Tate snaps up Chapmans' 'Family Collection'

When Charles Saatchi first saw Jake and Dinos Chapman's sculpture of pseudo-African totems and masks bearing McDonald's logos, he hailed the work as a standard-bearer of "what great art should be" – and bought it for a reported £1m.

Now, six years after Saatchi's epiphany at the White Cube Gallery, the Tate Gallery has acquired the work. The sale, according to The Art Newspaper, is likely to be one of the gallery's most expensive purchases of contemporary art in recent years. It was aided by The Art Fund, an independent arts charity. The price has yet to be disclosed, and will be revealed in the Tate's next biennial report.

The Chapman Family Collection, which helped earn the brothers a Turner Prize shortlist nomination in 2003, was most recently lent by Saatchi to a Tate Liverpool retrospective, which opened in December 2006. It is believed that it was after this exhibition that sale discussions between Saatchi and the Tate began.

The deal was arranged through the White Cube Gallery, which represents the two artists. It is unclear if the gallery bought the work back from Saatchi before selling it on to the Tate or whether it served merely as an intermediary. It is widely known that Saatchi, one of Britain's most significant arts collectors who is due to open his new gallery this spring, has sold much of his collection from the 1990s to add new works by emerging international artists.

The work consists of 34 carved and painted pieces inspired by African masks and fetish objects, and incorporates McDonald's symbols. The faux-ethnographic works have clown faces and features made from burger buns.

Reviewers hailed the work as a symbol of a global age in which the American fast food chain had infiltrated "the most remote corners of the world", while Jake Chapman is reported to have offered a rather different explanation by saying: "We want to make McDonald's into a religion."

When it was shortlisted for the Turner prize, the Tate described the work as paying "ironic homage to the fast food giant". It added: "They appeared genuinely authentic until a closer inspection revealed the corporate symbolism of the hamburger chain. Issues of colonialism, capitalism, racism and globalisation are inherent in the work, yet no critique or political statement is offered by the artists. Rather, the Chapmans' aim is to unearth the contradictions and hypocrisies present in contemporary culture, posing questions but providing no answers."

Tate already owns two sculptures by the brothers, including Little Death Machine, which was given anonymously in 1997, and Disasters of War, which consists of a series of three-dimensional recreations of Goya's etchings depicting acts of violence, which was bought in 1998.

The brothers rose to prominence in the 1990s, becoming seminal figures in the Young British Artists movement. They were among the group of YBAs whose works created a storm in the 1997 Sensation exhibition at the Royal Academy.

Arts and Entertainment
Just folk: The Unthanks

music
Arts and Entertainment
Eddie Redmayne with his Screen Actors Guild award for Best Actor

film
Arts and Entertainment
Rowan Atkinson is bringing out Mr Bean for Comic Relief

TV
Arts and Entertainment

Theatre

Arts and Entertainment
V&A museum in London

Art Piece taken off website amid 'severe security alert'

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment
Reese Witherspoon starring in 'Wild'

It's hard not to warm to Reese Witherspoon's heroismfilm
Arts and Entertainment
Word up: Robbie Coltrane as dictionary guru Doctor Johnson in the classic sitcom Blackadder the Third
books

Arts and Entertainment
The Oscar nominations are due to be announced today

Oscars 2015
Arts and Entertainment
Hacked off: Maisie Williams in ‘Cyberbully’

Maisie Williams single-handedly rises to the challenge

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Eddie Redmayne in The Theory of Everything and Benedict Cumberbatch in The Imitation Game are both nominated at the Bafta Film Awards
Arts and Entertainment

Academy criticised after no non-white actors nominated

Arts and Entertainment
Damian Lewis shooting a scene as Henry VIII in Wolf Hall
TV

Arts and Entertainment
A history of violence: ‘Angry, White and Proud’ looked at the rise of far-right groups

tv

An expose of hooliganism masquerading as an ideological battle

Arts and Entertainment

art

Lee Hadwin can't draw when he's awake, but by night he's an artist

Arts and Entertainment

TV

Arts and Entertainment
Michael Keaton in the 1998 Beetlejuice original

film

Arts and Entertainment

TV

Arts and Entertainment
Olivia Colman and David Tennant star in 'Broadchurch'

TV

Arts and Entertainment
Michael Kitchen plays Christopher Foyle in ITV's 'Foyle's War'

TV
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Downton Abbey star Joanne Froggatt will be starring in Dominic Savage's new BBC drama The Secrets

Arts and Entertainment
Vividly drawn: Timothy Spall in Mike Leigh’s ‘Mr Turner’
film
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

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

    Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

    Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

    One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
    The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

    The enemy within

    People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
    'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

    'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

    Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
    Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

    Autumn/winter menswear 2015

    The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
    'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

    'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

    Army general planning to come out
    Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

    What the six wise men told Tony Blair

    Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
    25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

    25 years of The Independent on Sunday

    The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
    Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
    Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

    Smash hit go under the hammer

    It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
    Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

    The geeks who rocked the world

    A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
    Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

    Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

    Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
    America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

    America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

    These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
    A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

    A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

    A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
    Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

    Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

    A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
    Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

    Growing mussels

    Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project