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Young British Artists

Young British Artists is the name given to a collective of conceptual artists based in the United Kingdom. It is often reduced to "YBA". The work of the YBAs is dubbed Britart. The term has dated somewhat as some of the YBAs are now in their forties.

They were formed in 1988, during the Thatcher-era, at a time when arts grants were not especially forthcoming. A group of 16 artists, most of whom were graduates of London's Goldsmiths College, were assembled by Damien Hirst to take part in an exhibition he was curating called Freeze. A lack of interest in modern art on the part of the major galleries led to the show being held in a Docklands warehouse.

One of the visitors to the exhibition was rich art-collector and advertising-mogul Charles Saatchi, who has since bought much of the group's work. In addition to Saatchi's patronage, the collective have benefited from the intense media-coverage and controversy that tends to surround the Turner Prize, and also from a fleet of new contemporary galleries such as Jay Joplin's White Cube, and more recently Tate Modern.

However, much of the YBA's work is owned by Saatchi, which led to his 1997 Sensation exhibition, containing much of his personal collection, and shown in London and New York.

In 2002 Britart was heavily criticised by the leading conductor Sir Simon Rattle, who was, in return, attacked for his poor understanding of conceptual and visual art.

In Spring 2003 Saatchi opened a new gallery in London, the Saatchi Gallery, to exhibit the work of these artists.

Original Young British Artists (from Freeze) :

Other YBAs:

See Also