The shock of the new

The essential thing is to spring forth, to express the bolt of lightning one senses upon contact with a thing. The function of the artist is not to translate an observation but to express the shock of the object on his nature; the shock, with the original reaction. (Henri Matisse) 


In 1980 the renowned art critic Robert Hughes made The Shock of the New, a landmark television series that examined the key cultural movement of the 20th Century. Broadcast by the BBC, it addressed the development of modern art since the Impressionists and was accompanied by a book of the same name; its combination of insight, wit and accessibility are still widely praised. (Wikipedia, adapted and augmented) 

4 thoughts on “The shock of the new

  1. Whether reading a book or researching a topic in cyberspace, I like to note down anything that strongly impresses me. A while ago, I found an especially interesting site that features the work and words of Henri Matisse.

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