The Market: YBAs (Young British Artists)
Coined in 1992 in Artforum, ‘Young British Artists’ (YBAs) labels a group of art-making London denizens including Damian Hirst, Fiona Rae, and Tracey Emin. Loosely formed in the late eighties the YBAs collectively began exhibiting in 1988 with the exhibition Freeze organized by Damien Hirst. Today Hirst is a world renowned, blue chip art star with an auction record high of $19.2M. At the time he was still attending Goldsmiths, University of London like most of the first-wave of YBAs.
Their subsequent rise was primed by a convergence of the school’s innovative teaching style, which rejected the strict separation of courses by medium, and the UK capital’s cultural lag behind vibrant, contemporary art focused cities like New York and Berlin. Lacking an energetic arts scene, the YBAs (Young British Artists) looked for ways to market themselves and showcase their work independently from the typical gallery and museum environments.
With no single unified style, the Young British Artists’ interdisciplinary approach draws from two major post-war movements: Conceptualism’s assertion that the concept is paramount and Minimalism’s idea that art should not be imitation or representation but it’s own separate entity entirely. YBAs openness to atypical materials and processes, as well as their art’s final form, led to breakthrough works like Rachel Whiteread’s concrete moulded House (1993), Tracey Emin’s intimate installation My Bed (1998), and Damien Hirst’s infamous formaldehyde shark The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living (1991).
Damien Hirst, To Lose (Red Butterfly), 2008, 11.8 x 9.7 inches, Photogravure and aquatint printed in colours, Artist’s Proof. Available framed at Russell Collection Fine Art for $7,900.
The market for YBAs work was strong from the outset with notable collector-gallerist Charles Saatchi a key factor in their success. He promoted British art by amassing works by the crucial members of the Young British Artists as well as lesser known peripheral artists. Staging the YBAs exhibition Sensation at London’s Saatchi Gallery in 1997, he showcased his vast collection of 1st generation YBAs, like Fiona Rae, as well the second wave of Young British Artists – students of the Royal Academy of Art which included Tracey Emin.
As the YBAs reputation disperses and their market continues to grow, the strong desire for works by Hirst, Emin, and Rae remain a vital part of the broader international contemporary art market. Recently acquired and available for viewing, unique and editioned works by these critical artists are exhibited at Russell Collection Fine Art.
Tracey Emin, I Promise to Love You, 2014, 28 x 20 inches, Poster on 250 gsm silk finish paper, Edition: Unnumbered of 500. Available framed at Russell Collection Fine Art for $1,600.
Fiona Rae, Bewitched, 2001, 33 x 27.5 inches, Screenprint in colors with glitter on wove paper, Artist’s Proof. Available framed at Russell Collection Fine Art for $1,895.
Art Soothes the Soul, Art is Powerful!
Even more so now, it has become evident to me that Art soothes the soul. As I walk around my house I find myself looking at the art I have collected over the years and reflecting about the experience, emotional and visible, of the day I decided to purchase the art. What did I see in the painting that day? How did it make me feel? What was the experience like at the gallery? Do I feel the same about the art today that I felt that day?
Art bring happiness in to our home, because no matter what I am able to stare at a piece of artwork, ponder my day, experience my emotions. The way I feel about a specific piece changes for me depending on what is going on in my life. It may make me laugh or smile, feel angst or cry. Art is meant to create an emotional response whether good or bad. I marvel at the fact that after running through my thoughts of the day I always end up being comforted by the beauty in what artists create, the talent they possess, the emotion they are able to express and evoke in me. Art can soothe the soul.
In these times of uncertainty and stay at home orders we no longer have the luxury of walking into a gallery, a place to have a visceral experience with a piece of art, a chance for a one on one with a piece. The world had changed overnight and everyone is trying to figure out how to navigate the world of social distancing. Don’t distance yourself from art. Art is powerful!!
– Lisa Russell
We hope this message finds you safe and well. In light of the accelerating public health crisis, our Austin and Lakeway galleries, will be temporarily close for the safety, health and well-being of our staff, artists, collectors, and visitors.
We have decided to allow our team to work remotely and by appointment only. Though we regret the loss of public visitors at this time, know that we will be sharing our artists’ work with you virtually on our website, Instagram, and Facebook.
In the meantime, we are happy to meet you at the gallery for framing or to view art. We can also bring pieces directly to your home. Just call or email us and we can set up an appointment.
While we don’t know when we shall have the pleasure of giving you a big friendly hug, we would love to be in close touch virtually and always happy to jump on a video call with you. Now more than ever, we are committed to staying the course, setting our fears aside to support our artists and their visions, and to share those with you.
Please contact us at email@example.com or 512-478-4440 (downtown) and 512-645-0668 (Lakeway) for details. We can’t wait to reopen our doors and invite you all back in.
We send you, your family and loved ones our warmest regards,
Lisa Russell and Gary Seals