TATE BUYS TRUSTEE CHRIS OFILI'S THE UPPER ROOM FOR £705,000
This site first drew attention to the fact
that Chris Ofili, whose work The Upper Room was a major purchase
by the Tate trustees, is himself one of those trustees, who had earlier
asked other artists to donate work.
on this site about the Chris Ofili Upper Room Tate trustee scandal
+ May 2003 - Jul 2003 -
Nov 2003 - Jan
to Charity Commission and DCMS
to Paul Myners
at the top (this list is a selection of stories)
demo against Tate's trustee purchase here
the Charity Commission agrees with the Stuckists that the
Tate acted illegally over the Ofili purchase (19.7.06).
See coverage here.
continues: C4 TV news reader Jon Snow censored in Tate Trustee minutes
Standard, Londoner's Diary (first
edition 22.2.06). Details
smell of corruption" comment on artistica.co.uk
Serota dead in the water?" article by Charles Thomson
Also on www.heyokamagazine.com
Serota call it a day asks the Independent
Kapoor replaces Ofili as trustee
at "scandal-hit" Tate - Independent
Nicholas Serota's £250,000 "failing in his head"
signed an application for a grant from the Art Fund (NACF) towards
the purchase of Tate trustee Chris Ofili's work The Upper Room
in November 2004 and stated that the Tate had made no prior commitment
to buy this work. In fact eight months previously the Tate had paid
the Victoria Miro Gallery an initial instalment of £250,000
towards it. Serota has blamed his action on a "failing in his
head", although the exact failing is not stipulated. We suggest
that the failing was thinking that no one would ever find out.
and their role in starting the press coverage - Observer
close to the Tate think the "Ofili affair" would never have happened
without the Stuckists.
(Sources close to the Stuckists think it would never
have happened without the Tate.)
Tate has broken the law over Ofili says Christopher McCall QC in
Marr on Stuckist demo and Ofili purchase in Telegraph
(2nd item) (7.12.05)
Lord Smith attacks
the campaign against Ofili purchase Times
not insider trading if it's a Tate Trustee Sunday
Culture Minister David Lammy, Chris Ofili and Paul Myners Sunday
Scandal - Independent
(29.11.05) Feature summarising the story to date
government asks the Tate why it keeps acquiring its trustees' work Times
public not allowed to know how much it has paid for the art it owns Times
acquired work linked to six trustees: Times
(19.11.05) + Sunday
magazine (Dec 05): Emma Crichton-Miller sticks up for the Stuckists:
"Meanwhile, the press has been slow to explain that the fiercest hounding
of Ofili, the Tate and the Victoria Miro gallery has come from the Stuckists,
who want to destroy the reputation of artists they regard as part of the great
YBA contemporary art scam."
Upper Room self-destructs and may be removed
from display for several years....
Independent and Evening Standard (15.11.05)
made "a mistake" asking for Art Fund grant for Chris Ofili's The
and offers to return money. The
News and Evening Standard (14.11.05)
of this story is based on documents (including trustee minutes above) obtained
by Stuckists from the Tate under the Freedom of Information Act. This development
certainly confirms the principles stated by Tate Chairman, Paul Myners, who compiled
the well-known report for HM Treasury in 2001, Institutional
Investment in the United Kingdom. This states, amongst other points: "robust
disclosure requirements, can act as a powerful force for behavioural change.....
a regime based on transparency and disclosure, exposing the scheme's funding and
investment plans to scrutiny..... would encourage trustees to think carefully
about whether their investment strategy is sound. Making it publicly available
would expose it to public scrutiny."
in The Daily Telegraph on the Tate (7.11.05):
- It is gratifying to know that the £3.3 million paid by the Tate to Balkan underworld
figures for the return of two stolen Turner masterpieces was only for "information",
and not a payment to crooks (News, November 5). It was similarly a relief to learn
that there was no favouritism to trustee Chris Ofili when the Tate bought his
dung and map-pin creations for £705,000; he had left the room before the discussions
took place. The Tate was also right to reject a donation of 175 paintings shown
at the Walker Gallery for the Liverpool Biennial. After all, the Tate's chairman,
Paul Myners, has stated categorically that "painting is the medium of yesterday".
It doesn't matter that there are no works in the Tate collection by noted figurative
artists such as John Keane, Ken Howard, Bill Bowyer or Fred Cuming, as the Tate
has just acquired a work consisting of "metal coat hangers, ham radio and aerial"
to complement its 31 lumps of rock (cost: £700,000) and its tin of artist's excrement
(£22,300). What we need (and are about to get) is more provision at the Tate for
video art, in which, Sir Nicholas Serota has assured us, public interest is "greater
than ever before" (a fact sustained by BBC2's Culture Show, which found that at
least 2.8 per cent of the public are now interested in it). - Charles Thomson,
Co-founder, The Stuckists, London N2"
fails to donate anything
Apparently out of the 20 artists who promised
a year ago to donate work to the Tate only Paula Rego and Richard Long have so
far done so. Richard Brooks comments in The
Sunday Times: "Chris Ofili was another on the list. Having done very
nicely out of the Tate, which, controversially, bought his Upper Room, Ofili ought
to oblige pretty soon. Maybe as a parting gift when he steps down as a trustee
at the end of November?"
Ofili purchase - Stuckist letter
in The Times (2.11.05)
Magnus Linklater defends Serota over Ofili purchase Times
of the conflict of interest over buying a trustee's work on artdigestdaily.com
Dorment defends Ofili purchase Telegraph
Tate's failed fundraising and coathanger art in Sunday
Letts criticises the Tate Chris Ofili scandal, Sir Nicholas Serota,
Paul Myners etc in Daily
dossier sent to Charity Commission
the Stuckist dossier on conflict of interest in Ofili purchase sent
to Charity Commission and DCMS (Department of Culture Media and Sport)
Commission looks at Tate Chris Ofili Upper Room purchase
Hensher says no trustee's work should be accepted Independent
between Victoria Miro and Nicholas Serota including Ofili's forthcoming
Sunday Telegraph & Sunday
Times (23.10.05), Guardian
- Fraser Kee Scott, owner of the A
Gallery launched his appeal for paintings on "the hypocrisy
of Myners" (that is Paul Myners, Chairman of Tate, Marks and
Spencer etc) over the purchase of The Upper Room from Trustee
Chris Ofili. Paul Myners quote: "lack of transparency is......
Gayford comments on the story bloomberg.com
Letter in The Times (26.9.05) on "Tate's Spending"
"Sir, The Tate may not have to disclose the full price paid for the work
of one of its trustees (report, September 22), but it should do so, just as it
should declare the sum paid for “intelligence” in the recovery of the two Tate
Turners stolen when loaned to a German gallery. We have asked the chairman of
the Tate board, Paul Myners (the businessman who lectures the City on the need
for transparency and openness in its dealings), to say by what means his board
was assured that no part of the £3.5 million paid for the recovery of the Turners
fell into the hands of the thieves. He has offered no such assurance. Ironically,
it is part of the £17 million insurance windfall from the Turner theft that is
now enabling the Tate, by permission of the Charity Commission, to splash so much
money about, not on Turner purposes but on the already over-hyped, artificially
inflated and state-assisted market in contemporary British art. MICHAEL DALEY
(Director, ArtWatch UK)
East Barnet, Hertfordshire"
least £600,000 price for The Upper Room obtained by Stuckists
under FOI from the Tate Times
(22.9.05), also on
price mentioned in Evening
Vallen's weblog on 'Tate Rave' on
mentions "The Expensive Work of a Serving Trustee Collection"
on the Tate
request under the Freedom of Information Act for the amount paid by
the Tate for Chris Ofili's The Upper Room
Independent on Sunday (11.9.05)
It stated "critics would rather have a hard figure than a waffly
assertion that the deal is a bargain."
It quotes Tate Chairman ("a Bank of England grandee") Paul
Myners' statement that "lack of openness... is a form of soft
corruption which encourages an outcry", and comments, "Too
right, old boy!"
story first mentioned in The Evening Standard Londoner's Diary (first edition,
6.9.05). It was also featured in the Art Newspaper and Artwatch Journal.
Stuckist call for Ofili's resignation www.artnet.com
by Mark Vallen www.art-for-a-change.com
appearance in the press, based on initial information from Stuckists.
Price given as £100,000 + Sunday