TodayOnline interviews Charles Saatchi’s curator, Nigel Hurst, and gets an answer to why Saatchi buys and sells so much art work:
You’ve been working with Charles Saatchi and his gallery for 13 years now. Has there been one single big change you’ve witnessed in London’s contemporary art scene during that time?
Nigel Hurst: The London contemporary art scene certainly, when I joined the gallery, was still quite parochial. Charles Saatchi was probably the only significant buyer of contemporary art at that time. There’s now a huge number of contemporary art buyers. […]
So what does Saatchi Gallery find interesting in art coming from this part of the world?
We’ve actually been interested in (art coming from) anywhere. If you look at the history of the Saatchi Gallery, we’ve always shown work that internationally are the most important work as and when it’s being made – not five or four years after it’s made. It’s very much about showing contemporary art now and that hopefully points the way to future trends rather than acting as some kind of archive.
Which is why there’s a constant process of acquisition and sale because it’s important that the collection remains fresh and relevant. It’s a contemporary art collection, not a modern art collection. It’s not art from the last 100 years, it’s about the here and now.
But having your pulse on the here and now would mean there’s a chance that it’s going to be a hit-and-miss thing and that an artwork might not stand the test of time, right?
Art history is very cruel. We can’t control it. (Laughs)
Saatchi’s Life (TodayOnline)