BBC4 orders series of docs on abstract art

The British pubcaster will air a series of documentaries about abstract art as part of its upcoming 'BBC4 Goes Abstract: When Art Broke Free' programming strand. (Pictured: critic/artist Matthew Collings)
August 1, 2014

BBC4 is prepping a strand of programming about abstract art called ‘BBC4 Goes Abstract: When Art Broke Free,’ which will debut this fall.

Highlights include Blakeway Productions’ Matthew Collings on Abstract Art, in which the critic/artist (pictured) charts the rise of the art form and makes the case for abstract art as “the key artistic story of the 20th century”; Zaha Hadid on Malevich, in which the architect explores the legacy of Russian abstract artist Kazimir Malevich; and BBC Productions’ Abstract Artists in their Own Words, which delves into the BBC archives to recount the history of British abstract art.

Full details of the season will be announced in September.

The network has also commissioned a series of abstract-inspired idents from 2013 Turner Prize-winning artist Laure Prouvost, as well as artists John Smith, Sebastian Buerkner and James Richards.

BBC4, BBC Radio 3 and BBC Arts Online will host various discussions between critics, artists and architects about significant abstract works, including a guide to painter Jackson Pollock and a series of short films that will be available online.

“Abstraction is one of the boldest innovations in the entire history of art, and it’s fabulous to be able to turn BBC4 over to celebrating its achievements,” said BBC4 channel editor Cassian Harrison in a statement. “From commissioning original on-air artworks and powerful and polemical filmmaking to driving events, discussion and coverage across the BBC, ‘BBC4 Goes Abstract’ is a really exciting moment for the channel.”

About The Author
Barry Walsh is editor and content director for realscreen, and has served as editor of the publication since 2009. With a career in entertainment media that spans two decades, prior to realscreen, he held the associate editor post for now defunct sister publication Boards, which focused on the advertising and commercial production industries. Before Boards, he served as editor of Canadian Music Network, a weekly music industry trade, and as music editor for As content director, he also oversees the development of content for the brand's market-leading events, the Realscreen Summit and Realscreen West, as well as new content initiatives.