Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Before They Were Famous

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Before They Were Famous

Article excerpt

Byline: NICK HACKWORTH

CITY RACING 1988-1998: A PARTIAL ACCOUNT H Institute of Contemporary Arts

IN 1988, bored by their inability to secure shows in London galleries uninterested in young British artists, five artists and a friend - John Burgess, Keith Coventry, Matt Hale, Paul Noble and Peter Owen - squatted in an ex-betting shop (hence the name City Racing) near the Oval cricket ground and began a series of cheap and cheerful art shows. It proved a wise move. A year after its first show, the recession hit, the art market contracted and many artists came to rely on alternative spaces to show their work. Initially funded by the founders, City Racing later secured grants from the London Arts Board. But the grants stopped, and so did City Racing.

On display at the ICA is a selection of works from the 51 shows at City Racing. The first thing most will notice is how many of the artists on display have made the transition from unknown artists to fully fledged art stars, and the speed with which fame has come. …

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