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
Wonder.land Musical by Damon Albarn

Theatre

Arts and Entertainment

Film review

Arts and Entertainment
Innocent victim: Oli, a 13-year-old from Cornwall, featured in ‘Kids in Crisis?’
TV review
News
Northern exposure: social housing in Edinburgh, where Hassiba now works in a takeaway
books An Algerian scientist adjusts to life working in a kebab shop
Arts and Entertainment
Terminator Genisys: Arnie remains doggedly true to his word as the man who said 'I'll be back', returning once more to protect Sarah Connor in a new instalment

 

film review
Arts and Entertainment

festivals
Arts and Entertainment

Final Top Gear review

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

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment

music
Arts and Entertainment
Pete Doherty and Carl Barat perform at Glastonbury 2015

music
Arts and Entertainment
Lionel Richie performs live on the Pyramid stage during the third day of Glastonbury Festival

music
Arts and Entertainment
Buying a stairway to Hubbard: the Scientology centre in Los Angeles
film review Chilling inside views on a secretive church
Arts and Entertainment
Jason Williamson, left, and Andrew Fearn of Sleaford Mods
musicYou are nobody in public life until you have been soundly insulted by Sleaford Mods
Arts and Entertainment
Natalie Dew (Jess) in Bend It Like Beckham The Musical
theatreReview: Bend It Like Beckham hits back of the net on opening night
Arts and Entertainment
The young sea-faring Charles Darwin – seen here in an 1809 portrait – is to be portrayed as an Indiana Jones-style adventurer
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.

    Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

    Is this the future of flying?

    Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
    Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

    Isis are barbarians

    but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
    The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

    Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

    Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
    Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

    'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

    Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
    Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

    Call of the wild

    How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
    Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

    'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

    If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
    The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

    The science of swearing

    What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
    The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

    The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

    Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
    Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

    Africa on the menu

    Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
    Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

    Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

    The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'
    10 best statement lightbulbs

    10 best statement lightbulbs

    Dare to bare with some out-of-the-ordinary illumination
    Wimbledon 2015: Heather Watson - 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

    Heather Watson: 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

    Briton pumped up for dream meeting with world No 1
    Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve

    Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

    It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve
    Dustin Brown: Who is the tennis player who knocked Rafael Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?

    Dustin Brown

    Who is the German player that knocked Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?
    Ashes 2015: Damien Martyn - 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

    Damien Martyn: 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

    Australian veteran of that Ashes series, believes the hosts' may become unstoppable if they win the first Test