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Freeze +20
July 8, 2008 7:27 AM   Subscribe

In July 1988 the art exhibition Freeze, largely organised by Damien Hirst, gave birth to the YBAs... twenty years on the artists involved are reuniting for another exhibition.
posted by fearfulsymmetry (12 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

 
I'm really looking forward to this. Some of the artists seem to be ploughing much the same furrow today as they were then, so comparing the early work on show to current and recent stuff I've seen should be pretty illuminating.
posted by jack_mo at 8:10 AM on July 8, 2008


Also, I always forget that Hirst was working at a market analysts when he mounted Freeze. Funny.
posted by jack_mo at 8:12 AM on July 8, 2008


I'll throw in a link to Stuckism, which was mainly formed as a reaction to the YBAs in 1999.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 8:21 AM on July 8, 2008 [1 favorite]


It's weird... I always think of Hirst as being so inherently 90s that I'm a little suprised when he overlaps with other decades.
posted by Artw at 11:43 AM on July 8, 2008


I wish I could see this in person. They were/are such an eclectic movement(?). Their social ties to one another and a primary focus on concept trumping discipline carries on today, obviously.

Is it just me, or does it seem as though the Stuckism movement smacks of lowbrow anti-intellectualism? I assumed before I clicked on the link that the artists calling themselves stuckists would be calling for a return to technique and craftsmanship, but their work, taken as a whole, seems like another anti-art with a capital "A" movement.

Here's a smattering of samples from artists lumped into the YBA group: (some links may be NSFW):

Jake and Dinos Chapman Fucking Hell

Damien Hirst at White Cube

Tracey Emin at Lehmann Maupin

Angela Bulloch at Engholm Engelhorn Galerie

Fiona Rae at Pace Wildenstein

Jenny Saville (my personal favorite of the bunch) at Gagosian Gallery
posted by stagewhisper at 12:01 PM on July 8, 2008


Is it just me, or does it seem as though the Stuckism movement smacks of lowbrow anti-intellectualism?

It's a bit more complicated than that. The fact that they got their name from Billy Childish's ex-girlfriend, one Tracey Emin, telling Childish: "Your paintings are stuck, you are stuck! Stuck! Stuck! Stuck!" is not insignificant (see also Charles Thompson's Sir Nicholas Serota Makes an Acquisitions Decision, probably the best known Stuckist work and numerous other digs at Emin).

When I'm feeling generous, though, I think they might be quite clever, and engaged in a double bluff, by producing intentionally crappy paintings while operating as arch conceptualists - reporting Charles Saatchi to the Office of Fair Traiding surely counts as a conceptual piece, and the brouhaha they (quite rightly) stirred up about the iffy acquisition of Chris Offili's work by the Tate might do too. Then you have all the protests, manifestos, politicking, internecine squabbles &c., which make them look like 20th Century avant-garde groups - Lettrists, Situationists and what have you. As I say, I have to be feeling very generous to think that, though - they're more likely just a bunch of slightly, bitter not-very-good artists who like kicking up a fuss, sometimes with good cause.
posted by jack_mo at 12:46 PM on July 8, 2008 [3 favorites]


666 posts tagged with UK

Congratulations, you are Satan.
posted by Artw at 1:27 PM on July 8, 2008 [1 favorite]


The fact that they got their name from Billy Childish's ex-girlfriend, one Tracey Emin,

I've always wondered about that... it was like the BoingBoingGate of 1990s Britart
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 2:23 PM on July 8, 2008


Childish has said "The Stuckist art group was formed in 1999 at the instigation of Charles Thomson, the title of the group being taken from a poem of mine written and published in 1994. I disagreed with the way Charles presented the group, particularly in the media. For these reasons I left the Stuckists in 2001. I never attended any Stuckist demonstrations and my work was not shown in the large Stuckist exhibition held in the Walker Art Gallery in 2004."

Dramatastic!
posted by Artw at 2:53 PM on July 8, 2008


Childish has a Kurt Schwitters poem tatooed on his left Buttock

You know, no matter how much I love Tyger! Tyger! I'm not going to get it tattooed on my arse
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 3:18 PM on July 8, 2008


You know, for some reason I thought Childish was actually his real name.
posted by Artw at 3:38 PM on July 8, 2008


I thought Childish was actually his real name.

Weirdly, me too... I was rather disappointed.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 5:07 PM on July 8, 2008


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