Saatchi Gallery

The Saatchi Gallery

The Saatchi Gallery is one of London's many contemporary art galleries. It is one of the newest of the major modern art museums.

Founded in 1985, it was originally built to house a collection of Charles Saatchi's work. It grew from there to encompass the work of many more artists over the years. Throughout its existence, it has moved many times around London. The gallery has exhibited the works of artists from around the world. From domestic artists in the U.K. to artists based in the U.S. and in Asia.

The Saatchi Gallery is highly influential in the British art world. The gallery has been the platform from which many unknown artists have jumped into the mainstream. The gallery holds the philosophy that it intends to show interesting art to the public as it emerges. Not after it has been filtered through the public consciousness and deemed acceptable. Because of this, the gallery has been the subject of controversy over the years. For example, Marcus Harvey's painting of Myra Hindley was picketed and vandalized during the exhibition Sensations. Many visitors also found The Holy Virgin Mary, a painting that uses elephant dung created by Chris Ofili, to be highly offensive and even blasphemous. Though most of the controversy for this piece emerged when Sensations was exhibited in New York.

Nowadays, The Saatchi Gallery is a heavily-visited gallery which sees over one million visitors per year. For the last 5 years, 15 of the 20 most visited art exhibitions in London have been displayed at the popular Saatchi Gallery.

What Notable Works Have Been Exhibited at the Gallery?

The goal of The Saatchi Gallery is to present the bleeding edge of what is emerging in the art world. Some of the notable (and controversial works) that it has exhibited include:

  • Hi Paul Can You Come Over by Stella Vine, a work that depicts Princess Diana with blood dribbling from her mouth;
  • Dash Snow's Fuck the Police, a collage that includes the artist's own bodily fluids;
  • Monica by Gerald Davis which depicts a young woman performing a sexual act on man.

Works like these have often been criticized and some concerned citizens have called for special “adult only” rooms to be installed in the gallery. These complaining has gone unheeded. In fact, that gallery continues to thrive, in part due to the publicity and interest that comes with controversy.

What Are the Hours and What is the Cost?

The Saatchi Gallery is open 10 AM to 6 PM, every day of the week. Note that there is no new entry for visitors after 4:30 PM, so plan accordingly. The gallery is centrally located and easy to access by trains, bus, or underground transportation.

Because of its philosophy of attempting to bring new and controversial art to as wide an audience as possible, this gallery does not charge admission and all of its exhibitions can be viewed by the public free of charge. However, as you might expect, you can support the gallery with your donations or a membership.


Gallery informations

Saatchi Gallery
Duke of York’s HQ King’s Rd SW3
020 7823 2363
Sloane Square
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