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The Saatchi Gallery.

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Introduction

The Saatchi Gallery first opened eighteen years ago in Boundary Road, and was considered the best gallery space in London, with its sky lights producing lots of natural light onto the white walls displaying the art. The gallery only recently moved, in spring 2003 to its present location of County Hall, which was a former Greater London Council Headquarters. It was feared that this Edwardian building would not work well for the contemporary art, being the opposite of the original gallery. The present positioning of the Gallery has attracted a wider audience, as its location has taken it to the centre of London's cultural scene. The building has marble fireplaces and wooden floors and plaques recording former chairmen, and some of the rooms have been converted to accommodate the artwork. For example the "Boiler Room" has been painted white, with the pipes painted grey to enhance the unfired clay pieces by the sculptor Rebecca Warren. The grand entrance to the Gallery and the marble in the foyer contrast against the sometimes crude and shocking art inside. ...read more.

Middle

Many artists that exhibit their work at the Saatchi are initially unknown to the public and the critics. This helps some to be recognised and after their work is shown, many are offered spaces at other galleries. The atmosphere at this gallery felt full of suspense, and anticipation as the work and what it represented was viewed. The pieces were spread out and the small three dimensional items displayed on plinths to catch the eye. Some of the rooms leading from the main corridor had names from its former use, acting as a gentle reminder of its past. One such room was named the 'Boiler Room'. Inside were quite crude models made from un-fired clay. The walls were white and the floor was grey concrete. There was no colour in the room, and the pipes and beams had all been painted in the same grey. This grey unfinished look seemed to reflect the mood of the models, and the atmosphere it created. ...read more.

Conclusion

The interest in contemporary art has increased, attracting a wider range of people. Where as initially only people who were dedicated to contemporary art visited to see the work of the YBA, many colleges, universities, and more of the general public now visit. Part of me feels that the crude sexual pieces displayed inside insult the historic grand classic building that encompasses them, and another part of me can see that County Hall is the perfect place for the Gallery. Personally I do not think that Art Galleries will ever be out of date, compared with new technologies, because of the pure intensity of visiting amazing pieces of work. Television can never compare with seeing the pieces for yourself and the experience of visiting the gallery as a whole. The public pays an entry fee for the privilege of viewing Charles Saatchi's private collection, which helps towards the upkeep of the building and the wages of the staff that run the gallery for him. 1 ...read more.

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