20 May 2010

Modern Masters

This has less to do with science and the arts than with just arts, but I'm a great believer in expanding my horizons, so...

I've been watching Modern Masters with Alistair Sooke. For want of a better word it is BRILLIANT. To be honest, I've never known much about modern art. I know I like Dali, especially those ones with the really tall elephants. And I know I hate that 'Squares with Concentric Rings' painting by Kandinsky that turned up on the wall of every house I ever rented.

But having watched two episodes of Modern Masters - on Matisse and Picasso - I'm absolutely itching to get to a modern art museum. (As it turns out the Museum of Modern Art in Paris has today been burgled so I'll bear that in mind before embarking on any sort of art expedition).

What's interesting though is that it's Sooke who has really sparked this sudden need to know more. He's engaging, energetic, frequently makes connections between art and its influence on other aspects of culture (fashion, architecture) and, crucially, not some old fuddy-duddy standing in front of a painting talking about light and perspective. Okay. He does do some standing in front of paintings, but it's much more vigorous than any art critics I've seen...

Anyway, the point is: it's the communication that's the key, as always. I feel like the modern art skeptic who's been converted overnight into an enthusiastic amateur. If this was science communication, I'd be a myth, surely? Let's all take a lesson from Sooke.

And watch the programme. Honestly, you won't regret it.