James Balmforth

1980 · United Kingdom

Artist biography

James Balmforth is a mid-career contemporary visual artist, who originates from the United Kingdom. James Balmforth was born in 1980. Born in the same country and of the same generation are Banksy, Idris Khan and Annie Morris.

James Balmforth's Gallery representation

James Balmforth's work is available for viewing at Hannah Barry Gallery located in London, the United Kingdom.

Historical Context of United Kingdom

The UK has been a crucial centre for artistic production for centuries. While it accumulated vast wealth from colonisation and the ascent of its Empire, it was also unsheltered from the cultural influences of other countries and continents. Throughout the modern period, Britain had been largely eclipsed by the importance of its European neighbours on one side, and of the United States on the other. But in the late 19th century, Britain became an important centre in the development of the avant-garde. This includes the Arts and Crafts Movement, a cutting-edge movement setting the tone for artist-led organisations, guilds and organisational co-operative types that would later develop into a template of sorts for bohemian artists movements of the Twentieth Century. Important artistic movements that epitomize British modernism include for instance Vorticism, involving artists associated with the Bloomsbury group. Some significant British artists of the modern and contemporary period 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 James Balmforth

Born in 1980, James Balmforth was largely inspired by the 1990s. A collective of artists working in the United Kingdom, who came to be known as the YBAs, or Young British Artists, defined the artistic culture of the 1990s. Affiliated loosely by their age and nationality, they were a diverse collective of practitioners. A number of the YBAs attended the Royal College of Art and Goldsmiths in London, and were favoured by the ‘super collector’ of the time, Charles Saatchi. The most well known member of the group is Damien Hirst, and other members included Chris Ofili, Tracey Emin, Marc Quinn, Gavin Turk, Sarah Lucas and Sam Taylor-Johnson (née Sam Taylor-Wood). The YBAs became famous for their use of shock tactics and sensationalism, alongside their use of throwaway materials, wild lifestyles and an attitude that was rebellious yet commercial. Due to the high amount of media coverage that they received, they dominated British art during the 1990s, and their work was epitomised in the group show ‘Sensation’. 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 such as Douglas Gordon, Gillian Wearing, Philippe Parenno and Liam Gillick were described as important artists who worked to this idea.

James Balmforth

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