Saatchi Gallery - Ant Noises Two

In March 2000 I saw “Ant Noises Two” (there had previously been an exhibition “Ant Noises One “ ) at the Saatchi Gallery: more raw stuff from Emin, Lucas and others.

Charles Saatchi is an avid collector of modern art, seemingly the more shocking the better! He has already bought the Chapman brothers Hell exhibits for £500,000. He sold off 128 works from his collection after the Sensation exhibition and made £1.62 million, although he did give money to London art schools after the sale.

The exhibition’s ‘star’ is Damien Hirst’s (he of the pickled animals in tanks!). The giant 20ft sculpture called Hymn, which has a man’s internal organs on display on the outside. Saatchi has championed Hirst from the beginning of the latter’s art student days, purchasing the first ‘Hirst’ 10 years ago paying £1,000 for the then unknown 24-year old artist’s Medicine Cabinet. Four months ago a similar cabinet sold for £212,000 at auction in New York!

Interestingly the statue was founded at Pangolin Edition; a bronze foundry tucked a way in deep valley in Chalford near Stroud, Gloucesterfgshire. It is easy to forget, when surveying the work, what a huge team was required to create the finished product of Hymn.

He also bought Tracy Emin’s “Unmade Bed” for £150,000.

He has also offered art to dozens of NHS hospitals but many of the hospitals have thought the paintings inappropriate for hospitals.

The Saatchi Gallery was house in a housed on Finchley Road. Now it occupies 1 converted factory at 98a Boundary Road, St John’s Wood: a breathtakingly light place for modern art.

Saatchi said, “I collect for the sheer pleasure of presenting exhibitions that I hope will be of interest “.


Verinha Ottoni.


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