Sensation, 1997

Sensation, 1997

Sensation was an exhibition in 1997 of contemporary art owned by advertising mogul, Charles Saatchi, at the Royal Academy of Arts, London. Both controversial and highly popular, it became a landmark moment in the history of contemporary British art.

The exhibition featured 110 artworks by over 40 artists associated with the Young British Artists (YBA) movement. It included Mat Collishaw, Tracey Emin, Damien Hirst, Gary Hume, Yinka Shonibare MBE and Fiona Rae, among others. Many of the artists have since become Royal Academicians.

Some of the works caused public outrage and there was criticisms that the exhibition attempted to increase the value of the artworks through their display in public institutions and museums. Despite the controversy, Sensation attracted almost 3,000 visitors daily at the Royal Academy, making it one of the most popular exhibitions in its history.

After exhibiting in London, Sensation toured to the Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin and the Brooklyn Museum, New York.