Modern Masters

9:00pm Sunday 9 May on BBC ONE

Alastair Sooke explores the work of French artist Henri Matisse, as the series looking at some of the most notable and influential artists of our time continues.

The BBC’s four-part modern art series looks at some of the most notable and influential artists of our time, making the claim that Picasso, Dali, Matisse and Warhol are Modern Masters.

Artists with intriguing life stories, millionaires in their own lifetimes, it’s small wonder that Picasso, Dali, Matisse, and Warhol have been embraced by the mainstream, spanning high and low culture in an almost unique manner. The series will look in depth at each artist and explore why these modern masters deserve their fame and how their legacy continues to pervade our culture and everyday lives.

Jay Hunt, Controller of BBC One and commissioner of Modern Masters, commented: “This bold new series looks at how the work of four iconic artists has influenced our lives. It tackles why modern art matters and I am thrilled to have such an ambitious piece on BBC One.”

Mark Bell, Commissioning Editor for Arts, added: “Modern Masters underlies the BBC’s commitment to bring world-class arts programmes to mainstream audiences.”

Modern Masters launches by following Pablo Picasso from his early career in Spain and Paris to the Cote d’Azur and from his first figurative works through to the birth of cubism and beyond. From his influence on architecture to fashion, and even asking how his name came to be associated with a type of car, the programme explores the artist’s continuing impact on our world.

Melting clocks to lobster phones; next stop is the prolific and eccentric Salvador Dali and the birth of surrealism encompassing the performance elements of his life and his lasting legacy across performance, film, radio and TV.

The third episode explores Henri Matisse whose bold experiments with colour continue to inspire designers working across graphics, fashion and interiors.

The final film looks at the inimitable Andy Warhol and his visual language for consumerism. Moving through Warhol’s most memorable images, their current appeal and his impact on the world of advertising and media, no American artist of this century has done more to change our very conception of what art is and how it can operate in the world.

Modern Masters is a 4 x 60-minute IWC Media production for the BBC; commissioned by Jay Hunt, Executive Produced by Mark Bell in conjunction with Franny Moyle of IWC Media, part of the RDF Media Group.

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