Getting one’s bearings in a gallery or museum that doesn’t offer up a single bowl of fruit may be a bit disconcerting for the uninitiated. Such establishments can often be intimidating for the casual visitor. While the renowned Mr. So-and-So may have positively rocked the avant-garde movement of a particular decade in the last century, his work may not have entered the sphere of discussion for John Q. Public. The Saatchi Gallery of London doesn’t come with any baggage whatsoever and gives each and every visitor, both the experienced gallery hopper and the novice viewer, the opportunity to discover new artists and their works.
Fresh Faces and Canvases
The gallery features young, largely unknown artists from the United Kingdom as well as lesser-known international artists not familiar to London spectators. This auspicious introduction to a wider community often jump-starts the careers of many of the artists whose works are first exhibited in the gallery.
Founded over 25 years ago, Saatchi Gallery initially attracted mostly contemporary art enthusiasts. Today however, not only are the faces of the artists fresh, but so are those viewing them. The gallery hosts 600,000 visitors a year, many of which are school children participating in the extensive educational program organised by the institution. The curriculum for young people includes comprehensive pedagogical and activity resources, specialised instruction for teachers and an annual art competition.
On View Now
Saatchi Gallery is currently displaying the works of over 60 artists organized into two major exhibitions. “Paper” runs through 3 November. In this extremely varied exhibition, paper is featured in incredible variety. The works range from a small-scale image of pencil on paper to large sculptures constructed from paper. “New Order: British Art Today” runs through 1 December and shows the diversity of the contemporary British art scene. The offerings span from humorous paintings of banana peel figures to aggressive, oversized metal sculptures.
Upcoming exhibitions include “Body Language” that opens 20 November 2013, ”New Order II, British Art Today” that opens 11 December 2013, and “Painters Painters” and “Objectified: Sculpture Today” scheduled for next year.
For those outside of London or who can’t make it down to the Chelsea gallery, they can also find art at the online art gallery of Saatchi, that also features biographies of the exhibiting artists. In addition, Saatchi Gallery hosts an online exhibition space where emerging artists can show their work, and viewers can browse or even buy if interested.
Saatchi Gallery can be visited every day of the week from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. with the last entry at 5:30 p.m. Located in the Duke of York’s Headquarters on Kings Road in Chelsea, central London, the gallery is easily accessible by public transportation or private vehicle. In fact, its proximity to Sloane Square (3-4 minutes by foot) and Victoria Station (10-12 minute walk) make underground, bus and train access ideal.
Many visitors work up an appetite while viewing the exhibitions in the gallery’s 70,000 square-foot space and stop off in the Gallery Mess Restaurant, Bar & Café for a drink or something to eat. Its vaulted ceilings, artwork, food and terraced dining attracts diners on its own merit.
Admission to Saatchi Gallery is free for everyone. Private tours are also available for those who want a personal, in-depth look at the gallery that has been listed as one of the world’s most popular museums on Facebook and Twitter.