The Rules of Art now – J.Stallabrass – Group Study Work

In order to look at the article and to discuss it further we were put into groups in order to be able to answer fully the questions. I was put with Rob and Michaela and straight away we went to the library to read the article and do some internet research. We realised we wanted to present our findings in a visual way and decided to do a mindmap.

This is our mindmap.

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Firstly we looked at visual signs and discussed what we thought they were. We decided a visual sign was something that grabs a persons attention because of their recognition for it. For example a stop sign on the road.We also discussed that people don’t look at things in the same way and this might be an disadvantage for an artist who wants to explore the use of visual signs as people might interpret his art in a broader way when he is trying to get across one message.

Next we looked at Clement Greenberg. We found out he was an American Essayist and Critic who wrote one of the most elegant definitions of modernism extent. In our poster we highlighted some points in his essays and the journey he went on in his essay writing. He was a crucial part of the developpement of Modern Art and appears in a lot of documents and sources today.

We looked a little at a exhibiton in the Lisson Gallery called Art and Language which put art and language together to make a statement. We looked in particular about a piece called Index which made by two Veteran Conceptual Artists. The piece was “meant to encourage interaction and dialogue – as a candy-coloured functionless sculpture, juxaposed with a nonsensical pornographic text.” (Stallabrass, J. Contemporary Art: A very Short Introduction, OUP Oxford 2006) This work referenced the antics of Young British Artists.

Lastly we discussed our opinions of the article and wrote down some brief points and ideas.

My personal response to the article

In the article, The rules of Art now, Stallabrass’ seems to take on the challenge of putting a cadre around the Contemporary art of today.

One of the most interesting points of the article for me was the introduction. The way in which he discusses the idea that Contemporary Art has so many roles in today’s world compared to before was something which I could really relate too. I really understood where he was coming from and with the advancement of creative software and technology , the world of contemporary art is preparing for another big leap.

I also found that his ideas on why art is made is something that caught my attention. People are trying to make their mark on the art world and that leads to artists going to extremes in a way to put themselves out there and make a statement, even in some cases if that statement may offend people.

Stallabrass’ response to the contemporary art world of today is something I found both intriguing and interesting. Although at times I thought the article was challenging and confusing to read, I feel the way in which Stallabrass explained some points helped me to get my head around some of the persisting issues of the art world today.


Stallabrass, J. Contemporary Art: A very Short Introduction, OUP Oxford 2006


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