Art on the Telly

“Picasso, Matisse, Hockney, Bourgeois, Freud; where did you first encounter the great art and artists of the last 100 years? Most likely on television, which has done more than any other medium to popularise the visual arts in Britain”

This morning’s Review in the Daily Telegraph had an article linked to “BBC Four’s Great Artists in Their Own Words [which] condenses more than 60 years’ worth of arts coverage on the BBC into a refreshingly breezy three-part history of 20th century Western art presented, more or less, by the artists themselves.”

The series starts on Wednesday 8th May at 9 pm. The Review article had some interesting quotes from various artists, presumably taken from the programmes. Here are some of them:

“I was happiest when I couldn’t sell my paintings. Apart from a few friends only I liked them. I loved them like a mother loves her unfortunate children.” Henri Matisse in 1946

“I don’t care about the word art because it has been so discredited. I want to get rid of it in the same way many people today have done away with religion.” Marcel Duchamp, Late Night Line-Up, 1968

“If there is a mystery in my work, it is a matter of the unknowable …. I believe the world is a mystery, and that mystery cannot be spoken of in words. We are all a mystery, we are part of the world which is itself a mystery.” Rene Magritte, Monitor, 1965

“Salvador Dali is very rich, and I love treeemendously money and gold. Dali sleeps best after the day he receives a treeemendous quantity of cheques.” Salvador Dali in 1970

HenryMooreShelterDrawing (616 x 768)

Shelter Drawing: Seated Mother and Child – Henry Moore, 1941

(This drawing was sold for a world record price of £634,850 in 2011)

“What I was trying to show was my reaction to this dramatic suspense. The situation that you get of a tension between people, and something about an impending disaster. There’s a drama in silence more than in shouting.” Henry Moore on the bomb shelter drawings that made him a household name, 1978

“This is The Love Wall. It’s like a love shop really. All the postcards are in the windows. When I did this picture, people said, ‘Why do you stick the things on, why don’t you paint them?’ And when I do paint them, they say, ‘Why did you bother to paint them, why didn’t you stick them on?’ You just can’t win.” Peter Blake, Monitor, 1972

Peter-Blake-The-Love-WallLove Wall, Peter Blake (1961)

“If you are painting humans you’ve got the best subject matter in the world, and you can really do as much with them as they could do themselves. When I’m not painting them – which is rare – I feel I’m being pretty frivolous.” Lucien Freud in 1988

“I’ve never found [painting] easy. But you don’t want to find it easy. Often you deliberately make things difficult for yourself. I could paint ten pictures of swimming pools, making it look rather nice. But I don’t want to do that, it would bore me. I don’t mind boring you, but I don’t want to bore myself.” David Hockney in 1981


About notes to the milkman

I'm a printmaker based in the North West of England, living in Bolton and printing at Hot Bed Press in Salford. Please visit my website
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3 Responses to Art on the Telly

  1. Marvellous – that’ll be on my ‘must watch’ list

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