PHILLIPS de Pury look to have taken another step to increase their influence as a major player in London’s contemporary art market by forming a new partnership with The Saatchi Gallery.
The agreement announced last week means that the auction house
will make an unspecified financial contribution to allow the new
Saatchi Gallery to offer free admission when it reopens in early
2008 at new premises on the King's Road, Chelsea in the Duke of
In return, Phillips de Pury hope that their status as official
partners of one of the most famous names in contemporary art will
further raise their profile.
The agreement also implies that Charles Saatchi is likely to sell
through Phillips whereas previously he has sold through Christie's
- including the 130 works from his collection sold in a single sale
at Christie's in December 1998.
"I have tremendous admiration for Phillips de Pury because of
their single-minded commitment to contemporary art," said Mr
Saatchi. "I am certain that over the coming years we will see them
grow into the major force in this area."
When ATG quizzed The Saatchi Gallery over the matter of future
consignments, a spokeswoman said: "Although that is not part of the
deal of the partnership, by making this important contribution
Phillips de Pury would naturally expect us to show them some
loyalty in return."
The new Saatchi Gallery will have 70,000 square feet of exhibition
space, making it one of the largest contemporary art museums in the
world. It is estimated that attendance will grow from 600,000 to
over one million visitors a year. The old gallery in the former
County Hall in London closed two years ago after a dispute with the
The first show at the new gallery will be an exhibition of Chinese
contemporary art from The Saatchi Gallery collection. Phillips de
Pury will also be focusing on this area when they offer the Farber
collection of Chinese avant-garde art at their permanent and
refurbished London saleroom in Howick Place on October 13.
The partnership also means that The Saatchi Gallery and Phillips
de Pury websites will link to provide a new platform for both
artists and buyers. The Saatchi Gallery currently have 60,000
artists and art students displaying their art online via their
'Your Gallery' site (which they say receives 40 million hits a day)
and Phillips de Pury have recently launched
www.phillipsartexpert.com, which offers an interactive guideline
for art collectors to navigate the contemporary art market.
Simon de Pury, chairman of Phillips de Pury, said: "We have long
been an admirer of The Saatchi Gallery, which has played a leading
role as a tastemaker in the contemporary art world for a large
number of years.
"We strongly believe that in addition to a commercial vocation we
have a cultural vocation and we are thrilled that through our
partnership, a very wide public will have free access to the
exhibitions at the Saatchi Gallery."
By Alex Capon
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