up the CV of any prize-winning modern artist such as Damien Hirst
or Antony Gormley and you'll find a reference to a certain south-east
London art college.
is Goldsmiths - and the 'Goldsmiths effect' has propelled
a significant number of its graduates over the last few decades
to international recognition.
examines the factors that set this creative hothouse apart from
all the others....
College is situated in New Cross SE14. It was founded in 1891 and
has been part of the University of London since 1904.
art college is part of the Visual Arts department, which specialises
in fine art and textiles practice as part of 'a continuing and
fine art circles just to say that you have studied here is
sufficient to add kudos to both the work you produce and your position
in Britain as an artist.
the teaching staff includes such important British artists as Millard
Professor Victor Burgin, a 1986 Turner Prize nominee, and the painter
and professor Gerard Hemsworth, it is undoubtedly the artist and
Emeritus Professor of Fine Art Michael Craig-Martin who has been
the greatest influence on the emergent Young British Artist
(YBA) talent at Goldsmiths.
originally from Dublin, Craig Martin is a successful artist in his
own right who first achieved prominence in Britain in the late 60s.
His paintings display a definite attraction to the aesthetics
of Pop Art (see right).
has taught at Goldsmiths on two separate occasions between 1974
88, and again as Millard Professor between 1994 - 2000. In
2001 he was awarded a CBE.
Goldsmiths: the enfant terrible
the late 80s and early 90s economic recession caused several private
galleries and public spaces to either languish or close. In
this climate there were few opportunities for young artists and
graduates to be offered a show or a platform for their talent.
began to develop an aggressive, entrepreneurial spirit with graduates
from Goldsmiths among those who bypassed the system to successfully
set up exhibitions and artist-run spaces on shoe-string budgets,
such as the Chisenhale, Matts Gallery and City Racing.
most audacious and ambitious of all the Goldsmiths students was
Damien Hirst (see right). In August 1988 he curated his fellow
artists and Goldsmiths students in the now legendary Freeze show
at the Port of London Authority building in the East End.
were so unlike any other student shows," recalls Michael Craig-Martin,
"so full of energy and ambition".
Goldsmiths: the Saatchi connection
advertising guru Charles Saatchi (see below) was - and is - an impulsive
private dealer and collector who stalked degree shows and galleries
of the East End for ever-new work.
Hirst had exhibited at the ICA before his first show at the original
Saatchi Gallery in St Johns Wood, it was Saatchi who provided
the patronage and more.
only Hirst but fellow Goldsmiths graduates, such as Sarah Lucas,
Sam Taylor-Wood, Mark Wallinger, Gillian Wearing and Angus Fairhurst
now found money, marketing and PR muscle behind them.
Goldsmiths: the Brit Art explosion
an energy and in-yer-face directness rivalled only by Punk in the
70s, London played host to an explosion of YBA talent in the
happened is the stuff of legend. But the Brit Art brigade found
itself supported by Sarah Kent at Time Out magazine, patronised
by Charles Saatchi and then, in turn, by the fine art Establishment
- and a large part of it had of course been nurtured in the creative
hothouse of Goldsmiths College.
this for a roll-call? Turner Prize winners who graduated from Goldsmiths
include Steve McQueen (1999), Gillian Wearing (1997), Anthony Gormley
(1994) and Grenville Davey (1992)
shortlisted candidates who studied here include Anya Gallaccio (pictured
right), Fiona Banner, Liam Gillick, and Jane and Louise Wilson.
famous alumni include Lucian Freud, Mary Quant and Bridget Riley.
Find more at: Goldsmiths/visual
(The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites).
degree shows take place in June, Postgraduate shows in July. Both
are open to the public on selected days.
pictures: Antony Gormley's new 3D 'space drawing' at the White Cube
gallery - more here>>
Hirst, Sarah Lucas and Angus Fairhurst exhibit together for the
first time: more
jump to our Galleries section
for more on London's visual arts scene