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Photography and collage

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My vision of art
Jonathan Miller Theatre director
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Modernism is simply a loose name for that burst of remarkable, often abstract inventiveness that took place between about 1905 and 1920.  Cubism, futurism and surrealism and Dada and so forth, that was modernism, and I think I’ve been much more influenced by that than anything that’s happened subsequently. I like some of the things that the Americans did after the war, abstract expressionism and so forth, though I don’t feel influenced by them in that I'd like to paint like them.  But I do find myself looking back to people like Malevich and Lissitzky and Popova and Goncharova and so forth and think, well, I like that, and I don’t copy them but I look at them with some interest and I feel myself a sort of minor part of that community.

Initially studying medicine at Cambridge, Sir Jonathan Miller came to prominence with the production of the British comedy revue, Beyond the Fringe. Following on from this success he embarked on a career in the theatre, directing a 1970 West End production of “The Merchant of Venice” starring Laurence Olivier. He also started directing opera, famously producing a modern, Mafia-themed version of “Rigoletto”.

Listeners: Christopher Sykes

Christopher Sykes is a London-based television producer and director who has made a number of documentary films for BBC TV, Channel 4 and PBS.

Tags: Kazimir Malevich, El Lissitzky, Alexis Popov, Ivan Goncharov

Duration: 1 minute, 8 seconds

Date story recorded: July 2008

Date story went live: 16 August 2011