Following the wildly successful YouTube art history series, Great Art Explained in 15 Minutes, founded in 2020 by art writer and curator James Payne, a new art and travel series has been launched. Great Art Cities Explained, a collaboration from PayneShurvell gallery owners, James Payne and Joanne Shurvell will run concurrently on the same channel. The new series uses the same popular format as Great Art Explained, whose entertaining short films present a fresh look at familiar artworks.
The first in Great Art Cities is on London, and it tells the story of three wealthy and titled men whose homes and art collections were gifted to the British nation. The Wallace Collection on Manchester Square, Kenwood House in Hampstead and Sir John Soane’s Museum in Holborn are discussed with each home’s key artworks.
In the second of a new series, James Payne and Joanne Shurvell visit Paris. In “Great Art Cities Explained: Paris”, they look at three small museums which were originally artist’s ateliers, or studios: Eugène Delacroix, Suzanne Valadon and Constantin Brancusi. They discuss works by Delacroix, Cezanne, van Gogh, Suzanne Valadon and Constantin Brancusi, and how those artists’ works connect.
In Great Art Cities: New York, they look at Helen Frankenthaler, Lee Krasner and Elaine de Kooning. In New York, Abstract Expressionism would emerge from a post-war mood of anxiety and trauma. These were artists who, like the surrealists before them had a profound interest in the unconscious mind. They produced work that may have been abstract but was also emotional, expressive and universal. Despite their differences, the physical act of painting united them. The work they produced came straight from the gut. It was an art form that was monumental in scale and an expression of the individual. It would run alongside (and be inspired) by that other great improvisational American art form: Jazz.
See the Great Art Cities Explained YouTube Series Venice Biennale Special Here