Tuesday, 12 February 2013

What is wrong with the curators at Saatchi?

The Saatchi Gallery is one of the best spaces for displaying art in London. A beautiful building, with large (but not too large) spaces, big enough to do justice to any artist or genre, but small enough to get through in a reasonable time. The Tate, for instance, can be overwhelming. The Saatchi, size-wise and location-wise is really just about perfect.

But they really seem to have no fucking taste when it comes to art.

I do realise that art is a very personal thing, and that modern art is more about the reaction that it provokes than about the quality of the work, but really, the Saatchi seems to give far too much preference to slap-dash, half-assed "craftsmanship".

After the creative brilliance of the Hayward's Chinese exhibition, I was really looking forward to the two Russian art exhibitions at the Saatchi: GAIETY IS THE MOST OUTSTANDING FEATURE OF THE SOVIET UNION and BREAKING THE ICE: MOSCOW ART, 1960-80s.

While the photos in the "Gaiety" part of the exhibition were technically accomplished and Mikhailov's horrifying and graphic pictures of Ukrainian poverty were thought-provoking, there was a depressing lack of effort displayed in the paintings and installations. I feel that if an artist leaves their art looking like it was thrown together without any effort or thought, I'm not particularly inspired think about what the artist might be trying to say. I find it hard to get past the slapdash nature of the work.

I always walk out of the Saatchi feeling a bit like the artists have said: "That Saatchi will show any old shit, so that's what I'm going to give them."

It's just as well they don't charge, or I'd be asking for my money back.


JamesW said...

I don't get much of the stuff in there, but I did like the large cardboard paintings by Valery Koshlyakov http://www.saatchi-gallery.co.uk/artists/valery_koshlyakov_articles.htm

They look like junk close up, but become recognisable from a distance. And as you say, at least it's free.

gladiolys said...

I agree with you Obnoxio. The exhibition they had of modern middle eastern art has been the only one in which the good was more abundant than the bad.