Collection

1980s

1980s

The 1980s was a decade of rapid economic growth and polarised politics.

In this decade the Young British Artists (YBAs) emerged. They broke onto the scene following the ground breaking exhibition Freeze. Organised by then student Damien Hirst and his friends, the ambitious show launched a generation of British artists. The emerging wider group of artists would play an influential role in British art for years to come.

Our collection of 1980s images feature key works from this period by Sonia Boyce, Gilbert & George and Keith Arnatt. Key exhibitions that happened in the 1980s include The Other Story, 1989 and Objects and Sculpture, 1981.