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A New Twist in the Long Tradition of the Grotesque

Marina Warner: The monstrousness of Britart, 13 April 2000

High Art Lite: British Art in the 1990s 
by Julian Stallabrass.
Verso, 342 pp., £22, December 1999, 1 85984 721 8
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This is Modern Art 
by Matthew Collings.
Weidenfeld, 270 pp., £20, June 1999, 0 297 84292 7
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... fury is rather Victorian – Ruskin’s rage against the immoralism of the Baroque. Oddly enough, Matthew Collings – in the book of his Channel Four series – says many of the same things as Stallabrass; he even borrows the term ‘art lite’. But most of the time he seems to like the art and the artists, for the same reasons that Stallabrass detests ...


Andy Beckett: Bo Fowler, 3 September 1998

Scepticism Inc. 
by Bo Fowler.
Cape, 247 pp., £9.99, April 1998, 0 224 05124 5
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... or the Sun. This is the first paragraph of Blimey!, a recent book about young British artists by Matthew Collings: I went to Quo Vadis the other night. That’s the well-known restaurant in Dean Street that Damien Hirst recently redesigned. Now it’s full of art by young people who are in Vogue and on TV all the time ... It’s in Benson & Hedges ads ...

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