Ed Atkins

1982 · United Kingdom

Artist biography

Ed Atkins is an established mid-career artist, who originates from the United Kingdom, like other prominent artists such as Lynette Yiadom-Boakye, Mick Finch, Neil Zakiewicz, Graham Fagen, and David Yarrow. Ed Atkins was born in 1982.

About Ed Atkins' works

Ed Atkins' work is illustrative of the fields of Figuration and Conceptual. In essence, figurative art is art which represents recognizable features of reality, or of the human figure. Although the definition seems to be rather humble, figuration still remains in its very soul more than just a depiction of reality. Indeed, the different styles in which figurative art can be executed are endless, thus making figurative art a ground-breaking and ever evolving category, in which Ed Atkins' work is mainly grounded. Some prominent artists known for their contribution to figurative art include Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Paul Cézanne or Jean-Michel Basquiat.

Conceptual art is arguably not as clear and easily defined as other art movements, and can often provoke intense reactions in the viewers. By nature, Conceptualism puts an emphasis on the strategies and research that go into the creation, making the concept of an artwork its most significant feature, rather than the actual finished product. Although the movement emerged in the mid 1960s, simultaneously across Europe and America, its father Marcel Duchamp had paved the way back in 1917, with his controversial artwork Fontaine. Conceptual art denies the traditional mediums, and tries to place the artwork in the realm of ideas - rather than that of material constructions. Some of the most critically acclaimed figures of Conceptualism include artists such as Sol LeWitt, Lawrence Weiner and Yoko Ono.

Galleries and Exhibitions

Ed Atkins' work is available on display in several galleries around the globe such as in the United States, Italy, and Germany. Galleries exhibiting Ed Atkins' work include dépendance in Belgium, Gavin Brown's Enterprise | Rome in Italy, and Gavin Brown's Enterprise | Harlem in the United States. Ed Atkins' work has most recently been exhibited at Sadie Coles HQ | Kingly Street in London (04 June 2019 until 30 August 2019) with the exhibition My Head is a Haunted House. Ed Atkins' other most recent exhibitions listed on Artland include the exhibitions at; dépendance in Belgium (07 September 2018 - 20 October 2018) with the name Members and Galerie Patrick Seguin | Paris in France (17 October 2019 - 22 November 2019) with the name Just what is it that makes today so different, so appealing?. Ed Atkins' first listed exhibition in Artland's database was called How It’s Made and took place at Carl Kostyál in Malmo, Sweden from the 06 December 2017 to 11 January 2018.

Ed Atkins currently has one work available for purchase on Artland.

Historical Context of United Kingdom

Britain has been a crucial hub for artistic production for centuries. While it accumulated considerable wealth from colonisation and the rise of its Empire, it was also exposed to the cultural supremacy of other countries and continents. Throughout the modern era, Britain had been to a great extent eclipsed by the importance of its European neighbours on one side, and of the United States on the other. But towards the end of the 19th century, Britain became an important focal point in the development of the avant-garde. This includes the Arts and Crafts Movement, a major movement setting the tone for artist-led organisations, associations and organisational co-operative types that would later develop into a template of sorts for bohemian artists movements of the Twentieth Century. Major artistic movements that epitomize British modernism include for instance Vorticism, comprised of artists related to the Bloomsbury group. Some notable British artists of the modern and contemporary era include Stanley Spencer, Francis Bacon, Lucian Freud, Leon Kossoff, Frank Auerbach, David Hockney, Bridget Riley, Paula Rego - and in more recent years the YBA generation led by Damien Hirst, Tracey Emin, Marc Quinn, Chris Ofili and others.

Further Biographical Context for Ed Atkins

Born in 1982, Ed Atkins' creative work was predominantly inspired by the 1990s. In the United Kingdom, a group of artists known as the YBAs, or Young British Artists, dominated the artistic culture of the decade. They were a loosely affiliated and diverse group, united generally by their age and nationality. A number of the members had attended the Royal College of Art and Goldsmiths in London, and were favoured by Charles Saatchi, the ‘super collector’ of art at the time. The most well-known member of YBAs is arguably Damien Hirst, and other members included Chris Ofili, Tracey Emin, Marc Quinn, Gavin Turk, Sarah Lucas and Sam Taylor-Johnson (née Sam Taylor-Wood). Through their use of shock tactics and sensationalism, the YBAs garnered a controversial public image which was further fuelled by their use of throwaway materials, wild lifestyles and an attitude that was at the same time rebellious and entrepreneurial. The group dominated the British art scene in the 1990s and their group show ‘Sensation’ is now viewed as legendary. Relational Aesthetics, a term coined by curator Nicholas Bourriaud to describe the act of making art based on human relations and their social context, became a central idea in the 1990s. Works by artists including Douglas Gordon, Gillian Wearing, Philippe Parenno and Liam Gillick were described as important artists who worked to this idea.

Ed Atkins

  • Exhibitions 6
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