Born in Penzance, Cornwall in 1967, Abigail Lane was brought up in Bristol where she went to college to do an Art foundation course. She moved to London in 1986 to take her BA in Fine Art at Goldsmiths College, where, in her second year, she was prominently involved in the exhibition Freeze, organised by Damien Hirst with his fellow Goldsmiths students, including Michael Landy, Sarah Lucas and Gary Hume. In retrospect, this ambitious three-part show has been seen to mark the beginning of the yBa phenomenon, of which Lane has been a key figure.
Lane and her young artist-friends quickly established a public reputation, many of their early shows being at the Karsten Schubert Gallery, off Tottenham Court Road, including solo exhibitions by Angus Fairhurst, Rachel Whiteread, Anya Gallaccio, Gary Hume and Michael Landy. Schubert offered Lane her first solo show in 1992, and she was subsequently represented by Glenn Scott Wright then later Victoria Miro Gallery. International success followed, and Lane’s work was a notable presence in Brilliant! New art from London in Minneapolis in 1995. “Everywhere are scattered visual clues of human activity. They construct a chilling sculptural narrative that balances on the thin line between horror and beauty.” Mark Saunders writing about Skin of the Teeth, ICA, London in 1995.
Her work wasn’t and still isn’t restricted to a particular medium, and could be described as mostly sculptural and installation based. Although, like most artists, there are recurring themes and ideas, these are executed in the medium that suits the subject best, which has resulted in works made in video, sound, wax, print, concrete, crystals, ink, text, found objects … the titles are often an integral part of the work too.