So much for BritArt: Saatchi turns to Germans

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The Independent Online

Charles Saatchi has shunned British artists in favour of Germans in a new exhibition of paintings that opens tomorrow at his London gallery.

The show is the second of a trio of exhibitions under the title The Triumph of Painting, which began in the former County Hall building earlier this year.

The advertising millionaire surprised the art world when he set aside the installations and sculptures for which he is best known in favour of works on canvas. "For me, and for people with good eyes who actually enjoy looking at art, nothing is as uplifting as standing before a great painting, whether it was painted in 1505 or last Tuesday," he told The Art Newspaper.

Although not necessarily known to a broad British public, many of the selected artists in part two are, like those in part one, firmly established in their own countries. Thomas Scheibitz, 37, for example, is representing Germany at the Venice Biennale, the long-standing international showcase of contemporary art.

The other artists are Albert Oehlen, 51, Franz Ackermann, 42, Dirk Skreber, 44, and Kai Althoff, 39, plus the Pole Wilhelm Sasnal, 33. Their subjects include the fall of Communism in Eastern Europe, natural disasters and accidents.

The exhibition is the first curated by Mr Saatchi since the 1987 New York Now show to exclude British artists - though part one included the Brit Peter Doig and the final instalment, due in November, will exhibit work by Dexter Dalwood.

Mr Saatchi lost nearly 150 works, including Tracey Emin's tent embroidered with the names of everyone she had slept with, in the Momart warehouse fire in May last year.

But this has not deterred the determined art-lover from acquiring new works. He is an assiduous visitor to a vast network of small and up-and-coming galleries, as well as more established art venues.

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