ZCZ-UGL

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Ugly Beauty

£19.99

About this film →

‘Everything has its beauty, but not everyone sees it.’ – Confucius

Has beauty disappeared from modern art? Several influential modern thinkers insist that it has. And this belief has inspired them to publish a clutch of recent books which claim that modern art is no longer capable of capturing true beauty: that beauty has gone from art.

But the art critic, Waldemar Januszczak, disagrees fiercely with these suggestions. He believes that great art is as interested in beauty as it always was. Perhaps the definition of beauty has changed. Perhaps we are looking for it in the wrong places. But beauty is there. And he is going to find it.

Don’t expect it to be the same old beauty, though. Art is no longer in the obvious business of celebrating the glorious nude or the lovely flower study. Beauty today can be electronic or scientific; subtle and elusive. It can be found in the LCD sculptures of Tatsuo Miyajima or the subtle light installations of James Turrell. Carl Andre discovers a stern modern beauty in squares of industrial materials dropped around a goods yard. The cancer paintings of Damien Hirst find a terrible modern beauty in the deformed human anatomy. These and other great searchers after beauty would be the subject of this film.

The world today needs beauty more than it has ever needed it. Modern art is one of the few suppliers.