‘Sensation’ works on view at Christie’s

By Amy Macpherson

Published 6 February 2014

The Royal Academy’s ‘Sensation’ exhibition in 1997 made a major splash in the art world, introducing a wider public to the YBA (Young British Artist) generation of Tracey Emin, Damien Hirst and their contemporaries.

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  • The exhibition, drawn from the Charles Saatchi collection, drew huge crowds to the Royal Academy. It also attracted its fair share of controversy, most notably when Marcus Harvey’s painting Myra - a portrait of killer Myra Hindley created from children’s handprints - became a target for protests and tabloid outrage.

    In the years since ‘Sensation’, several of the artists involved - including Tracey Emin, Gary Hume, Fiona Rae and Jenny Saville - have now gone on to become Royal Academicians themselves.

    Next week, three key works that were exhibited in the show go on sale at Christie’s. In the videos below, Francis Outred, head of Post-War and Contemporary Art for Christie’s Europe, discusses Gary Hume’s Vicious, Jenny Saville’s Plan and Chris Ofili’s Popcorn Tits; and explains the impact that ‘Sensation’ made on him and the art world.

    Amy Macpherson is the RA Website Editor.

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    Christie's expert Francis Outred discusses the three works

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