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Last Updated: Wednesday, 2 April, 2003, 10:46 GMT 11:46 UK
Art boss attacks Saatchi artists
Artist Francis Upritchard's entry
Francis Upritchard's Beck's Futures entry features a vibrating mummy
The Young British Artists championed by Charles Saatchi have been dismissed as "relics of the '90s" by the head of the Institute of Contemporary Art.

Philip Dodd, the ICA's director, made his comments as Saatchi prepared to open a new London gallery - the Saatchi Gallery at County Hall.

Mr Dodd said the likes of Tracey Emin and Damien Hirst - whose work will take pride of place in the Saatchi Gallery - are "a very Nineties story", according to a report in The Independent.

Mr Dodd later unveiled the annual Beck's Futures exhibition at the ICA, which features the work of nine young artists.

Charles Saatchi is
Saatchi champions the work of British artists

He admitted many of their works could not be displayed in the conventional environment of the ICA's galleries in The Mall, close to Buckingham Palace.

Among the works is a gagging order from artist Carey Young, preventing Beck's from using one of her works.

The work has been created but cannot be seen by anyone but the exhibition's sponsor.

Another entrant, Nick Crowe, has created a cyberglobe of 74 website addresses showing the world as under constant armed attack.

It is represented in the show by his website address on the wall and 10,000 promotional plastic bags.

Artist Toby Paterson
Toby Paterson won the Beck's Futures prize in 2001

"Historically, the principle on which the ICA has worked is to do it first," said Mr Dodds.

"Given Saatchi's identification with the 1990s and that the first few shows are all of the 1990s, his new gallery has the feel of a contemporary art museum.

"It's a museum of the recent past. It's different from showing artists that haven't been canonised."

Mr Dodd said the new generation presented in Beck's Futures were shameless.

He quoted the Cambridge archaeologist Colin Renfrew in claiming that art now was more like an "experimental laboratory" examining questions of who we are and where we are, than it was about painting.

A spokesman for Mr Saatchi said it was unfair to categorise his art as passe.

The Brits and modern art
12 Oct 01  |  Arts

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