What Do Artists Do All Day? TV - James Fox TV - Waldemar Januszczak TV - Andrew Graham-Dixon TV - Matthew Collings TV
Derek Boshier: Derek rose to prominence in the 1960s. Studying at the Royal College of Art alongside David Hockney, Allen Jones, Pauline Botty and others, he became a key figure in the British Pop Art movement. His diverse works often reference contemporary events and offer a form of social commentary. They are featured in some of the most prestigious collections in the world. What Do Artists Do All Day? BBC 2015, captions
I’m very interested in the whole set up of the American influence in this country. I’m interested in the, sort of, infiltration of the American way of life. ibid. cited Pop Goes the Easel 1962, director Ken Russell
Ancient and mysterious. Romantic and remote. Cornwall stands at the very edge of our world. Yet it exerts a magnetic pull on our imaginations. Coincidence, curiosity and crisis drew a string of great artists to this remote region. Responding to each other and the dramatic landscape they went on to produce some of the most exhilarating art of the twentieth century. Dr James Fox, The Art of Cornwall
A small fishing village was briefly transformed into an international centre of modern art. And that fishing village was St Ives. ibid.
A wave of young artists now poured into St Ives. ibid
Terry [Frost] may have been on to something, but he still wasn’t earning a living as a painter. In 1951 Ben intervened and got him a part-time job as an assistant to Barbara Hepworth. She was not by all accounts an easy employer. ibid.
The arrival of Tate St Ives in 1994 has helped to encourage contemporary art and reaffirm the reputations of these past masters. ibid.
The achievements of the St Ives colony look grossly undervalued. In our consumer world their art remains unfashionable. But I marvel at their bravery, dedication and the sheer range and quality of work that spanned more than half a century. It is their passion for Nature, their defiant radicalism, and more than anything their unyielding optimism that defines the art of Cornwall as a high water mark in twentieth century art. ibid.
It was 1914: the First World War had just begun ... One young man was enjoying the attractions of his local fairground. His name was Mark Gertler ... The painting he made was much more than a vision of the Great War, it was a prophecy of the entire twentieth century: the ride we couldn’t get off. Dr James Fox, British Masters, BBC 2011
Our painters were doing something far more interesting: they took the best bits of modern art and then fused them with our own great painting traditions. ibid.
A Favourite Custom: Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema – he became immensely rich peddling lurid fantasies like this ... This is really really really bad art. It’s reactionary, it’s elitist, it’s sexist, it’s motivated by money alone. ibid.
They called themselves the Vorticists ... They remain some of the most radical artworks ever made. ibid.
And the great Vorticism painting of the all was made by the mastermind himself: The Crowd [Wyndham Lewis]. ibid.
These slums produced one of the finest artists of the twentieth century. His name was David Bomberg ... Bomberg could draw, and draw well. ibid.
Like Wyndham-Lewis, Bomberg broke with centuries of tradition, producing fragmented painting of psychedelic originality. But his image was one of optimism. ibid.
This is Bomberg’s first great masterpiece: The Mud Bath ... Bomberg saw this painting as a great manifesto of the modern world. ibid.
Art that was geometric and modern yet was easy to understand. ibid.
It’s my belief that the twentieth century was a golden age of British painting – unsurpassed before or since. Dr James Fox, British Masters II: In Search of England
With his cravat, tweeds and stiff upper lip Sir Alfred Munnings is a deeply unfashionable painter these days. But in his day he was a colossus of the arts establishment. ibid.
Alfred became a darling of an aristocracy who longed to re-live the decadence of the Edwardian age. Equestrian paintings had a special place in the British tradition. ibid.
There was one painter who believed that the true spirit of England resided in the working class: his name was William Coldstream. ibid.
They explored our capacity for cruelty and violence; they exposed the delusions of the consumer age; and they led us away from fear and anxiety, teaching us to relish the pleasures of life once again. Dr James Fox, British Masters III: A New Jerusalem
The crisis in painting was captured in the tragic story of one man. This fleeting fragment is the only film that exists of Keith Vaughan. Vaughan was one of the most respected artists of his day. ibid.
Vaughan’s most telling work was a piece he called the Ninth Assembly of Figures. ibid.
Sir William Coldstream: ‘I was excited by the idea of what would happen if one tried to make an absolutely direct record of one’s experience of Nature with the fewest number of things coming in between oneself and it and with the least awareness or thought about style.’ ibid.
We live in a kaleidoscopic world. But colours are more than mere decoration. Colours carry deep and significant meanings for us all. And in this series I want to unravel the stories of three colours. Three colours [Blue Gold White] which in the hands of artists have stirred our emotions, changed the way we behave, and even altered the course of history. Dr James Fox, A History of Art in Three Colours: Gold I
Blue: the arrival of Lapis Lazuli from the East made blue the colour of our dreams. ibid.
Gold: it’s colour this glorious radiant yellowness ... Our timely obsession with all things golden. ibid.
Klimt: one painter attempted to restore the colour of gold. ibid.
More remarkably of all, a sun chariot from 1,500 B.C. Now the star exhibit at the National Museum of Denmark. ibid.
Egypt: hundreds of deposits ... Very good at extracting that gold ... All four goldsmiths are dwarfs. ibid.
Howard Carter was a maverick who had come to Egypt in search of gold ... On 26th November 1922 Carter broke into the tomb of Tutankhamun ... 110 kilograms of solid gold. ibid.
Gold had magical powers ... Never tarnishes, never corrodes, never rusts, it shines for an eternity. ibid.
Gustav Klimt produced a series of glittering paintings. But one of them shines brighter than all the rest: The Kiss. Known as the last word on love. ibid.
The unique thing about blue is that it is all around us and yet somehow it feels for ever out of reach. Dr James Fox, A History of Art in Three Colours: Blue II
A precious stone ... Lapis Lazuli ... It would change art in dramatic ways. ibid.
The Greeks didn’t even have a word for it. ibid.
Blue began to seep into Western art. ibid.
Titian was a colour addict. ibid.
Yves’ [Klein’s] blue revolution ... Yves’ artwork became known as the Leap Into the Void. ibid.
Earthrise: It caught the imagination of everyone. It was the first time we had seen the Earth from another world. And it dawned on us that ours was more than anything a blue planet. ibid.
In the history of art white isn’t quite as pure as we think. Dr James Fox, A History of Art in Three Colours: White III
White came to symbolise an enlightened world. ibid.
The Elgin Marbles were a set of ancient Greek sculptures that had once adorned the Parthenon in Athens, and they were widely seen as the bedrock of Western art. ibid.
Winckelmann had stumbled on a vast storeroom filled with ancient white statues and they came in all shapes and sizes. ibid.
Winckelmann had pointed the way to a new white utopia based on antiquity. ibid.
Josiah Wedgwood was a giant of the enlightenment ... Wedgwood was also a disciple of Winckelmann ... Wedgwood’s true genius was pottery. ibid.
Whistler ... set to work on ... paintings all of women in white. ibid.
In Whistler’s hands white had become the cold and exclusive colour of the artistic elite. ibid.