Wednesday 30 Jul 2014
Update – 3 November 2009: an updated press release about the Modern Beauty Season was posted on 3 November 2009.
The BBC is set to challenge the concept of beauty in modern art in a new season of programmes due to transmit this autumn.
The Modern Beauty Season will examine the perception of beauty both in modern and classical art forms through a collection of films on BBC Two and BBC Four.
Mark Bell, Commissioning Editor for Arts, says: "This short season of films takes the temperature of art now.
"We look forward to shedding new light on the big questions: Has modern art lost touch with the public? Are classical values still possible in the modern era? And what do we mean when we talk about beauty?"
BBC Two will open the debate on modern versus classical art with two authored films.
The first is from art critic Waldemar Januszczak who will fly the flag for modern art in Ugly Beauty, arguing that art today is as interested in beauty as it always has been.
The second film, from writer and philosopher Roger Scruton, will argue for the principles of classical art in Scruton On Beauty.
Also on BBC Two, art critic and broadcaster Matthew Collings will present a mischievous guide to beauty from the earliest points in history through to the present day in This Is Beauty.
With BBC Two and BBC Four continuing to work in partnership to offer viewers a richer viewing experience, BBC Four adds more context to the Modern Beauty Season with a documentary from historian and art expert Gus Casely-Hayford, who will take a journey to discover the state of British art today.
The documentaries will broadcast around the centrepiece to the Modern Beauty Season – the forthcoming Saatchi's Art Stars on BBC Two, a four-part series following the search for the next generation of new British artists.
Titles are subject to change.
The Modern Beauty season is part of a deeper commitment to arts and music on the BBC over the coming year, with a wide range of initiatives aimed at supporting cultural Britain and better serving the public.
These include: big, bold content ideas like the recent pan-BBC Poetry season and BBC Radio 3's year-long celebration of Purcell, Handel, Haydn and Mendelssohn; the creation of a new Arts Editor role for BBC News; and a new commitment to partnerships, including a project in development with the Public Catalogue Foundation which could enable the public to view every one of the UK's 200,000 publicly-owned oil paintings online.
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