Monday, February 03, 2020

Art from the BBC Archives - a retrospective

The BBC has been having a rush of art to the BBC4 programme controller's brain. Moreover it is raiding the BBC Archives as a way of making television programmes about art while spending very little. Or as the programme makers put it
Delving into the BBC Archives to reveal a colourful, surprising and rounded portrait of how television has chosen to portray the world’s most famous artists and artistic movements over the last 60 years.
This post is about:
  • another new series of programmes about art - on Sunday night (which started last night)
  • a BBC Archives website Collection of various Art Programmes

Art on the BBC


The series or four programmes (4 x 60 minutes) about "Art on the BBC" comprise:
Humans have been drawing nudes for almost 30,000 years. Kate Bryan explores six decades of BBC archive to discover how television has influenced our understanding of the nude.
  • 9nd February 2020: The Many Faces of Picasso - a television history of Picasso who the BBC term "the controversial godfather of modern art" - curated by David Dibosa (pictured) 
  • 16th February 2020: The personality of Michelangelo - curated by Sona Datta
  • 23rd February 2020: Constable - pushing the boundaries of landscape painting - with Rose Balston
It follows on from a programme in 2018 (repeated in 2019) about The Genius of Leonardo. The video below gives you a sense of the approach of these programmes.


ART ON THE BBC_THE GENIUS OF LEONARDO_CLIP1 from Alleycats Films on Vimeo.

Art from the Archives - The Art Collection


You can also go direct to a BBC Archives website Collection of various Art Programmes and view the various programmes from the Archives which are available to view on iPlayer.

These include:
  • Omnibus: Lucian Freud (1988)  - I've watched this one and will no doubt view it again (Available for over a year)
For over 40 years, the artist Lucian Freud has allowed his paintings to speak for themselves, but in this week's Omnibus he talks for the first time about his work and ambitions.

'The greatest living realist painter' is critic Robert Hughes' description of Lucian Freud, whose major retrospective at London's Hayward Gallery earlier this year, brought together the paintings of a lifetime. The exhibition was seen as a revelation, just as it had been in Washington and Paris. 
"The buildings always come before the figures"
  • Rossetti - Sex, Drugs and Oil Paint (2003) - Andrew Graham-Dixon considers the work of Dante Gabriel Rossetti, the painter and poet who reinvented the Victorian ideal of female beauty... and who dug up his wife's coffin to retrieve poems he had buried with her. 
available on iPlayer
On July 9 London's Hayward Gallery becomes host to one of the largest exhibitions of Pop Art to be seen in this country. In the words of one of its exponents, Pop Art is ‘young, witty, sexy, glamorous, and big business’. It is an instant art form and has had instant success. Robert Hughes talks to leading pop artists in New York amid the ad-mass living that inspires their art. Artists featured include Roy Lichtenstein, Robert Indiana, Jasper Johns, Claes Oldenburg, James Rosenquist, George Segal and Andy Warhol. 

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