Jean-Michel Basquiat propelled himself from tagging walls in New York to becoming an artistic prodigy within a short lifespan. Deeply ambitious, he was a self-taught artist who created a whole new language of painting. Basquiat was an exciting and talented artist whose dense paintings compress together the experience of African-Americans with the modern worlds of film, television, sport and music.
Two of the 20th Century’s greatest artistic mavericks and showmen are paired together in a show which reconsiders the overlooked interests and connections between the two men. The Art Channel looks in detail at six key works exhibited in the show to learn more about their ideas and methods and why they have been so influential on younger generations of artists. The film includes a contribution from Professor Dawn Ades, co-curator of the exhibition.
In this film we focus on three works made by James Turrell and Rachel Whiteread at Houghton Hall. Turrell is an artist primarily using artificial and natural light to explore optical sensations and symbolic associations. At Houghton Turrell has installed one of his luminescent ‘Shallow Space Constructions’ and one of his viewing chambers from the ‘Skylight Series’. Whiteread adopts a process of casting to investigate time, function and memory in ordinary objects and structures. She has made a sculpture by casting a hut on the Houghton estate, part of a new series she calls ‘shy sculptures’ for their modest, utilitarian origins.
Working for almost fifty years in natural landscapes and the materials found within them, Richard Long has made a series of site specific sculptures for the garden and park of Houghton Hall in Norfolk in an exhibition called ‘Earth Sky’. In this film Grace and Joshua visit the exhibition to find out how Long builds his sculptures and how they respond to this historic house and garden. In these directly honest and simple sculptures Long addresses ideas of history, time, geology and ecology.
Titled ‘The Most Popular Art Exhibition Ever!’, Grayson Perry’s show at the Serpentine explores the nature of British identity and its tribes. As an artist working primarily in ceramics, Perry has built two pots that illustrate a group of ‘Remainers’ and ‘Leavers’ from the 2016 EU referendum which he made for a Channel 4 documentary called ‘Divided Britain’. The show also displays tapestries, banners, a bronze head and a ‘shrine’ commemorating Perry’s marriage. Grayson Perry won the Turner Prize in 2003, Britain’s most important Contemporary Art award. He is also a television presenter, making programmes about art and British life. Twitter: @theartchannel1
Grace and Joshua conclude their visit to the large retrospective of David Hockney’s art at Tate Britain spanning 60 years. In this second film, we look at a drawing, a collage made from photographs, a painting made in the Yorkshire wolds and a recent iPad drawing. We wrap up the film by thinking about Hockney’s achievement and enduring popularity.