The work of YBA superstars will be brought together for the first time this spring as Shapero Modern aspire to set contemporary history in their newest exhibition Rack ‘em Up: British Contemporary Editions, 1990 – 2000. The collection seeks to highlight and focus on the brass and bold nature of works by all of the leading figures within the period, including Keith Coventry, Damien Hirst, Sarah Lucas and Gavin Turk as well as their their contribution towards a new found buoyancy in the international art market.
While Hirst is now renowned for his editioned works, a process he feels democratises art, he in fact made very few at the start of his career. A highlight is The Last Supper series, 1999, 13 large screen- prints which take as their inspiration the clean graphical form of pharmaceutical packaging. For these, Hirst replaced the name of the drug with that of a food traditional to working-class British cafe culture, such as ‘corned beef’ and ‘sausages’, transforming them into a brand by the addition of the insignia ®, TM or decorative typescript. Such variations on the artist’s name, such as ‘Hirst’, ‘HirstDamien’, ‘Hirst Products Limited’, also set in a range of typescripts, take the place of the usual drug manufacturer’s logo. On the print ‘Chicken,’ a penis-shaped logo in a black circle above Hirst’s name parodies the brand logos that companies commission to reflect their corporate identities.
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.
The exhibition will also include candid photographs of the young artists at rest and play by Johnnie Shand Kydd. Other featured works include: Bring Me the Head of…, 1995, one of Jake and Dinos Chapman’s classic mannequin works; Gavin Turk’s £50, 2000, a silkscreened handkerchief with a fifty pound note; Jeremy Deller’s History of the World, 1997, a graphic and textual portrayal of the history, influence and context for acid house and brass band music shown in the form of a flow diagram; Tim Noble and Sue Webster’s hair dye boxes, Simply Natural, 2000.
Gallery manager Tabitha Philpott-Kent says: “The 1990s were an incredible time for British art, and this show brings together most of the artists who came to be known as YBAs (Young British Artists). Although these editions were produced twenty or more years ago, they all retain a certain freshness and perfectly capture the fizz and vitality of the era.”
The exhibition will feature works from Jake & Dinos Chapman, Mat Collishaw, Keith Coventry, Jeremy Deller, Tracey Emin, Cerith Wynn Evans, Angus Fairhurst, Damien Hirst, Gary Hume, Johnnie Shand Kydd, Michael Landy, Sarah Lucas, Tim Noble and Sue Webster, Richard Patterson, Gavin Turk, Gillian Wearing and Sam Taylor-Johnson
Rack ’em Up opens at Shapero Modern 4th – 27th March 2015
32 St George Street
Private View March 3rd 6pm – 8pm