Catherine Yass

English (born 1963)
Catherine Yass Grave: Annae Craig 1997


Born 1963
Nationality English

Yass was born in London, where she studied at the Slade School of Fine Art and at Goldsmiths’ College. Her distinctive photographic style began accidentally, when a colour film loaded incorrectly was processed as a negative. By combining a colour negative with a positive image in a single transparency, Yass’s photographs create a hyper-real world. Her early work explored the people and institutions that support the visual arts. However, since 1995, Yass has been photographing empty spaces as varied as a steel factory, psychiatric hospital, meat market, and the backstage area of the Barbican Theatre in London. The vivid colours created by her photographic technique suggest the psychic energy of these overlooked spaces. In 2002 Yass was nominated for the Turner Prize.

Glossary terms

  • An annual British art prize which was founded in 1984 by the Tate Gallery's Patrons of New Art. It is intended to promote public discussion of developments in contemporary British art and generates media attention and, at times, controversy. Winners include Gilbert and George , Richard Long, Rachel Whiteread and Douglas Gordon.