The Young British Artists (YBAs) stormed onto the British contemporary art scene in 1988 with their attention-grabbing, ironic art, brazenly exploding art-world conventions. Alternately praised for its witty energy and dismissed as trivial gimmickry, their work had a profound impact both on the art scene and on public consciousness - an impact that continues to be felt today.
Now, almost three decades after they emerged, Artrage! charts the fortunes of the YBAs with the benefit of perspective, chronicling the group’s rise to prominence from the landmark show ‘Freeze’, curated by Damien Hirst, through the heyday of the 1990s and the notorious ‘Sensation’ exhibition, to the Momart fire of 2004 that seemed to symbolize the group’s fading from centre stage.
Drawing on some fifty exclusive interviews with the key BritArt players as well as extensive archival research, Elizabeth Fullerton examines the individual characters, crucial events and seminal artworks within the political, economic and artistic context of the period. We hear from the artists themselves - from Damien Hirst, Rachel Whiteread, Tracey Emin, Jake and Dinos Chapman, Sarah Lucas and Gary Hume and others - what it was like to be part of the BritArt revolution.
Here is the remarkable story of how a group of rebellious art students took on the art establishment and transformed it forever.
'An excellent primer on the rise and fall, successes and failures of a moment in British art. It catches the brio of the people involved, charts the connections that they forged; the friendships, the fall-outs, the partner swapping ... and celebrates the art they created' The Herald
'Back in the early 1990s, the British art world changed forever thanks to a band of bright young things who weren’t afraid of controversy …’Artrage!' details that blistering scene and looks at its place today' It’s Nice That
Introduction • 1. 1988: The Birth of the YBAs • 2. 1990–1992: The Formative Milestones 3. 1993–1994: Ascent to Stardom • 4. 1995–1997: From ‘Brilliant!’ to ‘Sensation’ 5. 1998–1999: Bedding In • 6. 2000–2004: Tate Modern and Momart Fire Postscript: The YBAs Today
About the Author
Elizabeth Fullerton is an art historian with over 20 years experience as a journalist writing on art, culture, news and politics in Europe, the Middle East and Central America. Her articles have appeared in many international publications, including the Financial Times, the Independent, the Washington Post, the Sydney Herald and ARTnews.