Jonty Claypole, Director of Arts, BBC, has unveiled details of new programming from BBC Arts, with a focus on the visual arts. With new series offering unique access, presented by world-class experts and new talent; a collection of revealing biographies shining a light on the mavericks and masters of visual arts; and programming with different perspectives and insights.
He also reaffirmed a commitment to supporting new and up-and-coming artists and creators and announced a new collaboration between BBC Arts and Google Arts & Culture.
Jonty Claypole says: “The arts are at the heart of the BBC and the BBC is at the heart of the nation, so I am delighted to announce a new, ambitious slate of programmes across BBC TV, Radio and Digital, with a special focus on the visual arts: landmark series, biographical documentaries and short-form content.
“As ever, we are providing unique access to some of the greatest artists and experts in the world. We are also proud to share the results of our ambitious and energised commitment to the next generation of curators and creators.
“Together, this means new perspectives and ways of making content, alongside the living tradition of documentary and programme formats that the BBC both pioneered and continues to lead the way on. The focus on the visual arts is timely: the image has never had greater influence over our lives, dominating our screens and the walls around us. The visual arts help us to pause, look and think more deeply and profoundly.”
- In African Renaissance (3 x 60’) journalist Afua Hirsch explores how Kenya, Ethiopia and Senegal are becoming the powerhouses of African culture. This is accompanied by Handmade In Africa (3 x 30’) which looks at the countries’ most cherished crafts. Both for BBC Four.
- Samira Ahmed takes an unforgettable journey to the places and art works rarely seen in The Art Of Being Persian (BBC Four, 3 x 60’)
- Four young British art historians – David Dibosa, Sona Datta, Kate Bryan and Rose Balston – explore the BBC archives to discover how six decades of TV has influenced our understanding of some of art’s most celebrated topics, in Art On The BBC (BBC Four, 4 x 60’).
Expert talent and new insights
- Simon Schama explores the potent legacy of Romanticism in the modern world, in Simon Schama’s The Romantic Revolution (BBC Two, 3 x 60’).
- Mary Beard looks at some of the most famous nudes in art, from the Venus de Medici to Michelangelo’s David, and argues controversy is nothing new in Mary Beard’s Shock Of The Nude (w/t) (BBC Two, 2 x 60’).
- James Fox investigates our complex and changing relationship with the image in the modern age in a new four-part series, The Age Of The Image (BBC Four, 4 x 60′)
- Using Matisse’s own diaries and letters, his great-granddaughter retraces the life of one of the world’s greatest artists, in Becoming Matisse (BBC Two, 1 x 60’).
- The life and work of fearless war photographer, Vogue model and artist’s muse Lee Miller is revealed in Lee Miller (BBC Two, 1 x 60’).
- Frida And Diego: The Art Of Love examines the works and world of one of art’s original celebrity couples (BBC Four, 3 x 60’).
- imagine… meets Marina Abramović (BBC One, 1 x 60’).
- The moving story of artist Maggi Hambling is revealed in Maggi Hambling: The Quick & The Dead (BBC Two, 1 x 60’).
- Titian explores what drove Titian to create such a dark array of paintings and how it can be that we admire them so much today (BBC Four, 1 x 60’).
Lost and hidden treasures
- Art sleuth Waldemar Januszczak uncovers the secret meanings hidden within some of the greatest paintings by Van Gogh, Gauguin, Cezanne and Seurat in a new series, The Art Mysteries (BBC Four, 3 x 60’)
BBC Introducing Arts
- As part of BBC Introducing Arts – a new scheme supporting emerging artists – six up-and-coming artists make sense of life’s big questions asked in internet searches in You Asked, Art Answered – a series of six short films and a first-time collaboration between BBC Arts and Google Arts & Culture.
Landmark partnerships with world-class institutions
- The Way I See It: Radio 3 & MoMA’s Journey Through Modern Art. Artists range from Nobel Prize-winning author and screenwriter Orhan Pamuk to international music performer Renee Fleming, and from choreographer and dancer Mark Morris to actor and director Fiona Shaw (Radio 3, 30 x 15’).
A focus on cinema and the moving image
- Jim Moir (aka Vic Reeves) explores video art in Kill Your TV: Jim Moir’s Weird World Of Video Art (BBC Four, 1 x 60’)
- In BBC Four’s Life Cinematic – a new series of specials – filmmakers Sam Taylor-Johnson and Edgar Wright draw on their knowledge and expertise to shine a light on the artistry of films that they love.
- Complementing the BBC’s TV coverage is Inside Cinema, a collection of online video essays that tie into a range of the most exciting and relevant contemporary film releases, classic film anniversaries and significant talking points.
- November 2019: Blade Runner’s future is now ours. To mark the anniversary, of director Ridley Scott’s cult science fiction film, five writers explore what it is to be human or a machine, the sonic reaches of the film, the contradictions of sex robots and its cinematic legacy in Radio 3’s The Essay: 2019 – The Year Of Blade Runner.
- The centenary of Maureen O’Hara, one of the biggest stars of the Golden Age of Hollywood, is marked in a new edition of Radio 3’s Sunday Feature, The Queen Of Technicolour.
- Movie guru Mark Kermode returns with Secrets Of Cinema, turning his attention to superheroes, British history and spy movies (BBC Four, 3 x 60’).
Topical Arts and the Turner Prize
- To accompany the live awards ceremony broadcast by BBC News from Dreamland, Margate, BBC Two takes the opportunity to profile the town in Margate and the Turner Prize (BBC Two, 1 x 30’).
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