The ArtReview 25: London MA graduates
Building on the success of its 2003 and 2004 supplements on new MA graduates, ArtReview has again selected new artists from MA courses at Chelsea, Goldsmiths, Royal Academy Schools, Royal College of Arts and the Slade. This year Axis Graduates is presenting these artists online and building on their ArtReview entry by adding more biographical and artwork records over the coming year. Their work can now also be seen in the context of that of their peers around the UK as the national artist nominations are added to the main Axis Graduates site.
Art Review's Guide to the July 2005 selection
In her essay for the Royal College of Arts 2005 degree show catalogue, the critic Sacha Craddock noted that a student appreciates, uses, needs probably even more attention than ever, but of the right sort. It is to be hoped that ArtReview's annual selection of the best work emerging from Londons MA courses is attention of the right sort; its certainly attention that we feel is deserved. Several of the 25 artists whose work features on the following pages have already exhibited internationally or have gallery representation, but the majority have not; several, perhaps many, will enjoy successful careers as artists, while others will take different directions in the years following college.
This survey is not about making predictions about the future or finding the Next Big Thing; its aim is simply to provide a taster of current work in as many London art schools as we were able to visit. As always, we recommend visiting degree shows this summer whether at London colleges or around the UK to form your own judgements. The Goldsmiths MA show takes place this month, with Wimbledon, Central Saint Martins and Chelsea following in September.
Putting a finger on common concerns within 25 diverse practices is difficult, especially when so many of them escape easy categorisation, but if we remarked on anything this year it was a prevailing sense of enjoyment. It's not that the students we met seem less inclined to rigorous research, meticulous preparation and a willingness to experiment, quite the contrary in fact, but at the same time there are signs of an almost celebratory attitude to their art and its materials, particularly among the painters. And although they are often engaged in the serious business of working out how and why we look at art in the first place, many of this year's graduates also display a satisfyingly dark sense of humour. We hope you take as much pleasure in looking at their work as they did in creating it.
Artists selected by Charlotte Edwards and Catriona Warren.
Texts on the artists by Charlotte Edwards