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.