Freeze, the exhibition and artists: 30 years on

30 years after Freeze, the exhibition which launched a generation of British artists, we look at the artists who were involved and what they're making now.

Freeze, the exhibition and artists: 30 years on

Frozen in time

On August 6, it will be 30 years since Freeze, the pivotal exhibition organised by then-student Damien Hirst in 1988. Heralding a monumental turning point for British art, this small student exhibition in London’s Dockland’s was to trigger the emergence of an influential new group, the Young British Artists (YBAs). To this day, the YBAs remain one of the most ambitious and controversial collection of artists in contemporary art history.

Mat Collishaw's Bullet Hole, a series of fifteen light boxes that combine to show a pathology photograph of a head wound delivered by an ice pick, is said to have given the show its title. As the catalogue explains, the artwork and exhibition were: ‘dedicated to a moment of impact, a preserved now, a freeze frame'. With a legacy that has lain undiminished for almost thirty years, the exhibition’s name seems incredibly prescient.Bullet

Mounted in three parts, Freeze was held over two months in an empty administrative building in London’s Docklands. Of the 16 artists involved in the exhibition, you can find images on Artimage for 9 of them: Mat Collishaw, Ian Davenport, Anya Gallaccio, Damien Hirst, Gary Hume, Abigail Lane, Sarah Lucas and Fiona Rae.

“People have said that Freeze was about making money, but it wasn't... it was about being young, about being excited about what they were doing, and getting people to see their work.” – Michael Craig-Martin, artist and tutor at Goldsmiths.

Browse early Damien Hirst spot paintings and forays into the medicine cabinet or the beginnings of Anya Gallaccio’s iconic installations before delving below into how their artworks and practices have developed over time, featuring more recent works and portraits.

From then - 1988

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Row, 1988, Damien Hirst

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Waterloo, 1988 (installation view, Surrey Docks, London), Anya Gallaccio

To now - 2000s onwards

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Veil of Perfect Harmony, 2017,Damien Hirst


Ian

Poured Triptych Etching: Primavesi (After Klimt), 2017, Ian Davenport


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Gesticulation, Abigail Lane, 2017


Rae blue

See your world, 2013, Fiona Rae


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Red on Green, 2012, Anya Gallaccio

It’s not just artworks that change over time

Celebrate Freeze’s 30th anniversary with of-the-moment, intimate portraits by friend of the YBAs, Johnnie Shand Kydd.

Rae portrait

Fiona Rae, Studio, London, 1997
Kydd beach
Mat Collishaw and Abigail Lane during the making of Tracey Emin's Riding for a Fall, Margate, 1998

Lucas door

Sarah Lucas, de Beauvoir, London, 2003
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Damien Hirst, London, 2004



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Images: Just prior to Freeze private view. Left to Right: Ian Davenport, Damien Hirst, Angela Bulloch, Fiona Rae, Stephen Park, Anya Gallaccio, Sarah Lucas and Gary Hume. August, 1988 © Abigail Lane. All Rights Reserved, DACS/Artimage 2018. Photo: Abigail Lane; Row, 1988 © Damien Hirst and Science Ltd. All rights reserved, DACS/Artimage 2018. Photo: Edward Woodman; Waterloo, 1988 (installation view, Surrey Docks, London) © Anya Gallaccio. All Rights Reserved, DACS/Artimage 2018. Photo: Edward Woodman; Poured Triptych Etching: Primavesi (After Klimt), 2017 © Ian Davenport. All Rights Reserved, DACS/Artimage 2018; Red on Green, 2012 © Anya Gallaccio. All Rights Reserved, DACS/Artimage 2018; Veil of Perfect Harmony, 2017 © Damien Hirst and Science Ltd. All rights reserved, DACS/Artimage 2018. Photo: Prudence Cuming Associates Ltd; See your world, 2013 © Fiona Rae. All Rights Reserved, DACS/Artimage 2018. Photo: Antony Makinson and Prudence Cuming Associates Ltd; Gesticulation, 2017 © Abigail Lane. All Rights Reserved, DACS/Artimage 2018. Photo: Vincent Whiteman.


All below photographs are © Johnnie Shand Kydd. All Rights Reserved, DACS/Artimage 2018. Photo: Johnnie Shand Kydd.
Fiona Rae, Studio, London, 1997. Artwork © Fiona Rae; Mat Collishaw and Abigail Lane during the making of Tracey Emin's Riding for a Fall, Margate, 1998; Sarah Lucas, de Beauvoir, London, 2003; Damien Hirst, London, 2004.