cash raised to acquire new works.

New acquisitions will be added to the foundation's holdings to enable the museum to remain involved in spearheading the "newest developments in contemporary art".

This would continue in the traditions followed by the Saatchi Gallery since it began presenting public exhibitions a quarter of a century ago.

The London gallery sat in first place out of the UK attractions in a recent league table of global exhibition and museum attendance figures carried out by the Art Newspaper.

The Saatchi Gallery's exhibition The Revolution Continues: New Art from China, which opened in October 2008, drew more than 4,100 daily visitors.

The statement said the Saatchi Gallery's management team will ensure that the museum will continue to be free to the public, and run as it is today by securing sponsorship, and by using revenues from its facilities and hosting events.

The enigmatic millionaire, known for capturing the zeitgeist by snapping up the work of emerging talent, has been hailed as "the most powerful man in British art".

Married to TV cook Nigella Lawson, the 67-year-old told The Observer a year ago: "Art collectors are pretty insignificant in the scheme of things.

"What matters and survives is the art. I buy art that I like. I buy it to show it off in exhibitions.

"Then, if I feel like it, I sell it and buy more art. As I have been doing this for 30 years, I think most people in the art world get the idea by now."

The museum will aim to continue collaborations with other galleries in the UK and around the world, including the State Hermitage in St Petersburg, Russia, for which it has produced exhibitions of recent US and UK art.

Suggested Topics
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Keira Knightley and Benedict Cumberbatch star in the Alan Turing biopic The Imitation Game

Arts and Entertainment

Arts and Entertainment
Radio 4's Today programme host Evan Davis has been announced as the new face of Newsnight

Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell Williams performing on the Main Stage at the Wireless Festival in Finsbury Park, north London

Arts and Entertainment
Carrie Mathison returns to the field in the fourth season of Showtime's Homeland

Arts and Entertainment
Crowds soak up the atmosphere at Latitude Festival

Arts and Entertainment
Meyne Wyatt and Caren Pistorus arrive for the AACTA Aawrds in Sydney, Australia

Arts and Entertainment
Rick Astley's original music video for 'Never Gonna Give You Up' has been removed from YouTube

Arts and Entertainment
Quentin Blake's 'Artists on the beach'

Artists unveils new exhibition inspired by Hastings beach

Arts and Entertainment
MusicFans were left disappointed after technical issues
Arts and Entertainment
'Girl with a Pearl Earring' by Johannes Vermeer, c. 1665
artWhat is it about the period that so enthrals novelists?
Arts and Entertainment
Into the woods: The Merry Wives of Windsor at Petersfield
theatreOpen-air productions are the cue for better box-office receipts, new audiences, more interesting artistic challenges – and a picnic
Arts and Entertainment
James singer Tim Booth
latitude 2014
Arts and Entertainment
Lee says: 'I never, ever set out to offend, but it can be an accidental by-product'
Arts and Entertainment
tvThe judges were wowed by the actress' individual cooking style
Arts and Entertainment
Nicholas says that he still feels lucky to be able to do what he loves, but that there is much about being in a band he hates
musicThere is much about being in a band that he hates, but his debut album is suffused with regret
Arts and Entertainment
The singer, who herself is openly bisexual, praised the 19-year-old sportsman before launching into a tirade about the upcoming Winter Olympics

Arts and Entertainment
Arts and Entertainment
Jon Cryer and Ashton Kutcher in the eleventh season of Two and a Half Men

Arts and Entertainment
Ben Whishaw is replacing Colin Firth as the voice of Paddington Bear

Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy': A land of the outright bizarre

    Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy'

    A land of the outright bizarre
    What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

    What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

    ‘Weird Al’ Yankovic's latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do The Independent’s experts think he’s missed out?
    Can Secret Cinema sell 80,000 'Back to the Future' tickets?

    The worst kept secret in cinema

    A cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
    Facebook: The new hatched, matched and dispatched

    The new hatched, matched and dispatched

    Family events used to be marked in the personal columns. But now Facebook has usurped the ‘Births, Deaths and Marriages’ announcements
    Why do we have blood types?

    Are you my type?

    All of us have one but probably never wondered why. Yet even now, a century after blood types were discovered, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
    Honesty box hotels: You decide how much you pay

    Honesty box hotels

    Five hotels in Paris now allow guests to pay only what they think their stay was worth. It seems fraught with financial risk, but the honesty policy has its benefit
    Commonwealth Games 2014: Why weight of pressure rests easy on Michael Jamieson’s shoulders

    Michael Jamieson: Why weight of pressure rests easy on his shoulders

    The Scottish swimmer is ready for ‘the biggest race of my life’ at the Commonwealth Games
    Some are reformed drug addicts. Some are single mums. All are on benefits. But now these so-called 'scroungers’ are fighting back

    The 'scroungers’ fight back

    The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
    Amazing video shows Nasa 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action

    Fireballs in space

    Amazing video shows Nasa's 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action
    A Bible for billionaires

    A Bible for billionaires

    Find out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
    Paranoid parenting is on the rise - and our children are suffering because of it

    Paranoid parenting is on the rise

    And our children are suffering because of it
    For sale: Island where the Magna Carta was sealed

    Magna Carta Island goes on sale

    Yours for a cool £4m
    Phone hacking scandal special report: The slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

    The hacker's tale: the slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

    Glenn Mulcaire was jailed for six months for intercepting phone messages. James Hanning tells his story in a new book. This is an extract
    We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

    We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

    Child abusers are not all the same, yet the idea of treating them differently in relation to the severity of their crimes has somehow become controversial
    The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

    The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

    For instance, did Isis kill the Israeli teenagers to trigger a war, asks Patrick Cockburn