Contemporary Art: A Very Short Introduction

Front Cover
OUP Oxford, Mar 23, 2006 - Art - 154 pages
7 Reviews
Contemporary art has never been so popular - but what is 'contemporary' about contemporary art? What is its role today, and who is controlling its future? Bloody toy soldiers, gilded shopping carts, and embroidered tents. Contemporary art is supposed to be a realm of freedom where artists shock, break taboos, flout generally received ideas, and switch between confronting viewers with works of great emotional profundity and jaw-dropping triviality. But away from shock tactics in the gallery, there are many unanswered questions. Who is really running the art world? What effect has America's growing political and cultural dominance had on art? Julian Stallabrass takes us inside the international art world to answer these and other controversial questions, and to argue that behind contemporary art's variety and apparent unpredictability lies a grim uniformity. Its mysteries are all too easily explained, its depths much shallower than they seem. Contemporary art seeks to bamboozle its viewers while being the willing slave of business and government. This book is your antidote and will change the way you see contemporary art. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

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Review: Contemporary Art: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions)

User Review  - Joaquim - Goodreads

This is an interesting book... But it's no "short introduction". And although the grip of maket forces upon art is well explained, the author is far too lefty to give a more objective account of the subject Read full review

Review: Contemporary Art: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions)

User Review  - Kayl Parker - Goodreads

I am a fine arts student at SAIC, and am constantly looking for good books on contemporary art for my family to read. A book that should be written from a purely objective view has been, through ... Read full review

About the author (2006)


Julian Stallabrass is Senior Lecturer in Art History at the Courtauld Institute of Art in London. He is the author of several book on art, including the highly controversial High Art Lite (Verso, 1999), and is a frequent contributor to publications including the Evening Standard and the New Statesman.

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