ICA searches for even younger British artists

Exhibition to mark cultural centre's 60th anniversary seeks to identify successors to Emin, Hirst and co
Click to follow
The Independent Culture

Since Damien Hirst and the other self-promoting titans of the young British art scene emerged in the 1990s, they have left almost everyone else in the shade. Now the Institute of Contemporary Arts is promoting their would-be successors.

Over the six months from the start of May, the ICA will showcase 60 artists, one for each year since it was founded. Each will have a week-long solo exhibition at the country's most controversial cultural centre.

To reiterate the ICA's knack for putting its finger on the pulse, it will hold an auction later this year of works by artists whose early efforts were shown there. It will include donated works by Andy Warhol and Chris Ofili.

Richard Birkett, ICA assistant curator, said: "The YBAs were more 'me the artist'. Now artists are much more into collaboration and exchanging ideas. There has been a shift in attitude. For example, artist-run places have been an important part of the emerging scene of the last few years. It is more 'we the artists'."

As a result he has had to spend months scouring the galleries and exhibition spaces of Britain and Ireland to find out who the current crop of emerging artists are.

He added that 15 places were still up for grabs for the latter stages of the event, with the final decision deliberately delayed to see how it develops.

One of the first shows will be the recreation of a 1960s "happening" that was the work of the Boyle family, who worked with Jimi Hendrix and Soft Machine.

Artists Kim Coleman and Jenny Hogarth, say that they now have extra difficulties because of health and safety rules. "The Boyle family were the first to bring an American-style happening to the UK, and they did it at the ICA in 1964," Ms Coleman, 31, said. "Mark Boyle, who died in 2005, left instructions as to how to do it – a darkened room, spotlights and curtain. The audience would then help create the work. We cannot have lights on stands because of health and safety, or a curtain. So we are having to find ways around it."

Artists exhibited in the first few weeks include Alastair MacKinven, 32, and Aileen Campbell, 40. Nought to Sixty begins at the ICA in London on 5 May.