On 25 October 2009, The State Hermitage Museum
, St. Petersburg and the Saatchi Gallery
, London will jointly present Newspeak: British Art Now, featuring some of the most exciting artists to have emerged in the UK in the last few years and are largely unknown in the wider art world.
This exhibition forms part of the 'Hermitage 20/21' project, an ambitious program aimed at showcasing the best of contemporary art in the Hermitage and expanding the display of 20th century art.
Over a decade after Sensation and the advent of the YBAs, this new generation of artists has produced works that collectively reveal an arresting insight into the future of contemporary art in Britain. In Orwell's novel Nineteen Eighty- Four, Newspeak is "the only language in the world whose vocabulary gets smaller every year"; this exhibition turns that Orwellian vision on its head, showing that the range of visual languages being exploited and invented by these artists is in fact expanding and multiplying. Through sculpture, painting, photography and installation, they explore issues such as class, consumerism and the phenomenon of instant success culture, often with a distinctly British dry wit.
The first section of this exhibition will premiere at The State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, while an expanded version in two parts will open at the Saatchi Gallery in London starting summer 2010 through to January 2011. The Hermitage exhibition will be shown in the Nikolaevsky Hall of the Winter Palace, a magnificent gallery overlooking the Neva River.
This autumn BBC Two broadcasts Saatchi Art Stars [working title], a new TV series which aims to discover the next generation of artistic talent in Britain. The 4-part program is part of The Modern Beauty Season, a range of programs coming to BBC Two and BBC Four this autumn which look at the concept of beauty in modern art.
In Saatchi Art Stars, following a selection process by artist Tracey Emin, critic Matthew Collings, art collector Frank Cohen, Head of Art Galleries at The Barbican, Kate Bush, and Charles Saatchi, six people have been chosen to attend an art school established uniquely for them, where they will develop their skills under the tutelage of leading British artists and figures from the art world. The selection panel and Charles Saatchi, will then select one of them to have their work exhibited in Newspeak: British Art Now, both at The State Hermitage Museum and the Saatchi Gallery. The selected artist will also be offered the additional opportunity of receiving a free studio for 3 years in London's Chelsea provided by the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea in partnership with the Saatchi Gallery.
Prof. Mikhail Piotrovsky, Director of the State Hermitage Museum and the Head of the "Hermitage 20/21" project and Dr. Dimitri Ozerkov, Curator of the exhibition and Senior Researcher at the State Hermitage Museum have worked closely with the Saatchi Gallery in order to bring the show to St. Petersburg. The exhibition is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue which includes an introductory essay by Mikhail Piotrovsky, and essays by Dimitri Ozerkov, and Patricia Ellis.
Newspeak: British Art Now in St. Petersburg features a selection of works by Hurvin Anderson, Jonathan Baldock, Pablo Bronstein, Spartacus Chetwynd, Steven Claydon, William Daniels, Dick Evans, Tessa Farmer, Robert Fry, Sigrid Holmwood, Mustafa Hulusi, Scott King, littlewhitehead, Alastair MacKinven, Goshka Macuga, Ryan Mosley, Arif Ozakca, Ged Quinn, Barry Reigate, Daniel Silver, Fergal Stapleton, Donald Urquhart, Jonathan Wateridge and Toby Ziegler.