"New Blood" might make you expect a parallel to Futures, but the artists are mostly more established. As the show's subtitle hints, Saatchi's motive is What I did (bought for my Hearst Castle) next.
The content is varied, though dominated by a disengaged, mordant, sick humour. Tim Noble and Sue Webster's Puny Undernourished Kid (2004) gets at the leitmotiv: VOID on his forehead. The art of the 'makers' works better than it did in white cubes elsewhere: Conrad Shawcross's creaking The Nervous System is faced down by Brian Griffiths's Boneshaker, and beyond that, Francis Upritchard's mummy moans, louder than she perhaps intended, but it looks more like the excavation it should have been at Becks Futures 2003. If Saatchi were showing any of Ron Mueck's (closer to) lifesize figures, we'd have a better chance to compare Mueck's verisimilitude to Duane Hanson's.
The painters: Daniel Richter can paint (though seems to take too much from Jock McFadyen and Peter Doig, whose paintings still look great), Jonathan Meese is very occasionally very good. David Ording's Rembrandt and Velazqueth (sic) Monographs are reminiscent of Phillips's postcard paintings, but seem out of place. James Jessop's Horrific is comic-movie-horror - I still know what you painted last summer (or is that a bit of jealousy that a fellow art student is in the Saatchi Gallery and we aren't?). Tal R really can't paint, though he can draw a bit. Raedecker doesn't really work as well here as he does elsewhere.
The stand-outs: David Thorpe's Do What You Have To Do (1998, from when he was keeping it simple) is a fantastic, forbidding cut-up collage. Dan Brady's Architectural Model 1:50, a "conglomerate blockbuster of a building" in cardboard and diagram for Kafka's K (The Trial). And Jake and Dinos Chapman's The Chapman Family Collection (2002), lit as it would be if shown at the British Museum, reminds us why (together with those defaced/rectified Goya etchings) they were the most talked about artists in the UK in 2003.
- BBC: Saatchi's New Blood: "while some of it is superficial and instantly forgettable, there are a few gems that could put a new generation of YBAs on the map"
- Guardian: Same again Saatchi: "Charles Saatchi had almost completed installing New Blood at his gallery at London's County Hall last week when we met by chance. 'Let me write your review for you,' he said, enraged. 'I'm a cunt, this place is shit, and the artists I show are all fucked. Will that do for you?'"
- Telegraph: Raw art reveals the good, the bad and the funky
- Metro: Money for old rope
- Observer: He's gotta have it: "with so much on show, it's getting harder to see anything to like"
- Hari Kunzru on Upritchard and the unheimlich)
- The art of pain ("modern culture is awash with images of mutilation and gore. But why has carnage become such an iconographic commonplace?")
- Rubens's masterpieces are informed by the violence and extremism of his contemporary, Caravaggio