Modern art. Like it or not, it’s had a profound impact on the way our world looks. As critic Alastair Sooke explains in this four-part series from the BBC, the great artworks of the past century have exerted an influence that extends far beyond museum walls.
Modern Masters, first broadcast in 2010 on the mainstream channel BBC One, looks at the life, work, and abiding influence of Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dali and Andy Warhol. “Art during the 20th century was radical, intoxicating, and immensely influential,” says Sooke, deputy art critic of The Daily Telegraph. “Matisse, Picasso, Dali and Warhol didn’t just change art history; they changed the world.”
Episode one, Andy Warhol: For a series examining the influence of 20th century art through the prism of celebrity artists, it’s fitting that Sooke should begin with an artist obsessed with celebrity. Sooke follows Warhol (see above) from his impoverished childhood in Pittsburgh to New York City, where he struggled as a commercial artist before becoming famous as a pop artist. Along the way he shows how Warhol’s aesthetic sensibility now permeates our culture. The other three episodes proceed along similar lines. Each is just under an hour long.
Episode two, Henri Matisse:
Episode three, Pablo Picasso:
Episode four, Salvador Dali: