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The Shock of the New

The Shock of the New is a eight-part BBC documentary series presented by Robert Hughes, examining the development of modern art since the Impressionists. In the first episode "The Mechanical Paradise", Robert Hughes examines the influence of technology on art from 1880 to 1918. In the second episode "The Powers That Be", he explores the relationship between art and politics. The third episode "The Landscape of Pleasure" is about artists' visions of paradise. Then the fourth episode "Trouble in Utopia" surveys modern architecture. In the fifth episode "The Threshold of Liberty", Robert Hughes examines the surrealists' attempts to make art without restrictions. In the sixth episode "The View from the Edge", he examines the work of the expressionists such as Van Gogh, Rothko and Pollock. Then the seventh episode "Culture as Nature" looks at how artists have reacted to television, advertising and film. The eighth and final episode "The Future That Was" examines how artists have coped with the commercialization of modern art.

Episode 1 - The Mechanical Paradise
Robert Hughes examines how the development of technology influenced art between 1880 and end of WWI.

Episode 2 - The Powers That Be
Robert Hughes explores the relationship between art and politics in such movements as dada, expressionism and constructivism.

Episode 3 - The Landscape of Pleasure
Robert Hughes examines artists' visions of paradise. Included: Seurat's use of pointilism to achieve harmony of color and line.

Episode 4 - Trouble in Utopia
Surveying modern architecture, Robert Hughes criticizes several innovators who, he says, tried to impose their utopian visions of society on the buildings they designed.

Episode 5 - The Threshold of Liberty
Surveying the surrealist movement, Robert Hughes examines the use of dream imagery and illusion in the works of De Chirico, Ernst, Miro, Dali and Magritte.

Episode 6 - The View from the Edge
Robert Hughes traces the evolution of expressionism from Van Gogh, and reviews works by Klee, Kandinsky, Brancusi, Rothko and Pollock.

Episode 7 - Culture as Nature
Robert Hughes looks at how artists have reacted to television, advertising and film with works by Stuart Davis, Robert Rauschenberg, Jasper Johns and Andy Warhol.

Episode 8 - The Future that Was
Robert Hughes examines how artists have coped with the commercialization of modern art.


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