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Saatchi Gallery
real life and online contemporary art collection in London Chelsea
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Saatchi Gallery
real life and online contemporary art collection in London Chelsea
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Duke Of York's HQ, King's Road
London
United Kingdom

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Owned by businessman and art collector Charles Saatchi and located at the Duke of York’s HQ in the very fashionable Chelsea borough in London.

It started off as Saatchi’s own personal collection of very serious artworks dominated by the likes of Donald Judd and Andy Warhol. He opened it up to the public in 1985, and after shifting around from venue to venue Saatchi finally found the big fancy building it's in now. (Fun and fairly useless fact: “Saatchi” means watchmaker in Iraqi Arabic and Persian.)

The Saatchi Gallery went through several phases in terms of its artistic temperament. From days of Minimalist purity it moved on to become a launch pad for the careers of the YBA (Young British Artists) around 1988. The Saatchi collection was once defined by its ownership of Damien Hirst’s iconic pickled shark aka "The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living". Hip British peeps like Gavin Turk, Tracey Emin, Jenny Saville, and Sarah Lucas, to namedrop a few, rose to serious fame through the Saatchi platform. But in a fit of PMS, Saatchi decided to sell off his seminal YBA works in 2004, including Hirst’s shark and Mark Quinn’s "Self", thus proving himself not a collector but a DEALER. No better than the pusher man. For shame!

Also in 2004, a fire in the gallery’s storage warehouse burnt down some significant works, including Tracey Emin’s campsite of confessions, Everyone I Have Ever Slept With 1963-95, a tent with the names of all her lovers embroidered inside. One can’t be sure if Emin was looking for quite such a Dante-esque level of catharsis, but here’s to wiping the slate totally clean.

Among other shocking and deliciously disorienting works, the gallery is still the proud owner of one of the most kick-ass installations known to art – Richard Wilson’s 20:50, which is liable to knock your socks off. And then you'll be underdressed.

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Here is what Wikipedia says about Saatchi Gallery

The Saatchi Gallery is a London gallery for contemporary art, opened by Charles Saatchi in 1985 in order to exhibit his collection to the public. It has occupied different premises, first in North London, then the South Bank by the River Thames, and finally in Chelsea, its current location. Saatchi's collection—and hence the gallery's shows—has had distinct phases, starting with US artists and minimalism, moving to the Damien Hirst-led Young British Artists, followed by shows purely of painting, and then returning to contemporary art from America in USA Today at the Royal Academy in London. A 2008 exhibition of contemporary Chinese art formed the inaugural exhibition in the new venue for the gallery at the Duke of York's HQ.

The gallery has been an influence on art in Britain since its opening. It has also had a history of media controversy, which it has actively courted, and has earned extremes of critical reaction. Many artists shown at the gallery are unknown not only to the general public but also to the commercial art world; showing at the gallery has provided a springboard to launch careers.

In 2010, it was announced that the gallery would be given to the British public, becoming the Museum of Contemporary Art for London.

Check out the full Wikipedia article about Saatchi Gallery.