This Is Modern Art

This Is Modern Art

1999, Art and Artists  -  Playlist 49 Comments
Ratings: 7.45/10 from 38 users.

This Is Modern ArtThis Is Modern Art was a series written and presented by the English art critic Matthew Collings.

The series won several awards including a BAFTA. It became popular both because of its sometimes jokey and sometimes thoughtful explanations of the work and attitude of a new wave of artists that had recently been publicized in the British mass media, and because of its author's witty and irreverent, though clearly highly informed, commentary style.

Collings went on to create several more TV series and programmes for Channel 4, including Impressionism: Revenge of The Nice, and This Is Civilisation.

Focuses on the current state of modern art, and looks back at Picasso, Jackson Pollock and Andy Warhol to see how they changed the definition of art. Reveals the ways modern art attempts to shock the audience.

Investigates on whether the once accepted view of art as merely a thing of beauty prevails today, examining the works of various artists.

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8 years ago

the whole picture given in this series gives me the idea that there is so much more distance for art to go - so much for it to do - and so much more depth for there to be dealt with - in the life that there is yet to be lived -

10 years ago

I especially enjoyed the Jackson Pollack sequences.
Never having paid much attention to shock art, this video was kind of like,
"You sit down and watch this, so at least you have been exposed to it."
Turned out to be informative and entertaining.

11 years ago

What is art continues to be decided by the upper class. The so called intelligentsia who are in the know and know all those who matter. Neither you nor I can decide what is art unless we make it ourselves to hang on our wall or pay heed to others to tell us what is art. Then and only then can we know what fashion is because any chosen art is entered into a realm that distinguishes it and makes it worthy. The trend this documentary describes is based more on personality than on any "artistic" skill. Media like graphic design, movies and photo editing have co-opted "skill". Ugly is the new beautiful.

11 years ago

I get the impression that people are not really interested in art. What they are interested in is looking like they are interested. I heard a story of a famous modern artist who took a painting that was painted by his six year old daughter and signed his name to it and the public, and critics as well, thought it was some of his best work. To be dynamic, art must evolve. Since it wasn't possible to change for the better, given the great art of the past, in order to change, it jumped into the toilet.

12 years ago

Tried to make it through some of the This is Modern Art selection, but had to shut 'er down. Just regurgitating old cliches, no real connections drawn or insights to offer. Plays up the typical stereotypes without any investigation. Too sarcastic and superficial to be of much interest.?

12 years ago

I really enjoyed reading all these comments..... It helps me as a budding artist......

12 years ago

Great doco - nothing to get angry at - modern art is what it is - people will get over the shock & we'll return to great talent & ability - as that gift & displaying it is the type of enduring art - people won't be considering the can of poop great art in the years to come - the pendulum just swingeth

12 years ago

I liked this doc, thought it was great. I don't understand why there are so many angry posts below ... it is what it is, appreciate it because it's constantly changing.

12 years ago

OK so...I just REALIZED that what he was trying to show me was a documentary...which I'm about to watch...unfortunately yes, to the OLD WISE ONES....THAT IS how young people communicate...GET over it...learn to ADAPT...and start talking TO the YOUNG PRETTY FOLKS! they are kind of pretty cool these days and very WELL INFORMED!

12 years ago

art doesnt give a s*** what you think about it. it is there to challenge, it looks to the future. if youre looking in the past you are in the wrong conversation. first they laugh at you, then they ignore you, then they fight you, then you win.

12 years ago

I find it such a hypocrisy, that these people compare themselves with Michelangelo di Lodovico and Leonardo da Vinci, proudly putting the "Artist label" on them, displaying them alongside themselves in galleries all over the world. While on the other hand slapping down modern day comic artists, animators and concept artists as being commercial low-lives. Hardly offering them the smallest spotlight for their hard work.

Are they forgetting that both Renaissance painters were doing paid work for a massive industry, the biggest and most corporate organization in the world really? That they are commercial themselves? Closer related to Stan Lee than Pablo Picasso.

Art should be taken to heart by the meaning of the word ART itself, "techn?": which means "mastery of a craft" Pushing the human skills to their limits and creating worlds of beauty inside them.

That we want to celebrate the odd and creative is just blessed, I'd dread a world without the puzzling insight of these people and their work, but when these preformers use acting and salesman ship to declare their superiority above all other types of artists.

Well.. that gets me depressed.

12 years ago

agreed with NaoCat.."beauty and language or art has changed, modern art reflects modern life", does this defense get any more cliche? Classical art's worth is eternal because (among other things) the issues it explores are timeless (as the level of execution is exceptional) and only what manges to be timeless and exceptional at once truly does matter.Classical art is a (succcessful) attempt to lift us up, beyond the mediocrity. Now,as the majority lives a shallow, empty, mass-produced life, where it is ok, if not preferable, to be mediocre,modern "art" chooses to be a slave to that,in a pathetic attempt to glorify it..and that is when it fails to be Art. It is the loud voice of those who are afraid to truly feel, and only want to express.

12 years ago

You want to see great modern art, see Banksy.

I think he is an absolute genius.

His art is really entertaining.

He is also anonymous. No one really knows who he is.
(Unlike the prostitutes of modern art such as Tracey Emin and Andy Warhol)

12 years ago

go see Autumn Skye in facebook...great Modern artist

or her web site under

Modern Art is as wide as the ideas behind it, and yes many show inner beauty.

12 years ago

As a french artist myself, what i miss most here is not to express myself in French but to express myself in photography.

12 years ago

Episode 3 part 1 is missing... But this is a brilliant documentary never the less. It's great when seen in combination with "Why Beauty Matters". Thanks for posting these.

12 years ago

Come on, really? All modern art is rubbish? You must be kidding me!

Beauty changes, as does it's context, and the language of art. I guess trolls, like paintings of flowers, and windmills, with no social context, where the only thing they demand from the viewer is admiration.

sounds pointless to me.

12 years ago

Modern art is rubbish, go watch "Why Beauty Matters" instead >.>

12 years ago

Great to see all the different modern Art through the ages. Also shows you some of the raw personalities behind the art.

However its mostly dark and depressing influenced too much by the presenter. Bits of light but mostly dark. Worth watching though.

Hate Tracey Emin and Andy Warhol. Shame there was no Banksy.