Tuesday 14 February 2012 to Sunday 22 April 2012
Benaki Museum, Athens

Contemporary Art from the British Council Collection 1980–2010

The British Council Collection is one of the most comprehensive holdings of modern and contemporary British art in the world, containing some 8,500 arts pieces by over 1,650 British artists.

Made in Britain – Contemporary Art from the British Council Collection 1980–2010, which we are organising in collaboration with the Benaki Museum, features around 150 works by a wide range of artists, including Keith Arnatt, Helen Chadwick, Peter Doig, Gilbert & George, Damien Hirst, Mark Titchner, Sarah Lucas and Mark Wallinger, reflecting the breadth and diversity of British art throughout the thirty-year period from 1980 to 2010.

This is a rare opportunity for art lovers to experience at first hand the creative journey of some of the most prolific contemporary British artists of the past thirty years.

During the period since 1980 which the exhibition covers, enormous shifts have taken place in the role that art plays in British society. From Gilbert & George's Intellectual Depression (1980) to Gary Hume's Sister Troop (2009), this exhibition tells the story of how art has mapped and reflected these changes – and indeed been at the very forefront of social change itself.

Contemporary art in the UK has undeniably taken on a more socially engaged position in British society over the past three decades. Some of this shift can be attributed to the arrival of a new, entrepreneurial and ambitious generation of artists in the early 1990s, collectively known as the YBAs (Young British Artists) and including artists such as Michael Landy, Jake and Dinos Chapman, Damien Hirst and Sarah Lucas.

Other factors, such as the introduction of the Turner Prize in 1984 (the first prize to be awarded to young contemporary artists in the UK); the opening of Tate Modern in 2000 (the first dedicated public gallery for modern and contemporary art in the UK); the elision of art, advertising and the creative industries, particularly following the launch of the Saatchi Gallery in 1985; and the abolition of admission charges to UK public galleries and museums in 2001, have all played their part in bringing contemporary art to far larger audiences than ever before – often audiences with no prior experience or knowledge of the visual arts.

A programme of educational activities and events will run throughout the exhibition period – beginning with Mark Titchner at the exhibition opening.

Mark Titchner

British artist, Mark Titchner, will give a talk about his work. The artist will present a general aesthetic introduction to his work, looking at his influences from within both art history and popular culture. He will also present key works from the last ten years of his practice.

Titchner, often described as one of the most charismatic British artists, was nominated for the Turner prize in 2006 for his solo exhibition at the Arnolfini Contemporary Art Centre, Bristol, where he explored the tensions between the different belief systems that inform society, be they religious, philosophical, scientific or political. His artwork The Future Demands your Participation will be presented at the Made in Britain exhibition.


Talk by Mark Titchner 14 February 2012, 18.00
Opening Night 14 February 2012, 20.00
Exhibition 15 February–22 April 2012
Where Benaki Museum
Pireos Street Annexe
138 Pireos Street
118 54 Athens
Tickets €5


For further information, please contact Irini Vouzelakou:

Telephone 210 369 2337