THE SAATCHI SHOW; Move over Charles, Kay Saatchi Has the Best Eye in Town Says Bronwyn Cosgrave. Here Are Her Six Picks for the Future of Art
Byline: BRONWYN COSGRAVE
Is it possible to stage a sequel to Sensation? Ten years on from the Royal Academy's exhibition - which, displaying controversial works from Charles Saatchi's collection, launched the careers of London's Young British Artists - Kay Saatchi, the advertising mogul's ex-wife, is certainly ready to try. Her new offering is Anticipation, a group show championing 25 of the capital's rising stars.
Seated by a grand piano dominating the salon of her art-drenched Pimlico home, Saatchi, a 54-year-old blonde with 20 years of curatorial experience, is in a buoyant mood. 'Anticipation sums up a feeling young artists often have at the start of their careers,' she says, although the artists aren't as young as they were when the project started: 'We worked on this show for two years.' The problem was to find a space, but eventually property mogul David Roberts chose it as the inaugural show for One, One, One, his West End gallery. Saatchi and her two co-curators, Catriona Warren, Art Review's former editorial director, and Flora Fairbairn, an artist's agent, former gallerist and consultant, visited hundreds of up-and-comers' studios in the intervening two years and they scoured art colleges for the freshest talents.
Unlike Sensation, their show isn't out to shock. 'Art can be beautiful again,' says Saatchi. 'Artists once pronounced the word "beautiful" with a sneer,' adds Warren, referring to the Nineties YBA conceptualists.
'There are no penises in this show!' declares Saatchi.
Fascinated by a 2006 Metro newspaper story chronicling an owl's crash into a patio door of a Leicester home and the imprint left behind, Islington sculptor Douglas White tracked down the owners of the glass door. He'll show it as Owl (2007) at Anticipation. Framed in oak, the work (left) represents the relentless drive of 30-year-old White, who stops at nothing to obtain found objects.
Raised in Surrey and educated at St Paul's, he completed a Royal College of Art MA in 2005 after obtaining a BFA from the University of Oxford's Ruskin School of Drawing & Fine Art. He inherited his drive from his father, a money broker who, though now retired to New Zealand, 'never really stops,' concedes White.
With the help of his girlfriend, painter Sarah Douglas, White prised the patio door away from its owners by providing a charitable donation, a suitable replacement and examples of his best-known series - palm trees fashioned from burst tyres he finds littering roadsides in Belize. Winning the 2004 Belize Travel Award, White began to retreat regularly to Poustinia Land Art Park, a foundation within the Caribbean island's rainforest, where Black Cahune, his first palm, now stands. Icarus Palm followed on for Goodwood Sculpture Park. To complete a palm-in-progress dominating his cramped Hackney studio, White shipped two tonnes of old tyres from Belize.
'You would be amazed what I can pack into my Peugeot 306,' he laughs.
Gillian Anderson is already a fan of Amy Ison's ink drawings. 'It was exciting... bewildering,' says the 31-year-old from Cardiff, who is doing an MA in Art Psychotherapy at Goldsmiths, of the show at which the actress snapped up her work.
'I never thought about selling my work,' she adds. But she began to do so after she was short-listed for the 2006 Jerwood Drawing Prize.
Her large-scale works on paper - such as Bingo (below) - depict innocent daydream-like scenes incorporating cupcakes, superhero cartoons, handbags and cutout paper-doll costumes. Such items seem plucked from another time. She struggles to explain her motivation: 'I think there is something about the pleasure of drawing that's private.' It also relates to her childhood which she spent in the same way she lives now - between London and Cardiff, where she lived until the age of ten, with her father, a carpenter. Attending Northwood Comprehensive, she spent her teenage years with her mother, a dressmaker. …