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The achievements of a generation of young British artists whose original and challenging work has received international acclaim are the focus of this major exhibition. Entitled ‘Sensation’, the show presents work by artists selected from The Saatchi Collection. As well as highlighting the vitality and inventiveness of current British art, the exhibition also demonstrates the commitment that Charles Saatchi has shown in collecting the work of these young artists.

This recent explosion of creativity and excitement in the visual arts has not been seen since the emergence of Pop Art in the early 1960s. This current phenomenon was originally identified in the late 1980s through exhibitions in the east end of London, most notably Freeze and Modern Medicine. These exhibitions were organised by a group of young artists who, having just graduated from art school, sought venues that lay outside the traditional institutions of the art world in order to show their work. Since then the energy and ingenuity that many artists have shown in promoting their own work has been one of the factors of their success.

The individuality of their work makes it impossible to brand this generation of young artists as a movement, even though many of the artists know and support each other. By showing their work together, which ranges in media from paintings and sculpture to video, photography and ready-made objects, it is possible to appreciate the interaction and shared concerns of their work which can, in turn, be exuberantly humorous or brutally forthright.

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