The Evening Standard’s Brian Sewell thinks Charles Saatchi deserves a bit more recognition for what he’s done for the arts in Britain:
Having long been among the most doubting of Saatchi’s critics, the most suspicious of his motives, the most repelled, revulsed and bored by the great bulk of what he has shown us, I could now argue that at great cost to himself he has performed a wily and subversive service in undermining contemporary art right round the globe — and I’d be greatly amused were this to prove true. But that is not what I believe. Instead, I must argue that without assistance from any public funds (least of all from the constipated Arts Council), he has single-handedly taken over one prime and vital duty of Tate Modern — to keep us abreast of contemporary art elsewhere.
I can think of no earlier collector of then contemporary art — not even Henry Tate himself, not even Samuel Courtauld — who has done so much to achieve this end, and I believe it to be time that Saatchi’s energy and generosity should be given serious recognition by the state. His brother was made a life peer for his services to Mrs Thatcher and her party. Melvyn Bragg was made Baron of Wigton for boring us to tears with his bland enthusiasms in the South Bank Show. Have I to look in vain for Charles Saatchi in this summer’s Honours List?
I Was Wrong Charles, You Have Done Us All A Service (This is London)