Children of the Revolution

Image for Children of the RevolutionNot currently available on BBC iPlayer

Episode 3 of 3

Duration: 1 hour

'Sculpture has changed more in the last hundred years,' says Alastair Sooke, 'than in the previous thirty thousand.' The third and last episode of the series tells the dramatic story of a century of innovation, scandal, shock and creativity.

It begins with the moment at the turn of the 20th century when young sculptors ceased visiting the Elgin Marbles at the British Museum and looked instead at the 'primitive' works of Africa and the Pacific islands. The result was an artistic revolution spearheaded by Eric Gill and Jacob Epstein that would climax in the anti-sculptural gestures of Gilbert & George and Damien Hirst.

Yet for all the provocation and occasional excesses of conceptualism, sculpture has never enjoyed such popularity. From the memorials of World War One to the landmarks of Antony Gormley and Rachel Whiteread, sculpture remains the art form that speaks most directly and powerfully to the nation.

The programme climaxes with a series of encounters between Alastair and leading sculptors Damien Hirst, Rachel Whiteread, Antony Gormley and Anthony Caro.

  • BBC Four: Focus on Sculpture Season

    BBC Four: Focus on Sculpture Season

    BBC Four shines a light on one of the oldest and most treasured art forms - sculpture - in this series of programmes.

    Go to the Focus on Sculpture Season website
  • BBC Archive: British Sculptors Collection

    BBC Archive: British Sculptors Collection

    In association with the BBC Four Focus on Sculpture Season, this collection explores the work of a series of influential British sculptors.

    Go to the BBC Archive: British Sculptors Collection website
  • BBC Radio 3: Jacob Epstein's Rock Drill

    BBC Radio 3: Jacob Epstein's Rock Drill

    Listen as artist Antony Gormley explores key sculptures of the 20th century. In this episodes he discusses the Rock Drill, made by Jacob Epstein between 1913 and 1915, which he considers as the first work of Modernism in Britain and which he compares to Duchamp's Bicycle Wheel of the same year.

    Listen to BBC Radio 3: Jacob Epstein's Rock Drill
  • BBC TV blog

    BBC TV blog

    Presenter Alastair Sooke on why he wants British sculpture to reclaim its rightful place in the arts world: "It saddens me that sculptors such as Flaxman, Chantrey and Alfred Gilbert (who designed Eros in Piccadilly Circus) have been largely forgotten."

    Read and comment on Alastair's post at the BBC TV blog


Series Producer
Mark Halliley
Alastair Sooke
Mark Halliley
Executive Producer
Jonty Claypole


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