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The Shock of the New

Shock of the New is a 1980 documentary series by Robert Hughes that was broadcast by the BBC in the United Kingdom and by PBS in the United States. 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.  The eight programmes focused on these themes:

(1) “Art’s love affair with the machine”;
(2) “The powers that be” (covering the period 1914 to 1930s);
(3) “The landscape of pleasure”, 1870s to 1950s;
(4) “Trouble in utopia”, 1890s to 1960s;
(5) “The threshold of liberty”, 1880s to 1940s;
(6) “The view from the edge”, 1830s to 1970s;
(7) “Culture as nature”, 1910s to 1970;
(8) “The future that was”, 1840s to 1970s.