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Rack’em Up: a unique exhibition about the Young British Artists

March 12, 2015 by Mary

Shapero Modern, the Mayfair based gallery, is currently showing Rack’em Up: British Contemporary Editions, 1990 – 2000. Focusing on editions produced by the artists known as the YBA's (Young British Artists), this unique exhibition captures their determination as they made their mark on the international art market.


Sarah Lucas and Damien Hirst at the Colony Room Club | © Johnnie Shand Kydd

The Young British Artists emerged in the late 1980’s. The scene began around a series of artist-led exhibitions held in warehouses and factories, in particular the Damien Hirst-led ‘Freeze’ in 1988. Damien Hirst was still a student at Goldsmiths at the time. The YBA group shot to fame in the 1990s with the backing of renowned art dealer Charles Saatchi and have defined British contemporary art ever since.

Rack’em Up is a survey of the YBA’s movement. It brings together works by the leading artists of the period, including Damien Hirst, Sarah Lucas, Tracey Emin, Mat Collishaw, Gary Hume, Tim Noble and Sue Webster. It seeks to capture the entrepreneurial, ambitious and happy to shock flavour of the period. It shows the YBA knew how to create and work, as well as to party.


Sarah Lucas, Self Portraits 1990 – 1998, 1999 | © Sarah Lucas 

From Sarah Lucas, who this year represents Great Britain at the Venice Biennale, is a compelling set of 12 self-portraits, including Self Portrait with Fried Eggs, 1996, a nod to one of her most famous sculptures, Two Fried Eggs and Kebab, 1992, in which a reclining naked female body is constructed from a table with two eggs and a kebab.

Rack’em Up: British Contemporary Editions, 1990 – 2000 runs until the 27th of March 2015 at the Shapero Modern gallery.