Public Offerings presents breakthrough works by some of the most important and challenging artists to emerge in the past decade, exploring the conditions, consequences and contexts that surround their first 'public offerings'. It provides a critical overview of art at the beginning of the 21st century. Youth is a highly relevant factor in the development of these works, just as it has been in the advancement of contemporary music and literature, and even the sciences. Young artists are now among today's most critically discussed and visible practitioners. All the artists featured in this collection graduated from prestigious colleges of art in Britain, the United States, Germany and Japan, and their success has raised the profile of art schools and the issue of their increasingly important role. While confident in their conception, execution and theatrical vigour, the works included here also represent a fragile moment in the artists' development. The art clearly demonstrates the impact of the particular art school and regional identity. Along with the complex network of travelling critics and curators, international exhibitions, regional and global art journals, and ambitious galleries and collectors, art schools have emerged as important crossroads for recent art's shared themes and discourses, and have served as both incubator and platform for new art. A series of specially commissioned essays examines the art school's role and the relation of an international art world to local practice. Also included are critical texts examining the artist and individual works, accompanied by full colour reproductions. Among the artists featured are Matthew Barney, Julie Becker, Damien Hirst, Sharon Lockhart, Chris Ofili, Jason Rhoades, Diana Thater, Yutake Sone, Rachel Whiteread, and Jane and Louise Wilson.
by: Paul Schimmel