Contemporary Art Market: Saatchi swoops for video pieces

CHARLES SAATCHI, the advertising tycoon, has made another dawn raid on a gallery, sweeping up the top exhibits for his famous collection of contemporary art.

This time the lucky artist is Tony Oursler, an American who is having his first London showing at the Lisson Gallery, at 67 Lisson Street, W1. The purchases imply a small shift of emphasis in the collection; Mr Saatchi has recently been concentrating on young British artists.

'Saatchi has an extraordinary nose for a good artist,' Nicholas Logsdail, who runs the gallery, said. 'He arrived three days before the opening and bought the three best pieces.'

Oursler is a video artist with a difference. The three pieces Mr Saatchi purchased are all roughly-made figures with squarish pillows for heads; on to the pillows he projects a video image of his own, or someone's else's head, accompanied by a soundtrack. The pieces take about 20 minutes to get through their script.

POV (Point of View) has a black-and-white video face above scarecrow-type clothes strung high up in a corner of the gallery, with an eerie green light behind them. The face, which is the artist's own, horribly distorted by the shape of the pillow, voices an argument about ghosts between a scientist, a priest and a man who has experienced them; the text is a cleverly observed anthology of cliches - 'all they are is an electro- magnetic field, at this point'. It was priced at pounds 10,000.

MMPI Test Dummy No. 2 ( pounds 9,500) is another scarecrow, at ground level, with a pink face which invites the viewers to 'answer the following statements, true or false' as a means of testing their own sanity. The unaccented statements range from the banal to the horrifying.

Mr Saatchi's third purchase is a tiny figure, like a voodoo doll, which features the face of an actress, Tracy Leopold. For 15 minutes her facial expression reveals a desperate attempt to control hysteria, then she breaks down and screams. It is called Hysterics and costs pounds 5,500.

Peter Doig, a British painter, won the Eliette von Karajan prize in Salzburg, Austria, last week. The prize - about pounds 13,000 cash and a fully catalogued exhibition that will tour Salzburg, Vienna and Paris - was established by the famous conductor's widow in memory of her husband. Doig also won first prize at the John Moores Exhibition in Liverpool last December. His work can be admired at the Victoria Miro Gallery, 21 Cork Street, London W1, until Friday.

(Photograph omitted)

peopleFrankie Boyle responds to referendum result in characteristically offensive style
Life and Style
Couples have been having sex less in 2014, according to a new survey
New Articles
i100... with this review
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Holly's review of Peterborough's Pizza Express quickly went viral on social media
footballTim Sherwood: This might be th match to wake up Manchester City
Arts and Entertainment
musicHow female vocalists are now writing their own hits
New Articles
Arts and Entertainment
musicBiographer Hunter Davies has collected nearly a hundred original manuscripts
Blahnik says: 'I think I understand the English more than they do themselves'
Arts and Entertainment
Michelle Dockery as Lady Mary Crawley in Downton Abbey
TVInside Downton Abbey series 5
Life and Style
The term 'normcore' was given the oxygen of publicity by New York magazine during the autumn/winter shows in Paris in February
fashionWhen is a trend a non-trend? When it's Normcore, since you ask
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Marketing Manager - Leicestershire - £35,000

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager (CIM, B2B, MS Offi...

Marketing Executive (B2B and B2C) - Rugby, Warwickshire

£22000 - £25000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A highly successful organisation wit...

SEN Coordinator + Teacher (SENCO)

£1 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Job Purpose To work closely with the he...

Research Manager - Quantitative/Qualitative

£32000 - £42000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client is curr...

Day In a Page

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam