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Saatchi Hangs ‘For Rent’ Sign On 600 Contemporary Works

British art collector Charles Saatchi is offering 600 of his contemporary artworks for lease or rent, with the aim of raising revenue to help fund his new gallery in London’s Chelsea, slated to open next June.

LONDON—British art collector Charles Saatchi is offering 600 of his contemporary artworks for lease or rent, with the aim of raising revenue to help fund his new gallery in London’s Chelsea, slated to open next June.

The plan is part of a corporate sponsorship package aimed at encouraging companies to support the gallery’s relocation to a new 50,000-square-foot building, Duke of York’s HQ. The move was precipitated by a breakdown in relations between Saatchi and his former landlords at County Hall on London’s South Bank (ANL, 10/11/05).

A large, glossy catalogue has been issued of the works available to lease—providing an intriguing insight into Saatchi’s holdings. Almost all the works have been produced in the past decade.

The collection includes a series of watercolor figures in portrait-bust pose by Chris Ofili, and figurative etchings and lithographs by Paula Rego. Then there are spot paintings by Damien Hirst and his series of 13 screen prints “The Last Supper.”

Portrait screen prints by Gary Hume are available in groups of three. Tom Hunter’s Johannes (Jan) Vermeer-inspired photograph Woman Reading Possession Order (recently shown at the National Gallery, London), also is available, as are painted pots from Turner Prize-winner Grayson Perry—Troubled, Poverty, Discreetly Branded and Posh Bastards House (sic)—and Tracey Emin’s series of Polaroid photographs “I’ve got it all,” 2000.

Works of Emerging Artists Included

Additionally there are works by young and less well-known artists whose pieces have not been shown at the Saatchi Gallery, giving an indication of the emerging artists currently favored by the collector.

A donation of £100,000 will entitle exhibition sponsors to the loan of 20 works for a year as part of the package. Those contributing £20,000 will be loaned five works, while corporate associates giving £5,000 will be allowed just one.

Alternatively, works from the catalogue are available as straightforward rentals. Twenty works will cost a company £15,000 for a year; five works, £7,000.

The latest exhibition of work from Saatchi’s collection “USA Today”—from his holdings of recent American art—is on show at the Royal Academy of Arts, London, through Nov. 4.

CHARLOTTE HIGGINS

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