Julian Stallabrass is a British art historian, photographer and curator. He was educated at Leighton Park School and New College, Oxford University where he studied PPE. A Marxist, he has written extensively on contemporary art (including internet art), photography and the history of twentieth century British art.
High Art Lite
Stallabrass was highly critical of the Young British Artists movement, and their works and influence was the subject of his 1999 study High Art Lite, a term he coined as a disparaging synonym to the pervasive YBA acronym:
"As the art market revived [in the early- to mid- 1990s] and success beckoned, the new art became more evidently two-faced, looking still to the mass media and a broad audience but also to the particular concerns of the narrow world of art-buyers and dealers. To please both was not an easy task. Could the artists face both ways at once, and take both sets of viewers seriously? That split in attention, I shall argue, led to a wide public being successfully courted but not seriously addressed. It has left a large audience for high art lite intrigued but unsatisfied, puzzled at the work's meaning and wanting explanations that are never vouchsafed: the aim of this book is to suggest the direction some of those answers might take and to do so in a style that is as accessible as the art it examines."
His other books include Gargantua: Manufactured Mass Culture (1996), Paris Pictured (2002), Internet Art: The Online Clash of Culture and Commerce (2003) and Art Incorporated (2004), which was republished as Contemporary Art: A Very Short Introduction (2006), Memory of Fire:Images of War and The War of Images (2013). Stallabrass is on the editorial boards of Art History and the New Left Review.
He curated the exhibition "Art and Money Online" at Tate Britain, London in 2001. In 2008 he selected the Brighton Photography Biennial, from the catalogue of which he edited Memory of Fire:Images of War and The War of Images (2013)
- Courtauld Institute of Art Dr Julian Stallabrass
- Stewart Home, Review of High Art Lite (Verso, 2nd edition 2006)
- More than 100 essays and articles by Stallabrass online.