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Visit the Picasso exhibition with Andrew and Lauren

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Ellen West - web producer | 11:22 UK time, Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Tonight's show is a special about one of the most influential artists of the 20th century, Pablo Picasso. In our 30-minute show tonight we travel to Paris with Andrew Graham-Dixon to explore Picasso's obsessive relationship with his artistic predecessors.

In our Uncut edition on Friday you can take a tour of the National Gallery London's Picasso: Challenging the Past exhibition with Andrew and Lauren, but we've made it available to watch online now. What did you think of the show and tour, particularly Andrew's comment that Picasso was capable of painting "shockingly awful pictures"?

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  • 1. At 00:22am on 21 Mar 2009, Missbrownskirt wrote:

    I wonder why we had to have Lauren to be the unknowing person to try to learn about Picasso from a woman's point of view when clearly she had no knowledge of art and no real interest? Why couldn't we have Bidisha asking questions which might have been more interesting? We are not dumb and as much as i enjoyed the passion of the narrator of this show, why couldn't we have an alternative passion. Don't speak down to us Culture Show, we are more informed than you think.

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  • 2. At 3:30pm on 22 Mar 2009, Miguel_K wrote:

    I agree with the previous comment by 'Missbrownskirt', but I would go much further. Why do we ever have to have Lauren Laverne (if that is her real name), at all? It is hard to believe she has any real knowledge or genuine interest in anything cultural or intelligent. I can only assume she is used as a universal dumber-down. Why not just let Andrew G-D get on with it without the dead-weight of a clueless hanger-on?
    And has it occurred to the producers that people might just have switched on this particular programme because they were interested in Picasso, not sitting through a contrived little song 'about' him?
    At this point, I lost patience and switched off!

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  • 3. At 09:56am on 23 Mar 2009, EllenW-web_producer wrote:

    Slightly perplexed at the criticism of Lauren, but interested to know what other people think. We have done features of this sort before - for example when Andrew took Mark Kermode around the Cy Twombly exhibition: http://www.bbc.co.uk/cultureshow/videos/2008/07/s5_e9_cytwombly/

    There wasn't any criticism of Mark not being an art expert in that instance.

    Anyone enjoy Lauren's presence in the piece, or is the reaction universally negative?

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  • 4. At 7:48pm on 24 Mar 2009, Miguel_K wrote:

    If I may respond to EllenW's comment -
    To put LL's contribution in perspective, it is only necessary to imagine what the programme would have been like if, to take one example, Andrew G-D's female companion had been someone like Mariella Frostrup (who featured in some earlier Culture Shows).
    MF is not an art expert either, but she is intelligent, articulate, and above all would express real intellectual curiosity. I feel sure that AG-D (good-natured though he was) would have found MF's company much more stimulating - and so would we.
    LL, on the other hand, was obviously just going through the motions. There was only an unconvincing pretence of interest there, and I can't think why someone so dull was chosen for the job.

    The Kermode/Twombley item is an interesting comparison; here there was a real spark between MK and AG-D. Kermode was skeptical (as most of the audience would be) of Twombley's work, but he remained curious and engaged, right to the end - where, entertainingly, the roles were reversed.

    (Incidentally, I agree that, if we are to have a double act, only one of the two need be the expert, e.g. AG-D - with the above provisos!).

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