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Free Thinking: Social Conservatism, Kathe Kollwitz and John Ashbery

Philip Dodd and Joanna Kavenna consider art in an age of irony as a Kathe Kollwitz show opens in Birmingham and Lawrence Norfolk remembers the poet John Ashbery.

Philip Dodd and Joanna Kavenna discuss the challenges of art in an age of irony as the work of Käthe Kollwitz goes on display in Birmingham at the Ikon Gallery. Lawrence Norfolk pays tribute to the work of the great American poet, John Ashbery, who died last week. Plus a discussion of social conservatism in the USA, Europe and the UK with Sophie Gaston from the think tank, Demos and the political commentators, Tim Stanley and Charlie Wolf.

Kollwitz was born in Königsberg in East Prussia in 1867 and the show gathers together 40 of her drawings and prints under the themes of social and political protest, self-portraits and images she made in response to the death of her son Peter in October 1914.

Portrait of the Artist: Käthe Kollwitz A British Museum and Ikon Partnership Exhibition runs from 13 September 26 November 2017 with a fully illustrated catalogue.

John Ashbery (July 28, 1927 – September 3, 2017) is the author of collections including Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror which won him a Pulitzer Prize in 1976

Image: Käthe Kollwitz (1867-1945) Self Portrait, (1924) Woodcut
Copyright: The Trustees of the British Museum

Producer: Zahid Warley

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45 minutes