Young British Artists

1980 - 2010

Term used to identify a group of British artists active in London from the 1980s to the late 1990s. The term was derived from a series of six exhibitions, Young British Artists I to Young British Artists VI, held between March 1992 and November 1996 at the Saatchi Gallery, London. The earliest core members of the group attended Goldsmiths’ College, London, in the late 1980s, under the tutelage of Michael Craig-Martin, Richard Wentworth and others. The group rose to prominence through a mixture of precocious talent and self-promotion, encouraged by the patronage of new collectors, particularly Charles Saatchi. The genesis of the YBAs can be traced to a 1988 warehouse show in London, curated by Damien Hirst and entitled Freeze. Hirst exhibited works by himself and 15 of his fellow Goldmiths’ students, including Angela Bulloch, Gary Hume, Sarah Lucas, Richard Patterson and Fiona Rae. Subsequent group exhibitions cemented the artists’ reputations for independence, entrepreneurial spirit and the ability to manipulate the media; particularly the warehouse show Modern Medicine (1990), curated by Hirst and journalist Carl Freedman (b 1965), and Freedman’s Minky Manky (1995; London, S. London A.G.).
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© Grove Art / OUP

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