Exploring our Trends tools

Helping to make the most of our wealth of data.

Have you ever played around with our Trends tools?

We’ve introduced them in the past, but we wanted to remind you just how helpful (and fun) they can be to use. Our “Trends” page show’s you the exact rankings of artists across their entire career. In addition to the responsive line graphs, you can add bar graphs that demonstrate the types of shows and institutions that an artist was involved in each year. Better still; you can add artists to the same graph to compare careers.

Let’s try it out shall we?

Comparing careers can be particularly interesting when looking at a group of artists from a specific movement, as it’s clear to see how much involvement can shape a career.

The infamous Young British Artists movement (YBA), with its openness towards materials and all the ways art can be made or defined, is well known for producing a number of household names. Just a few of the widely successful group being: Damien HirstDouglas GordenTacita Dean and Tracey Emin. The group of contemporary British artists’ prominence rose in the nineties, coinciding with the attendance of many at London’s Goldsmiths College, which has also hosted an exhibition and residence programme since 2018.

To look closer, let’s take Fiona Rae (b.1963) as an example.

Contemporary British artist, Fiona Rae is ranked 1,914 globally and has 161 verified shows on Artfacts. She is known for her paintings which blend abstract, pop art and cartoons in vividly colourful renderings.

When looking at her Trends chart, her rankings reflect the wave of recognition received by the YBA increasing to her highest rank of 408 in 1999. To provide clear insight, you are able to view an artist’s career length in a 10 or 25 year period, or their lifetime in the Trends charts.

Use the additional comparison tool “+Exhibition”, to view the types of exhibitions and institutions that Fiona Rae had in this time period and see how these shaped her rankings.

The “+Compare” tool is particularly interesting and informative as you can compare the careers of multiple artists in one graph. To test this out, we pose the question: How have other female YBA’s developed in comparison to Fiona Rae?

Here, we’ve taken a look at Georgina Starr (b.1968), ranked 287 globally in 1999 and Sarah Lucas (b.1962), ranked 362 globally in 1999. All three of these artists were born between ‘62 and ‘68, and in the height of the YBA movement their rankings were markedly similar, but the careers of Rae, Starr and Lucas developed in very different ways over time.

Whereas Sarah Lucas has established herself as a leading contemporary artist, with a very consistent ranking both Georgina Starr and Fiona Rae’s careers have been a little more turbulent. Although the closeness of their rankings have separated over time, all three have exhibited consistently and had tremendous success.

There you have it! This is just a very simple question applied with fast observation of the information available in Artfacts’ database. It’s a fantastic jumping off point for researchers or collectors, or anyone curious really.

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Let’s make history happen,

The Artfacts Team

Headerimage created by Piotr Pietrus