BritArt, the beautiful topic.

Key players to the YBA movement

Damien Hirst – Artist

Jay Jopling – Famous Gallerist

Karsten Schubert – Gallerist

Nick Serota – Gallerist of Tate Modern

Sarah Lucas – Artist

Saatchi – Collector and Gallerist

Michael Craig Martin – Lecturer at Goldsmiths college

Tracey Emin – Artist

The movement tended to develop from pretty much everythin that came before it. It had the anarchy of dada, the sell-yourself power, and the themes of Pop Art, the inventiveness of surrealism and all in the most amazing place ever, Britain. Apologies for these notes but they were cyberly scribbled down while watching three videos on the BritArt phenomenon. However, I feel I completely understand how it works and how it all came to develop over the years. That is,, except for the bits were the video cuts out at the end and I cry. Anyways ENJOY.

Goldsmiths college, charles brought together students, huge percentage of them became utterly famous. The group of people worked SO well together. Mike = glamourous, sought after

Damien Hirst, drank a lot, Michael Landy(artist) Hirst promoted himself all the time, wld hair, a bit smelly supposedly, mounted a group show independently from the college – Freeze, unprecidented in professionalism. They had the idea about getting in the art world RIGHT NOW. Energy to create art. Space was extremely harsh and bad looking, inspired by the Saatchi gallery. Ambitious, Michael Landy got well wasted

Anya burns her leg, goes to hospital, Sarah Lucas found it as a turning point. Angus Fairhurst, Bullitholl by Matt Collenshaw – shocking image, questions morality.

work was so good, people wouldn’t go to these things, saatchi bought them from freeze.

Angela Bulloch, became famous but she didnt like the fame and saw it as being annoying, she went out with Damien Hirst, then divorced the group.

Karsten Schubert, was keen to get involved, set up a gallery, it subsidised all the activities of the YBA for two years, auctiond, the YBA didn’t like poshness etc, which disagreed Karsten who hired a royal, Lady Helen Taylor.

Magnolia Doors bought, New York gallery bought, sent Sarah Lucas and someone to New York. Anya Gallachio works wit flowers, then they died.

Most of the artists have no gallery, Damien’s life folded differently, he lived with Carl Freedman, Billie Selman Sharp was doing ancient history, best friends. Lived in industrial wasteland, which was reclaimed by the Millenium temple thing. They formed an art company and get more money. Damien and Karschen were going to join forces, after six months. instead Hirst made their art business. Billie made the money, dresses up swishes in and is generally amazing, raised 20000 pouds!!! 2000 people turned up to the first warehouse show. Modern Medicine.

Rachel Whiteread didnt go to Goldsmiths but became closely associated when she joined Karschen, used negative space. Saatchi bought a piece. The team work on a new exhibit, the GAMBLER.

Insectecutor, this is a large glass tank where Hirst shows the fragility and commonness of death. It includes:hirst_thousand1

one half cows head, born, passing through holes, eat and then get electrocuted. STENCH, smell of death, 1000 years was bought by Saatchi. Saatchi discovered the British artists, it excited him and he got well into it. The piece is incredible and shows exactly what artists usually just imply, it was this blunt edge that gave Hirst a place in the art world.

and then the video cuts out, well thats quite gutting.

but i hear from the “previously on Brit Art” in the next episode that Karsten had to close his gallery, Jay Jopling helped to make Mark Quinn blood head and Damien Hirst to make shark.

How exciting

Damien was not press shy, which is why he became such a famous artist. YBA exhibition, Damien Whiteread famous people, very important exhibit. Observer magazine, day in the life of Damien, good friends with Jay. £200 on cabs a week. contemporaries had more modest resources. Sarah Lucas, uses food in her work and generally creates funny work.

Saatchi goes to see 15 shows manifestations a morning he’s incredibly interested in works now. Penis nailed to a board joint collaboration with Gary Hume. Sarah’s show inspired Emins and they became friends.. She was unsociable with good reason. Carl was very in the scene, and Tracey Emins stole his shirt.

KARSTEN NEW GALLERY, smaller space brought the artists with him. Michael Landy works on new works scrapheap services, after leaving the gallery. He spent three years collecting rubbish, believes his life getting to the end of his project. He was obsessed, on nights out he collected rubbish.

Gary said no to the hanging of his work in the Karsten. Matthew Marx says something and this woman tanja says she likes it. Sarah Lucas included in second show with Mark Quinn blood thing, Sarah wanted a more low key project cos she didnt want to be part of the art world commercially. Tracey didnt want to do art, so they bought a shop called the Birds. The shop was a complete success, Tracey sends you four letters for £10. ash tray with a picture of damien hirst for £5, open six days a week. All night saturday, very social, few drinks etc etc.

Sarah left Gary during this time. He was gutted cos he loved her, but went out got drunk and shagged.

Gillian Waring part of the second wave of artists from Goldsmiths.

Gillian is amazing, her last name is……………………….. Waring. Her work with signs and dances in public. NOTHING SOLD, except one dancing tape. Nowadays it is extremely valuable. Hirst flies in financial climate, makes an extremely expensive work of art, he cuts cows in half, and its very sad. He is now convinced with a formula for success

Jay Jopling spent money on a young israeli artist Itai Doron, “story of Mr D” Jopling makes it amazing. Jopling is thinking about his amazingness and a tiny square white room. Jay is the head of the gallery, no artist must exhibit there twice. Nothin got sold. Saatchi could have bought it, but he didnt. Doron left London.

Whiteread builds House, was such a political statement, untruded on Rachel’s life. went into hiding. l_whiteread_house_19921She got nominated for the turner prize. The K foundation gave £40000 to the worst artist of the turner prize, it was Whiteread. She also won the prize. They are mean. House was a temporary piece which was knocked down, it was the negative space of a house in a area which was being knocked down. There was a huge debate whether it should be kept up or demolished and in the end was knocked down to make way for a housing scheme. The concpetual element to this piecce is to do with how we interact with the piece and how we utilise space and stuff.

First of the YBAs to win the Turner Prize.

Factual Nonsense, a place created by Joshua Compston, strange gallery, opens the fate worse than death when artists do market stalls. Angus Fairhurst is miserable clown. Damien also did it, spin painting. £68000 sold for £1 and they got signed. Damien flashes people.

Jay Jopling signs Tracey Emin, Emins not excited cos she doesnt want to be an artist. She did it though. Carl Freedman, makes it look as if she cares for them, even though she doesnt. Very personal works. Gary Hume extremely weary.

Chapman brothers stretches boundaries of taste, and are signed by Jay. People are horrified. Charles buys it.

1995 Minky Manky, BritArt show Carl Freedman

Brilliant! is first major BritArt show in America, changes how the world sees British artists. Julia Royse and Jay got married, its weirrrrrd, but supposedly not that weird. Karsten stops trawling around to get everyone and goes for a few people. And he can;t sell things and he’s bad at money. Anya leaves the gallery and is told off by Karsten. Whiteread says she’s going to leave.



Saatchi wanted to promote his collection so exhibited in the Royal Academy. He’s enthusiastic and Senstaion was the name of it. Saatchi owns far too much, only a twentieth of his stuff exhibited, definitive collection of the period. Charles needs to own things before he can show them, his own principles.

LAndy’s and Emin’s pieces bought cos they were needed to complete the exhibition. Wearing bought, Collishaw bought, he became obsessed with the hanging of it. nutcase supposedly. Mira Hyndley painting made up of handprints grafftied with spray ink and then egged, two men arrested. Press coverage surprised artists, cos people were interested. 300000 people came to see. The artists were becoming part of the establihment.

The end of the chapter or the book. The artists didn’t want an exhibiton, it marked the end to YBA, 1987-1997 RIP. ofili01aShow travelled from London to New York. Ofili included in the exhibition. HUGE SCANDAL as mayor of New York wanted to close the museum for putting elephant dung on an important religious symbol (virgin Mary) he had no problem with the many bad things on the painting though (genitalia). It has more to do with the political climate that is in New York, senator race between Juliani and Hilary Clinton. Wouldn’t have made the impression it did without the publicity. Marc Quinn realises the actual craziness of the exhibition – enormous for the exhibit.

Controversy brewing about Wearing’s work. Advert strikes resmblance to Tend to sixteen? Saatchi bought this to include in sensation. Wearing furious, saatchi never bought anything from her subsequently. Emin also refusing to sell anything that she made. Saatchi had to get a private person to buy her tent.emin_tent The tent “Everyone I ever slept with” is a piece which notes everyone that Tracey Emin has ever slept with, both sexually and in the same place. It is meant to make the audience think who they have slept with and does this by encouraging them to come into the tent with an open door. The reason it is a tent is because of the connotations tents have with sleeping, it also can only fit two people in. Saatchi supposedly helped put Thatcher into power and Emin doesnt want anything to do with him. They get on though, weird.

1997, she became amazingly important. Gillian Wearing wins the Turner Prize, Emin has to have finger amputated. She was incredibly hyped on painkiller drigs. Went to the Turner prize. Emin was drunk on TV, so very very drunk. Tracey leaves the studio and went to her friends at a bar. Wearing told her that she was well wasted, amnesia.

Its the repeat of punk. Emin gets as much publicity as Hirst. Tracey and Hirst enjoy the publicity thing, personlaity important in that. Alex James writes song with Hirst “Vindaloo Vindaloo” crossover between art and music.

The Groucho Club, more and more celebs were drawn into the scene. Andy Warhol factory kind of feeling. Made it great to be inspired and everyone influenced by each other. Celebrities start to collect art. Elton John, Courtney Love. Jopling wife and husband are put number seven on most desired guests at a party. Jay and Sam have a baby, and then she finds out she has colon cancer. She is fine. Sam nominated for Turner Prize, but Chris Ofili wins. Everyone who doesnt win gets really excited after the turner prize, brings out the worst in the Britis press.

Sarah Lucas turns down the nomination for the turner prize. Emin nominated in 1999, her bed calls a furory in the press. Steve McQueen wins the turner prize this year. Bed is sold for 200000 and Emin throws the hut in as well.

Things that make art: The artist says it is, the tate says it is, the meaning behind the work.

Saatchi buys on bigger sale and pays record prizes, he buys Hell by the Chapaman brothers-half a million pounds, Damien Hirsts hi, an exact enlargement of a childs toy, he bought it for a million pounds. Jay has hundreds of artists, he is ruthless and extremely charming. Jopling opens a second gallery, white cube squared. fashionable hoxton in londons east end. Sam Taylore Wood has to be followed up every three months for cancer things, JAy visits her in studio with tears rolling down his cheeks, face as white as a sheet.

And AGAIN the video ends before the actual ending. Will check up on websites to what happened at the end of the YBAs. two seconds.

OKay according to Tate, YBAs covered several things and the name disguised crazy changes in how art worked. Hirst disassociated himself with Saatchi and a storage room that Saatchi owned caught fire and several important pieces from the era were destroyed, most notably, Emin’s tent, and the Chapman Brothers Hell. This is a good end point to the YBA movement, but some people see the movement as continuing into today.

see you sooooooooon loverssss


Pop art

The real beginning of pop art was the coining of the term by one of the biggest creators of pop art, Paolozzi, in England 1947. It took huge inspiration from cubist and dada collage work, futurism imagery and even what could be considered the surrealist dogma (by which the art was about ordinary objects and ordinary objects are sometimes ignored- subconsciously picked up) All this was happening in and around the time that abstract expressionism was taking place in America, and that is were Pop art really came into its own, with artists like Andy Warhol, Lichtenstein, Jasper Johns and Robert Rauschenberg. They were also teamed with a famous musicianhamilton-home-appealing-2 and choreographer, the couple Merce Cunningham and John Cage who aided the development and together they came across the mid point between art and everyday life-Pop Art. Other famous artists of the period include Claes Oldenburg, James Rosenquist, Tom Wesselmann and Robert Indiana.

Richard Hamilton was vital in the setting up of the movement, his piece “What is it today that makes homes so different, so appealing?”  It drew on the collage works of the dada movement and also incorporated elements of the time. This contemporariness is what made the work so interesting. Artists before had painted of their time and been ridiculed, such as Manet, with his “Bar at the Folies Bergere” who was ridiculed for depicting the growth in Paris at the time. This collage brings together elements of the time such as pin ups, the design of the time and even has the word POP written on it.

A later group of artists including Segal and Samaras were also to play a vital role in the unfolding of Pop art.

250px-i_was_a_rich_mans_plaything_1947Paolozzi the first real member and inventor of the term pop art came from Britain where around the time, the country was recovering from its state of war. This meant to a huge rise in foods and generally a rise in spirits. The market became a consumerist one again, which lead him to have a statement to his art. His piece “I was a rich man’s plaything” sparked controversy in 1952 where it shows a scantily dressed pin up girl on a pin board like setting. This setup was a very new thing and lead to the generation of art as a representation of what society had become. In a way, it could have been seen as a satirical reference, implying that we had forgotten the times of the war, and moved on too quickly when so many people had been affected by the death and suffering. In other ways it could be seen as a way to cheer people up after a time of great sadness.

Warhol is probably the best known of the artists becoming a household name and superstar campbells_soup_cans_momain a nation gripped with the consumerist idea. He organised a factory(abley named as he himself produced work like a factory, making more and more copies of the pieces with use of printing methods) were creative people came together from all sorts of backgrounds, art, music, design, dance and they collaborated. This kind of grouping wasn’t a completely new idea, artists such as Picasso had experimented with the idea before and it certainly proved it worked. In the nineties, the BritArt movement or YBAs had a similar concept involving musicians such as the BritPop bands, Blur mainly, and others, the whole lifestyle became a great idea with everyone benefitting. In Warhol’s silkscreen printing of Campbell’s soup cans, he turns the banal object into art. Also what is important in this piece is the comment on the society he was living in, the variety and choice of different flavours represents the choice that the population had in its consumerist market.

m-0137v3whamLichtenstein also made a comment on society with his brash blown up paintings of comic strips. He used ben-day dots in his works which describe emotional scenes, sometimes with a relationship, other times with war references. This was relevant as it was around at the same time as the Vietnam War. In his painting “Whaam” Lichtenstein plays with the viewers feelings, presenting quite a serious situation in a comic strip form, thus making it seem less disastrous. This is similar to some of Warhol’s prints were he depicts scenes such as car crashes but with hugely bright colours underneath the ink to juxtapose the two elements. This can also be seen in works during the BritArt movement such as the hugely controversial Myra Hindley portrait by Marcus Harvey, which was painted by childrens handprints.

The Pop art era was certainly a spectacular one with controversial pieces of work and clever imagery. It moved on into the fluxus movement involving performance, installations, film works and collage which broadened the topic out so much it diluted the Pop Art idea. However, the idea can still be seen in works later on involving everyday life and its surroundings. A good example would be Sarah Lucas’ sculptures, with kebabs, fried eggs and cigarettes featuring in some of her work.

Abstract Expressionism

For the first half of the century, American Art was little but following Europe’s trends, until a realist school, Aschan, (Georgia O Keefe, Arthur Dove, and Charles Demuth) radicalised painting where once it had been thought it had evolved over. It was these above artists and many artists travelling from Europe due to running from the war who set up the foundations for a new era to begin, the era of American Abstract Expressionism. Mark Rothko, Berny Newman, Pollock. Two seperate ways that art took, one the continuation of European painters and the second the American Painters finest hour. Although it split in two ways both sets of artists wanted to give off the image of America.

Edward Hopper hit the nail on the head with his theatrical and dramticin5230hopper20nhks1 scenes which could be easily stills from a movie. This image, although not totally realistic, attracted even more artists to the scene. there was a boom in the arts life in America, in 1929 the museum of Modern Art MOMA opened, and in 1930s the federal Arts Project which involved de Kooning, Pollock, Baziotes and Gorky. This younger generation of artists where inspired greatly,  even in awe, of what the masters had done. They addressed the same kind of questions the masters did but in a more domestic

Then a term came upon the group of artists, Abstract Expressionism, “in which the content of the work of art was to have no relation to the motif” The artists worked towards a set of patterns and language which communicated the emotions that had been overlooked in European modern art.

Pollock was a pioneer of sorts with his action painting dripping paint onto a canvas in a rhytmic motion.

This whole scenario made America extremely happy, as it had a way in which to get into the modern art books, and Abstract Expressionism was so popular it took pop art to finally end it in the late fifties.

jackson_pollock_21Jackson Pollock – drip paintings, end of forties beginning of 1950s, dances with paint, visual jazz and creates very movement orientated paintings. subconscious mind, in ways a develoopment of surrealist. Similar to Monet’s paintings, focussed into the ponds and got rid of the horizon line, Rothko makes odes to Monet’s works, all about colour and light but more abstract.

Abstract expressionism could have easily have been abstract impressionism.

A sculpture made of lead, Jean Fautrier, the hostage series inspired by his incarciration by the nazis in a sanitorium. The undertone of violence is picked up on in Jean Debuffet’s work. traditional ways of painting became redundant and homme20qui20marche-20giacometti1got graffitit art and childrens work. spatula painting and knife the paint to scratch them out, violence.

Giacommetti, creates work with post war theme, sculptures are very skeletal, violence of removal is reflected in surface, isolation is also given off by the thinness of the character and its position to other objects, as a curator I would place this far away from other artworks to amplify this, I know thats not the point of this contextual project but THATS WHATT I’D DO!

The Rothko section of the Tate Modern, AMAZING, he pays homage to t01031_911michaelangelo, pulsate with life, are liberating, they work as environments themselves giving the impression of buildings just like the surrealist painters before them had.

Similar to modern painters, painting is now reinvigorated, Dumas, photography used heavily in newer stuff. Luc Tuymans, uses his work to announce sickness, loss etc. Gary Hume, Incubus, painting of doors with gloss and makes it as realistic as possible.

Surrealism, some notes and generally the whole genre.

Surrealism is a very dark topic which was born out of the political parties at the time, it stands for freedom. It created a way in which artists could escape the rationalism of the 20th century

It began in the 1920s under a journal created by Andre Breton, Louis Aragon, Philippe Soupalt and Paul Eluard “Litterature.” It moved art forward in an arrogant reach which sparked outrage and controversy in its time. In some ways it was so organised that it could have been seen to an onviewer as a direct reworking of the political parties it stood against.

Surrealism was born out of writing and soon developed into automaticlovesong1giorgiodechirico writing where the writer wrote down whatever came into their head. It was not known how mind blowing this movement would become.

Giorgio De Chirico in 1914 painted Love Song, a piece depicting a cast head, a rubber glove and a bouncy ball. This weird subject matter is seen by some as the turning point in art history where surrealism fully came into focus. The juxtaposition of the objects was so absurd it could only have been induced through a dream-like status. This is precisely what the surrealists were trying to achieve, conveying the unconscious. Freud saw this as being untrue and criticised the surrealists for actually painting in their conscious states. Another important scholar, Georges Bataille, was very against Breton and his idealist morality, he saw Breton as confining the laws of art and manipulating them to suit his idea.

However, surrealism was and still is celebrated as one of the defining moments of the 20th century, taking into account idealism and the political state of the world at that time, between world war one and two. Breton even said that “art is in the service of the revolution.”

Artists continued to develop the movement:

~Max Ernst invented frottage and grattage, the firsn05289_81t meaning the rubbing of pencil over paper on top of a rough surface were creatures and weird shapes were implied in the curves created. The second simply meant the same but with oil painting instead of pencil. A good example of these two techniques would be “The Entire City,” here the grattage creates a cityscape effect with the oil paints. Because of this technique the houses are only implied, and therefore are dreamlike and vague in appearance.

~Salvador Dali came up with paranoia-critical concept, it voltaire1is when you practice seeing things in other things, like a face in a crowd of people, hard to explain but basically, Dali practiced i so much that he began to see things in things that weren’t there, and this dream like status is used in many of his paintings were two things are represented. This is especially true in some of his manifestations.


dalidesire1My favourite surrealist piece is a video piece on show at the moment in the Fruitmarket gallery, Un chien Andalou, its a piece by Luis Bunuel and Salvador Dali and involves a very dreamlike sequence, which could easily be a dream. It is also quite hypnotisingly psychedelic to the point where i couldn’t stop watching it until it finished. I found the ants section quite terrifying as I have a fear of them but is essential to the randomness of the piece.


The artists were forced to move by the beginning of the world war. This is essentially seen as the ending to the Surrealist movement as most of the artists were inspired by the American way of life and Abstract Expressionism began.

Alighiero e Boetti

Boetti’s work is very similar to the painting outcome I made, I talk mostly of MAp of the World 1989, which details the boundaries of the countries of the world at that particular time, its also shows the current flags. I believe this to be very similar to my work and helped me choose to focus in on boundaries as my main topic.

His work is also very similar to my own as in both cases we are interested in change and how the borders change over time. Here is an example of Map of the World:


I chose to have my final piece in an A format (A1, A2 etc) so to establish it as a real map, as most maps have these dimensions. I also wanted it to be seen as being important, alas why I chose A1 size as my final scale. The colours I used where more primitive than in Boetti’s map but this was because I wanted to get across the medieval sense that old maps dictated.

Finally my small indications of the gang symbols are essential to the meaning of the map, as it all originates from the tags they leave. This is similar to Boetti’s work were he used flags to mark out the territories.

Right, see you tomorrow telford