Special “Eye” to Watch
June Mattingly // contributing art writer


This announcement departs from our past exclusivity of Texan artists for moderndallas,
because of the importance of the opening of the actively collecting non-profit  
Goss-Michael Foundation, founded in 2007. Its new larger headquarters with higher
ceilings and larger doorways is strategically located close to the recently positioned
Dallas Contemporary.  

Musician George Michael and his partner Kenny Goss focus on cutting-edge British
contemporary art. The Goss-Michael collection at present is reportedly in the $500 million
category. This remodeled 12,000 square foot warehouse at 1405 Turtle Creek Boulevard
includes three spacious galleries and is close to four times the size of the original location.
Now GMF will have the space to exhibit art from the permanent collection, the new
acquisitions along with rotating curated shows throughout the year. Also room is provided
for a bookstore, library, private offices and a catering kitchen.  Future GMF projects include
educational programs, a lecture series, studios for an artist-in-residence program and
events to accompany opening shows.     
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Both collections represent 20th and 21st century British contemporary artists comparable
to those represented by established galleries in London, Beijing, Paris and New York and
in collections such as the Tate Modern in London and the Dallas Museum of Art. “With
both our Foundation and the Dallas Contemporary in the neighborhood, there will be
a synergistic energy for the development of contemporary and modern art in Dallas,”
said Kenny Goss. “This is a critical component for a city the size of Dallas and one that
has been missing.”

Since so much publicity material is written about the GMF, this article has a different
twist – very short biographies of six of the most known names in the opening group
exhibition along with critical events and history makers. This information is intended to
point out how fortunate we are GMF is on this side of the ocean and in all places,
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After receiving undergraduate and graduate degrees from Yale’s School of Art in 1966
Michael Craig-Martin moved to London. He is especially noted for teaching the Young
British Artists in the 80s at Goldsmith’s College and being instrumental in the historical
exhibit “Freeze” (1988) on a Docklands including 16 of their students such as Gary
Hume, Richard Patterson and Fiona Rae. (YBA was actually coined in 1996).  

Damien Hirst, the main organizer of “Freeze,” set an example of artist-as-curator and
artist-run exhibition spaces in the 90s. Hirst went on to become the world’s most
expensive living artist selling a piece for 160 million at Sotheby’s in 2008. In the
GMF is his “Saint Sebastian, Exquisite Pain,” reportedly to cost $7 million. The 10-foot
tall glass and steel case contains a black furry calf, stabbed with arrows, hanging
from a white steel I-beam, and floating in water and formaldehyde.

One of the visitors to “Freeze” was Charles Saatchi, a contemporary collector who
invented the name Young British Artist; he bought Hirst’s first animal installation.
Saatchi’s collection was so immense and global that when he purchased or
divested himself of major works of a particular artist such as Hirst or Emin it had
a significant upward/downward effect on the art market worldwide. Saatchi-
sponsored exhibitions such as “Sensation” also contributed to the YBAs’ success.  
An event to cause intense media coverage of young Britainartists is the Turner Prize
(founded in 1984 and named after the painter J.M.W. Turner); several YBAs were
winners. As of 2004, 40 pounds is the amount of the monetary award. Every year
four artists under 50 are nominated whose work is then exhibited at the Tate Britain.  
A panel of judges chaired by Sir Nicholas Serota, Director of the Tate Modern, has
already chosen the winner, a future international rising star.  Other winning celebrities
include the Chapman Brothers (Jake and Dinos), Fiona Banner, Chris Ofili, Sam Taylor-
Wood, Wolfgang Tillmans, Gillian Wearing and Rachel Whitread.

This generation of British artists’ status rose in the US with the full scale exhibit
“Brilliant” in 1995 at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, putting this group in with
non-British Neo-Conceptual artists. The opening of the Tate Modern in 2000 lauded
Hirst and Emin, the YBA’s main provocateurs.      

In 1999 Tracey Emin (born 1963) was nominated for the Turner. Her main exhibit
“My Bed,” consisted of her own disheveled, stained bed surrounded by detritus
including used condoms and soiled underwear. Subsequently a room was
dedicated to her in Tate Britain for a year before being placed in storage. She
was nominated for the Turner but Steve McQueen won it. In 2007 she represented
Great Britain in the Venice Biennale.
Damien Hirst

Tracey Emin
Editioned teapot by Tracey Emin
Installation shot in new space, sculpture by Marc Quinn, painting by Craig-Martin.
Former YBA Sarah Lucas (born 1962) is the featured artist in the traveling 2010-2011 British
Art Show 7. Every five years it shows the next generation; this time stopping in London,
Glasgow, Nottingham and Plymouth attracting 300,000 visitors.  Out of a retail space in
London, The Shop, she and Emin sold artworks they made ranging from T-shirts with
slogans to printed mugs. Lucas has declined the Turner Prize nomination.     

Marc Quinn (born 1964) an obvious YBA, uses unusual mediums such as ice, glass, lead
and blood to describe people’s obsession with the body. He wasn’t in Hirst’s “Freeze”
but he was in “Saatchi’s “Sensation.” His signature piece “Self” is a frozen ephemeral
sculpture of the artist’s head made out of the artist’s blood over a period of five months.    
“The Goss-Michael Foundation challenges preconceived art notions and strives to set
a new standard in artistic awareness...There are no boundaries to our collection.  Every
work, regardless of medium, must resonate with us on a personal level.”

Galleries in London which represent contemporary British artists include: Gagosian,
Jay Joplin’s White Cube, Victoria Miro, Maureen Paley and Lisson.

Next mid-October put in your plans, “Frieze,” no relation to “Freeze,” the very
important international contemporary art fair in London.

The Goss-Michael Foundation
1405 Turtle Creek Boulevard Dallas, TX 75207-3303
Hours: Tuesday-Friday 10:00am-6:00pm,
Saturday 11:00am-4:00pm, Monday by appointment only.

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