1.8.1 Young British Artists

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Landy, Market
Whiteread, Ghost
Bulloch, Smoke Spheres 2-4
Hirst, Physical Impossibility of Death…
Gallaccio, Preserve ‘beauty’

Rae, Untitled (grey and brown)
Lucas, Two fried eggs and a kebab
Fairhurst, Man abandoned by colour
Emin, My Bed
Saville, Blue Pieta

The Young British Artists, or YBAs (aka Brit artists or Britart) is a loose group of visual artists who first began to exhibit together in London in 1988. Many of the first generation of YBA artists graduated from the BA Fine Art course at Goldsmiths – University of London, in the late 1980s, a second generation came mostly from the Royal College of Art.

(Source: Wikimedia commons)

The Young British Artists participated in two of the most shocking exhibits of the late-20th century: Freeze (1988) and Sensation (1997). The group was known for its entrepreneurial spirit, its use of shock tactics, and the wild partying during their 1990s heyday. The most financially successful YBAs are now some of the richest artists in the world, and remain brash and incredibly media-savvy – their choice of subject matter and perceived lack of artistic skill makes their work postmodern.

A detailed list of those involved in the YBA movement would include (emboldened = featured artwork):

Brown, Glenn1966-English
Bulloch, Angela1966-Canadian-English
Collishaw, Max1966-English
Davenport, Ian1966-English
Emin, Tracey1963-English
Fairhurst, Angus1966-2008,
aged 41
Gallaccio, Anya1963-Scottish
Gillick, Liam1964-English
Hirst, Damien1965-English
Hume, Gary1962-English
Innes, Callum1962-Scottish
Jopling, Jay Jeremy Michael1963-English
Landy, Michael 1963-English
Lane, Abigail1967-English
Lucas, Sarah1962-English
Miro, Victoria1945-English dealer
Ofili, Chris1968-English
Parker, Cornelia1956-English
Rae, Fiona1963-Hong Kongese/English
Saville, Jenny 1970-English
Schubert, Karsten1961-2019German, London art dealer
Wearing, Gillian 1963-English [1810-10]

Whiteread, Rachel1963-English

(Image source: lindseycrambart.wordpress.com)
Michael Landy’s Market was an installation made by arranging typical market-stall stands, artificial grass and ubiquitous plastic crates ‘borrowed’ from bread manufacturers as platforms for their goods. Landy draws attention to this act of theft and re-use that has become part of an accepted daily ritual repeated throughout the world.
[Source: lindseycrambart.wordpress.com]
Market1990Stalls, artificial grass,
plastic bread-crates
Landy, Michael1945-EnglishYoung British Artists
LOCATION:SIZE (cms): [1810-11]

Whiteread produces sculptures, which typically take the form of casts. She was the first woman to win the annual Turner Prize in 1993.

This cast a small room that Whiteread was using as a studio in a modest house, retains the imprint of details such as the fireplace, light switches, double-hung windows and baseboard moulding. She turned them inside out to form the exterior of a room-sized block of plaster. The effect is disturbing – are we inside or outside?
[Source: theartblog.org]

(Image source: theartblog.org)
Ghost1990Plaster on steelSculpture
Whiteread, Dame Rachel1963-EnglishYoung British Artists
LOCATION:SIZE (cms): [1810-12]

Moveable269 x 356 x 318

(Image source: Wikimedia commons)
Bulloch’s art commonly relies on the interpretation of the viewer, with its meaning being determined by their subjectivity. A number of her light and music works are developed using technology Bulloch has created herself.
[Source: Wikimedia commons]
Smoke Spheres 2-4?LightsInstallation
Bulloch, Angela1966Canadian-EnglishYoung British Artists
LOCATION:SIZE (cms): [1810-13]

(Image source: Wikimedia commons)
The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living has become embedded in popular culture as one of the most iconic images of contemporary art. Conceived by Hirst in 1989 whilst at Goldsmiths, the ‘Natural History’ work consists of a thirteen-foot tiger shark preserved in a tank of formaldehyde, weighing a total of 23 tons. The shark is contained within a steel and glass vitrine three times longer than high and divided into three cubes. 

According to the artist, the title was, just a statement that I had used to describe the idea of death to myself. Thought of prior to the sculpture, it was taken from Hirst’s student thesis on Hyperreality and the work of Robert Longo and Umberto Eco. Hirst recalls liking the title’s poetic clumsiness because of the way it expressed, something that wasn’t there, or was there.
[Source: damienhirst.com]
Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living, The1991glass, steelSculpture
Hirst, Damien1965-EnglishYoung British Artists
LOCATION:SIZE (cms): [1810-14]

Tate Galleries213 x 213 x 518
Preserve ‘beauty’ is an installation work composed of bright red flowers arranged in four adjacent rectangular compositions underneath large panes of clear glass. The flowers are presented in a single layer with their heads facing out towards the viewer, and their stalks are positioned downwards, so that the lower edge of each panel features a band of green made up of the stems of the bottom row of flowers. The type of flower used in the installation is a hybrid between a gerbera and a daisy that is known by the name ‘beauty’. During the period in which preserve ‘beauty’ is displayed, the flowers wither and die, and this decay process is visible to viewers through the glass.
[Source; tate.org.uk]

Image source: tate.org.uk
Preserve ‘beauty’1991-2003Gerberas, glass, metal, rubberInstallation
Gallaccio, Anya1963-ScottishYoung British Artists
LOCATION:SIZE (cms): [1810-15]

Moveable260 x 535 x 2.5
(Image source: tate.org.uk)Fiona Rae was trained at Goldsmiths’ College. She was included in ‘The British Art Show’ in Glasgow and London in 1990 and in the open section (aperto) at the Venice Biennale the same year where her work was received with acclaim.

She held a one-person exhibition in London from which this work was acquired by the tate.
[Source: tate.org.uk]
Untitled (grey and brown) 1991Oil on canvasAbstract
Rae, Fiona1970-Hong Kongese/EnglishYoung British Artists
LOCATION:SIZE (cms): [1810-16]

213 x 198
Lucas makes sculptures from a heterogeneous and unexpected range of everyday materials, such as worn furniture, clothing, fruit, vegetables, newspapers, cigarettes, cars, resin, plaster, neon lamps and light fittings. The grungy, abject appearance of many of her works belies the serious and complex subject matter they address. She makes constant reference to the human body, questioning gender definitions and challenging macho culture. This approach is encapsulated in the classic Two Fried Eggs and Kebab 1992, in which a reclining naked female body is constructed from a table with two eggs and a kebab.
[Source: tate.org.uk]

(Image source: laartparty.com)
Two fried eggs and a kebab1992clue is the titleInstallation
Lucas, Sarah1962-EnglishYoung British Artists
LOCATION:SIZE (cms): [1810-17]

(Image source: artnet.com)
Man abandoned by colour1992Mono photoPhotography
Fairhurst, Angus1966-2008, aged 41EnglishYoung British Artists
LOCATION:SIZE (cms): [1810-18]

41 x 51
My Bed: is a work by the English artist Tracey Emin. First created in 1998, it was exhibited at the Tate Gallery in 1999 as one of the shortlisted works for the Turner Prize. It consisted of her bed with bedroom objects in a dishevelled state, and gained much media attention. Although it did not win the prize, its notoriety has persisted. It was sold at auction by Christie’s in July 2014 for £2,546,500.
[Source: Wikimedia commons]

Image source: Wikimedia commons
My Bed1998Bed and beddingInstallation
Emin, Tracey1963-EnglishYoung British
LOCATION:SIZE (cms): [1810-19]

(Image source: thebroad.org)
Saville’s Pieta replaces the Virgin Mary and her dead son with a man in a war-torn contemporary city. One curiosity is the four arms on the child, or is he carrying two children?
[Source: hamptonsarthub.com]
Blue Pieta2018Oil on canvasGenre painting
Saville, Jenny1961-2019,
aged 57
EnglishYoung British Artists
250 x 271 x 5

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