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…
Julian Stallabrass is Professor of Art History at the Courtauld Institute of Art, London. He is the author of Art Incorporated: The Story of Contemporary Art, High Art Lite: The Rise and Fall of Young British Art, and other books.