FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 283 Sir David Attenborough (Featured artist is Ellen Gallagher)


Image result for david attenborough richard dawkins

Today I am looking at Jacob Bronowski and the producer of his film series David Attenborough and their contribution to spreading the thought of Charles Darwin to a modern generation.  The artist Ellen Gallagher is one of those in today’s modern generation that talks about how evolution is pictured in his art works.

What are some of the observations that Francis Schaeffer makes concerning the evolution that  Bronowski, Attenborough and Gallagher hold so  dear? Here is a summary of some of the points Schaeffer makes in the paper below:

1. Materialists and humanists believe that men and women are not unique. 2. Humans do not have any final distinct value above that of an animal or of nonliving matter. 3. Schaeffer points out that this superior attitude towards Christianity–as if Christianity had all the problems and humanism had all the problems–is quite unjustified. 4. It is the humanist worldview that has brought us to the present devaluation of human life that we see today. 5. Therefore, we need a different worldview to drive out this inhumanity that the materialistic worldview brought down on us.


Francis Schaeffer “BASIS FOR HUMAN DIGNITY” Whatever…HTTHR

Materialistic Humanism: The World-View of Our Era
What has produced the inhumanity we have been considering in the previous chapters is that society in the West has adopted a world-view which says that all reality is made up only of matter…Those who hold such a view have argued that Christianity is unscientific, that it cannot be proved, that it belongs simply to the realm of “faith.” Christianity, they say, rests only on faith, while humanism rests on facts.
Professor Edmund R. Leach of Cambridge University expressed this view clearly, “Our idea of God is a product of history. What I now believe about the supernatural is derived from what I was taught by my parents, and what they taught me was derived from what they were taught, and so on…”
So some humanists act as if they have a great advantage over Christians. They act as if the advance of science and technology and a better understanding of history (through such concepts as the evolutionary theory) have all made the idea of God and Creation quite ridiculous.
This superior attitude, however, is strange because one of the most striking developments in the last half-century is the growth of a profound pessimism among both the well-educated and less-educated people. The thinkers in our society have been admitting for a long time that they have no final answers at all.
Take Woody Allen, for example. Most people know his as a comedian, but he has thought through where mankind stands after the “religious answers” have been abandoned. In an article in Esquire (May 1977), he says, “ It’s absolutely stupefying in its terror, and it renders anyone’s accomplishments meaningless.”
Allen sums up his view in his film Annie Hall with these words: “Life is divided into the horrible and the miserable.”
If there is no personal God, nothing beyond what our eyes can see and our hands can touch, then Woody Allen is right: life is both meaningless and terrifying.  The humanist H. J. Blackham has expressed this when he said, “On humanist assumptions, life leads to nothing, and every pretense that it does not is a deceit.”
One does not have to be highly educated to understand this. It follows directly from the starting point of the humanists’ position, namely, that everything is just matter. That is, that which has existed forever and ever is only some form of matter or energy, and everything in our world now is this and only this in a more or less complex form. Thus, Jacob Bronowski says in The Identity of Man (1965): “Man is a part of nature, in the same sense that a stone is, or a cactus, or a camel.” In this view, men and women are by chance more complex, but not unique.
Within this world-view there is no room for believing that a human being has any final distinct value above that of an animal or of nonliving matter. People are merely a different arrangement of molecules. There are two points, therefore, that need to be made about the humanist world-view. First, the superior attitude toward Christianity – as if Christianity had all the problems and humanism had all the answers – is quite unjustified. The humanists of the Enlightenment two centuries ago thought they were going to find all the answers, but as time has passed, this optimistic hope has been proved wrong. It is their own descendants, those who share their materialistic world-view, who have been saying louder and louder as the years have passed, “There are no final answers.”
Second, this humanist world-view has also brought us to the present devaluation of human life – not technology and not overcrowding, although these have played a part. And this same world-view has given us no limits to prevent us from sliding into an even worse devaluation of human life in the future.
So it is naive and irresponsible to imagine that this world-view will reverse the direction in the future. A well-meaning commitment to “do what is right” will not be sufficient. Without a firm set of principles that flows out of a world-view that gives adequate reason for a unique value to all human life, there cannot be and will not be any substantial resistance to the present evil brought on by the low view of human life we have been considering in previous chapters. It was the materialistic world-view that brought in the inhumanity; it must be a different world-view that drives it out.
An emotional uneasiness about abortion, infanticide, euthanasia, and the abuse of genetic knowledge is not enough. To stand against the present devaluation of human life, a significant percentage of people within our society must adopt and live by a world-view which not only hopes or intends to give a basis for human dignity but which really does. The radical movements of the sixties were right to hope for a better world; they were right to protest against the shallowness and falseness of our plastic society. But their radicalness lasted only during the life span of the adolescence of their members. Although these movements claimed to be radical, they lacked a sufficient root. Their world-view was incapable of giving life to the aspirations of its adherents. Why? Because it, too – like the society they were condemning – had no sufficient base. So protests are not enough. Having the right ideals is not enough. Even those with a very short memory, those who can look back only to the sixties, can see that there must be more than that. A truly radical alternative has to be found.
But where? And how?


David Attenborough Poster


Jump to: Overview (3)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Spouse (1)  | Trade Mark (1)  | Trivia (22)  | Personal Quotes (31)

Overview (3)

Born in London, England, UK
Birth Name David Frederick Attenborough
Height 5′ 10″ (1.78 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Born 8 May 1926, the younger brother of actor Lord Richard Attenborough. He never expressed a wish to act and, instead, studied Natural Sciences at Cambridge University, graduating in 1947, the year he began his two years National Service in the Royal Navy. In 1952, he joined BBC Television at Alexandra Palace and, in 1954, began his famous “Zoo Quest” series. When not “Zoo Questing”, he presented political broadcasts, archaeological quizzes, short stories, gardening and religious programmes.

1964 saw the start of BBC2, Britain’s third TV channel, with Michael Peacock as its Controller. A year later, Peacock was promoted to BBC1 and Attenborough became Controller of BBC2. As such, he was responsible for the introduction of colour television into Britain, and also for bringing Monty Python’s Flying Circus (1969) to the world.

In 1969, he was appointed Director of Programmes with editorial responsibility for both the BBC’s television networks. Eight years behind a desk was too much for him, and he resigned in 1973 to return to programme making. First came “Eastwards with Attenborough”, a natural history series set in South East Asia, then “The Tribal Eye”, examining tribal art. In 1979, he wrote and presented all 13 parts of Life on Earth (1979) (then the most ambitious series ever produced by the BBC Natural History Unit). This became a trilogy, with The Living Planet (1984) and The Trials of Life (1990).

His services to television were recognised in 1985, and he was knighted to become Sir David Attenborough. The two shorter series, “The First Eden” and “Lost Worlds, Vanished Lives” were fitted around 1993’s spectacular Life in the Freezer (1993), a celebration of Antarctica and 1995’s epic The Private Life of Plants (1995), which he wrote and presented. Filming the beautiful birds of paradise for “Attenborough in Paradise” in 1996 fulfilled a lifelong ambition, putting him near his favourite bird. Entering his seventies, he narrated the award-winning David Attenborough Wildlife Specials (1995), marking 40 years of the BBC Natural History Unit. But, he was not slowing down, as he completed the epic 10-part series for the BBC, The Life of Birds (1998) along with writing and presenting the three-part series State of the Planet (2000) as well as The Life of Mammals (2002). Once broadcast, he began planning his next projects.

He has received honorary degrees from many universities across the world, and is patron or supporter of many charitable organisations, including acting as Patron of the World Land Trust, which buys rain forest and other lands to preserve them and the animals that live there.

– IMDb Mini Biography By: garryq

Spouse (1)

Jane Elizabeth Ebsworth Oriel (17 February 1950 – 16 February 1997) ( her death) ( 2 children)

Trade Mark (1)

Received pronunciation

Trivia (22)

In the mid-sixties became the Controller of BBC2. Later, he became the BBC’s Director of Programmes. The British Academy awarded David Attenborough the Desmond Davis Award in 1970, and a Fellowship in 1979.
He is the brother of actor/director Lord Richard Attenborough and John Attenborough. Also, during World War Two, his parents adopted two German Jewish girls, who had been brought to Britain as part of the Kindertransport.
He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1983.
He is the brother-in-law of Sheila Sim.
He is the uncle of director Michael Attenborough and actress Charlotte Attenborough.
While filming “The Living Planet”, he saw his balloon crash land in southern Scotland. When he finally found a farmhouse, the farmer recognized him from the TV, and said he could he use the phone if he wished his wee daughter a happy birthday. When he returned with his young girl he said to her: “This is David. He’s come by balloon to wish you a happy birthday.” Attenborough said “Happy birthday.” The dour farmer replied: “The telephone’s over there.”.
50 years of natural history programme making series has made him the most travelled person in human history, except for astronauts.
As head of BBC-2 he introduced British audiences to colour TV, and gave the go-ahead to Monty Python’s Flying Circus.
He was awarded the Order of Merit (OM) by Queen Elizabeth II in June 2005.
He has a daughter, a son, and several grandchildren.
He was awarded the CBE (Commander of the Order of the British Empire) in the 1974 Queen’s Birthday Honours List, made a Knight Bachelor in the 1985 Queen’s Birthday Honours List, a CVO (Commander of the Royal Victorian Order) in the 1991 Queen’s Birthday Honours List and a CH (Companion of Honour) in the 1996 Queen’s New Year Honours List.
He is a fan of Emmylou Harris.
On 16 December 2006, he won the title of Greatest Living British Icon, voted for by viewers of BBC Two’s The Culture Show, beating singers Sir Paul McCartney and Morrissey (Morrissey).
He presented Pentangle with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards in 2007.
He merited a place in Time magazine’s Special Issue “Heroes of the Environment” (Leaders & Visionaries section) with a tribute penned by Jeremy Paxman (Issue October 29, 2007).
He is a patron of the Optimum Population Trust, a group seeking to cut the growth in human population.
For his birthday, one of his sisters gave him a fossilized animal trapped in amber, which later grew into an entire collection of animals in amber. In Jurassic Park (1993), his brother Richard Attenborough grows dinosaurs from mosquitoes trapped in amber.
In 2011, his home became the key to solving a murder from 132 years earlier. In 1879, a widow was killed by her housekeeper and decapitated. She chopped up the body and fed pieces of it to nearby children. The housekeeper was arrested when a severed foot was found, and ultimately convicted and executed for the murders, but her victim’s head was never found, until it was discovered buried under the ground of Attenborough’s house. Workmen found its remains while excavating for an extension on his home. It turns out his home was located near where Attenborough’s house near stands, and the house itself used to be a pub frequented by the murderer.
Although he commissioned the famous music series Whistle Test (1971) during his period as a BBC executive, he has admitted that he never actually watched it, as he doesn’t like rock music.
He is the great-uncle of Tom Attenborough.
After the massive positive reception his documentaries received, he got involved with a Master’s course (MA Wildlife Documentary Production).
While director of programmes at the BBC, he stopped the broadcast of Doomwatch: Sex and Violence (2016) on the grounds that it was potentially libelous.

Personal Quotes (31)

As far as I’m concerned, if there is a supreme being then He chose organic evolution as a way of bringing into existence the natural world . . . which doesn’t seem to me to be necessarily blasphemous at all.
[speaking in 2007] Some scientists suggest that up to a quarter of animal species could be extinct by 2050. But it’s not too late – you can be involved in saving planet Earth. If you are a child, this is your future. If you’re a parent, it’s your legacy. The time to act is now.
Steve Irwin did wonderful conservation work but I was uncomfortable about some of his stunts. Even if animals aren’t aware that you are not treating them with respect, the viewers are.
I had a huge advantage when I started 50 years ago – my job was secure. I didn’t have to promote myself. These days there’s far more pressure to make a mark, so the temptation is to make adventure television or personality shows. I hope the more didactic approach won’t be lost.
It is vital that there is a narrator figure whom people believe. That’s why I never do commercials. If I started saying that margarine was the same as motherhood, people would think I was a liar.
There are moments when I wonder – moments when its (the BBC’s) two senior networks, first set up as a partnership, schedule simultaneously programmes of identical character, thereby contradicting the very reason that the BBC was given a second network.
Unless there are regulations to stop it, public service broadcasting programmes will inevitably be pushed out of peak hours and into out-of-the-way corners of the schedule when fewer people will want to watch them. So the odds are stacked against them increasing their audience. They become the station’s pariah, retained under sufferance, tucked away, unloved, where they do least harm to the network’s income.
Public service broadcasting, watched by a healthy number of viewers, with programmes financed in proportion to their intrinsic needs and not the size of the audience, can only effectively operate as a network. A network whose aim is to cater for the broadest possible range of interests, popular as well as less popular, a network that measures success not only by its audience size but by the range of its schedule.
[in 2008] There are times when BBC1 and BBC2, intoxicated by the sudden popularity of a programme genre, have allowed that genre to proliferate and run rampant through the schedules, with the result that other kinds of programmes are not placed – simply because of lack of space. Do we really require so many gardening programmes, makeover programmes, or celebrity chefs? Is it not a scandal, in this day and age, that that there seems to be no place for continuing series of programmes about science or serious music or thoughtful in-depth interviews with people other than politicians?
Public service broadcasting is one of the things that distinguishes this country and makes me want to live here. I have spent all my life in it. I would be very distressed if public service broadcasting was weakened. I have been at the BBC since 1952 and know the BBC is constantly being battered. It is today.
If you could demonstrate that the BBC was grossly extravagant there might be a case for saying OK take it away. But in fact the BBC per minute in almost every category is as cheap as you can find anywhere in the world and produces the best quality. If you take the money away, which part of the BBC will you remove? The BBC has gone through swingeing staff cuts. It has been cut to the bone, if you divert licence fee money elsewhere, you cut quality and services. There is always that threat from politicians who will say your licence fee is up for grabs. We will take it. There is a lot of people who want to see the BBC weakened. They talk of this terrible tax of the licence fee. Yet it is the best bargain that is going. Four radio channels and god knows how many TV channels. It is piffling.
[on the BBC’s in-house departments] The statutory requirement that a certain percentage of programmes must come from independent producers has reduced in-house production and the Units necessarily shrank proportionately in size. As they dwindled, so the critical mass of their production expertise has diminished. The continuity of their archives has been broken, they have lost the close touch they once had worldwide with their subjects and they are no longer regarded internationally as the centres of innovation and expertise that they once were.
Whatever you do, it’s difficult if you are on the edge of taste – you’ll always offend someone. You’ll also offend some people if you retreat to being so careful with everything that you say that you become Mrs Goody-two-shoes. People in their twenties today talk like Jonathan Ross and the question is how much do they do that in front of other sections of society. Jonathan Ross has a very difficult problem.
Jonathan Ross speaks to a certain element who think he’s very funny, and I guess he is. He’s on the edge of a very dangerous line and it’s not an easy job. He has to keep close to the boundary, but not step over it. What you need, in order to do that, is to have a producer in whom you have confidence, who will pull you back if it’s pre-recorded and then cut it out.
There have always been politicians or business people who have wanted to cut the BBC back or stop it saying the sort of things it says. There’s always been trouble about the licence and if you dropped your guard you could bet our bottom dollar there’d be plenty of people who’d want to take it away. The licence fee is the basis on which the BBC is based and if you destroy it, broadcasting becomes a wasteland.
It never really occurred to me to believe in God – and I had nothing to rebel against, my parents told me nothing whatsoever. But I do remember looking at my headmaster delivering a sermon, a classicist, extremely clever… and thinking, he can’t really believe all that, can he? How incredible!
[on the teaching of creationism in British schools] It’s like saying that two and two equals four but, if you wish it, it could also be five. This is one of the errors. Evolution is not a theory. It is a fact, every bit as much as the historical fact that William the Conqueror landed in 1066. Indeed, more so, because all we have to tell us about William are a few bits of paper here or there – not very much at all. For evolution we have much more evidence: palaeontology, embryology, biology, geology. Darwin revolutionised the way we see the world fundamentally, but his basic proposition is still not taken on board by a lot of people.
[responding to religious viewers who criticise him for not crediting God in his nature programmes] They always mean beautiful things like hummingbirds. I always reply by saying that I think of a little child in East Africa with a worm burrowing through his eyeball. The worm cannot live in any other way, except by burrowing through eyeballs. I find that hard to reconcile with the notion of a divine and benevolent creator.
There is more meaning and mutual understanding in exchanging a glance with a gorilla than any other animal I know.
[on television in 2009] I think it’s in great trouble. The whole system on which it was built – a limited number of networks, with adequate funding – is under threat. That funding is no longer there. As stations proliferate, so audiences are reduced. The struggle for audiences becomes ever greater, while money diminishes. I think that’s a fair recipe for trouble.
[on climate change] We don’t seem to be acting very quickly. I’m sure things are going to get worse before they get better, if they get better. They won’t get better in my lifetime. I don’t think they’ll get better for 50 to 100 years. I hope they won’t get too much worse, but I fear they certainly will.
People believe what they wish to believe. There are some people who think the written word is more likely to be an avenue to the truth than the material world that we can examine. I might not share that belief. People tell me that they believe God created the world in seven days, and I say: ‘On what evidence?’ They say: ‘Well, because it says so in the Book of Genesis.’ There’s nothing I can do to disprove that because that’s what they believe is the incontrovertible truth.
I’ve always found fossils very interesting. I also had newts and grass snakes and frogs which I kept in various aquaria when I was a boy. I spent a lot of time in the garden exploring.
My shoes are very unfashionable shoes. I’m the last in a particular style that was established 30 years ago. People make different kinds of programmes now. I don’t think anyone’s trying to fill my shoes.
I think 3D TV is going to be event TV. It can be an international football match or it can also be an important programme. But I don’t think 3D is going to be much good on trivia. It’s for programmes that really mean something. It does require your attention.
When I started in 1952, people had television sets and thought it was a miracle. You sat in front of it and waited for it to start and watched all the way through to the end and it was an event. But within a decade, you ate and talked and knitted while it was on. Then colour came about and once again it was an event, people would come round and said, ‘Wow, look at the colour’. Then we got accustomed to colour and television became like wallpaper. I don’t think 3D can be used as wallpaper, particularly because you need the glasses and when you put them on it’s very isolating. You become very unaware of the person next to you.
[on serving as director of programmes across BBC TV between 1969 to 1973] It was very nice for me running a network for a few years, in the sense that it was very flattering for one’s ego. But it’s not much fun.
I’ve always enjoyed Doctor Who (1963) from a technical point of view. I sat in on a lot of the early discussions, during which we cooked up the programme under the aegis of Sydney Newman, who was the BBC head of drama. I remember he specified he didn’t want monsters in it but the first producer, Verity Lambert, went against that and introduced the Daleks. Sydney was livid with her to start with but Verity, of course, was right.
I am a BBC man.
The BBC is hard-pressed for money and it has to make strategic decisions as to what it’s going to invest in.
[at the UN Climate Change Conference, 2018] The collapse of our civilizations and the extinction of much of the natural world is on the horizon.

Jacob Bronowski

Article Free Pass

Jacob Bronowski,  (born January 18, 1908, Poland—died August 22, 1974, East Hampton, New York, U.S.), Polish-born British mathematician and man of letters who eloquently presented the case for the humanistic aspects of science.While Bronowski was still a child, his family immigrated to Germany and then to England, where he became a naturalized British subject. He won a scholarship to the University of Cambridge, where he studied mathematics. He not only achieved high honours in mathematics but also received critical acclaim for his poetry and prose. After receiving his Ph.D. (1933) from Cambridge, he taught mathematics (1934–42) at the University College of Hull. During World War II Bronowski pioneered in a field now known as operational research and worked to increase the effectiveness of Allied bombing. After the war he headed the projects division of UNESCO (1948) and then worked for Britain’s National Coal Board (1950–63).When Bronowski, on a scientific mission to Japan to study the effects of the atomic bombings (1945), saw firsthand the ruins of Nagasaki, he gave up military research. From that time on, he concentrated on the ethical as well as the technological aspects of science, and he shifted his attention from mathematics to the life sciences, the study of human nature, and the evolution of culture.Among his books are The Common Sense of Science (1951) and the highly praised Science and Human Values (1956; rev. ed. 1965). In these books Bronowski examined aspects of science in nontechnical language and made a case for his view that science needs an ethos in order to function. In The Identity of Man (1965) he sought to present a unifying philosophy of human nature. He also wrote William Blake, 1757–1827: A Man Without a Mask (1943), revised as William Blake and the Age of Revolution (1965), and four radio plays.From 1964 until his death Bronowski was a resident fellow of the Salk Institute of Biological Sciences (San Diego). His last major project was the authorship and narration of the BBC television series The Ascent of Man (1973), a luminous account of science, art, and philosophy in human history. The book was reissued in 2011, with a foreword by British biologist and writer Richard Dawkins.


BBC. The Ascent of Man. Extra Interview with Sir David Attenborough.

Published on Jun 10, 2012

15 minute interview of Sir David Attenborough discussing his role in the ground-breaking documentary “The Ascent of Man” { Written and Presented by Dr Jacob Bronowski. }
This interview was filmed by the BBC. I also recommend Attenborough’s book ‘Life on Air’. It is brilliant.


The Ascent of Man

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
This article is about the documentary series. For the book “The Ascent of Man by Means of Natural Selection”, see Alfred Machin (writer).

The Ascent of Man is a thirteen-part documentary television series produced by the BBC and Time-Life Films first transmitted in 1973, written and presented by Jacob Bronowski. Intended as a series of “personal view” documentaries in the manner of Kenneth Clark‘s 1969 series Civilisation, the series received acclaim for Bronowski’s highly informed but eloquently simple analysis, his long unscripted monologues and its extensive location shoots.


The title alludes to The Descent of Man, the second book on evolution by Charles Darwin. Over the series’ thirteen episodes, Bronowski travelled around the world in order to trace the development of human society through its understanding of science. It was commissioned specifically to complement Kenneth Clark‘s Civilisation (1969), in which Clark argued that art reflected and was informed by the major driving forces in cultural evolution. Bronowski wrote in his 1951 book The Commonsense of Science: “It has been one of the most destructive modern prejudices that art and science are different and somehow incompatible interests”. Both series were commissioned by David Attenborough, then controller of BBC Two, whose colleague Aubrey Singer had been astonished by Attenborough prioritising an arts series given his science background.[1]

The 13-part series was shot on 16mm film. Executive Producer was Adrian Malone, film directors were Dick Gilling, Mick Jackson, David Kennard and David Paterson. Quotations were read by actors Roy Dotrice and Joss Ackland. Series music was by Dudley Simpson with Brian Hodgson and the BBC Radiophonic Workshop. Additional music includes, amongst others, music by Pink Floyd. Apart from Bronowski, the only other named person appearing is the sculptor Henry Moore.

Malone and Kennard later emigrated to Hollywood, where they produced Carl Sagan‘s Cosmos. Jackson followed them, and now directs feature films.

The book of the series, The Ascent of Man: A Personal View, is an almost word-for-word transcript from the television episodes, diverging from Bronowski’s original narration only where the lack of images might make its meaning unclear. A few details of the film version were omitted from the book, notably Episode 11, “Knowledge or Certainty.”

Series outline

  1. Lower than the Angels — Evolution of man from proto-ape to the modern form 400,000 years ago.
  2. The Harvest of the Seasons — Early human migration, agriculture and the first settlements, and war.
  3. The Grain in the Stone — Tools, and the development of architecture and sculpture.
  4. The Hidden Structure — Fire, metals and alchemy.
  5. Music of the Spheres — The language of numbers and mathematics.
  6. The Starry Messenger — Galileo’s universe—and the implications of his trial on the shift to “northern” science.
  7. The Majestic Clockwork — Explores Newton and Einstein’s laws.
  8. The Drive for Power — The Industrial Revolution and the effect on everyday life.
  9. The Ladder of Creation — Darwin and Wallace’s ideas on the origin of species.
  10. World within World — The story of the periodic table—and of the atom.
  11. Knowledge or Certainty — Physics and the clash of the pursuit of absolute vs. imperfect knowledge, and the misgivings of the scientists realizing the terrible outcome of the conflict. Auschwitz. Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
  12. Generation upon Generation — The joys of life, sex, and genetics—and the dark side of cloning.
  13. The Long Childhood — Bronowski’s treatise on the commitment of man.


The Ascent of Man was placed 65th on a list of the 100 Greatest World Television Programmes voted for by industry professionals and drawn up by the British Film Institute in 2000.[2] Charlie Brooker praises Bronowski and The Ascent of Man on his BBC Four programme, Charlie Brooker’s Screenwipe.[3]

The complete series was released on DVD in 2007.


    1. Attenborough interview in The Ascent of Man DVD set
    1. “The BFI TV 100”. Retrieved 3 August 2009.
  1. “Charlie Brookers Screenwipe S1E1P1”. Retrieved 4 February 2010.

External links

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These are ones that everyone agrees are not pre-human intermediates between apes and humans.

  • Homo sapiens neanderthalensis (Neandertal man)-150 years ago Neandertal reconstructions were stooped and very much like an “ape-man’. It is now admitted that the supposedly stooped posture was due to disease and that Neandertal is just a variation of the human kind.
  • Ramapithecus-once widely regarded as the ancestor of humans, it has now been realised that it is merely an extinct type of orangutan (an ape).
  • Eoanthropus (Piltdown man)-a hoax based on a human skull cap and an orangutan’s jaw. It was widely publicized as the missing link for 40 years.
  • Hesperopithecus (Nebraska man)-based on a single tooth of a type of pig now only living in Paraguay.
  • Pithecanthropus (Java man)-now renamed to Homo erectus. See below.
  • Australopithecus africanus-this was at one time promoted as the missing link. It is no longer considered to be on the line from apes to humans. It is very ape-like.
  • Sinanthropus (Peking man) was once presented as an ape-man but has now been reclassified as Homo erectus (see below).

Currently fashionable ape-men

These are the ones that adorn the evolutionary trees of today that supposedly led to Homo sapiens from a chimpanzee-like creature.

  • Australopithecus-there are various species of these that have been at times proclaimed as human ancestors. One remains: Australopithecus afarensis, popularly known as the fossil “Lucy”. However, detailed studies of the inner ear, skulls and bones have suggested that “Lucy” and her like are not on the way to becoming human. For example, they may have walked more upright than most apes, but not in the human manner. Australopithecus afarensis is very similar to the pygmy chimpanzee.
  • Homo habilis-there is a growing consensus amongst most paleoanthropologists that this category actually includes bits and pieces of various other types-such as Australopithecus and Homo erectus. It is therefore an “invalid taxon”. That is, it never existed as such.
  • Homo erectus-many remains of this type have been found around the world. They are smaller than the average human today, with an appropriately smaller head (and brain size). However, the brain size is within the range of people today and studies of the middle ear have shown that Homo erectus was just like us. Remains have been found in the same strata and in close proximity to ordinary Homo sapiens, suggesting that they lived together.

Conclusion: There is no fossil evidence that man is the product of evolution. The missing links are still missing because they simply do not exist. The Bible clearly states, “then the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.” (Genesis 2:7).


         What’s a Missing Link?

by John D. Morris, Ph.D.

Evolutionists often speak of missing links. They say that the bridge between man and the apes is the “missing link,” the hypothetical ape-like ancestor of both. But there are supposed missing links all over the evolutionary tree. For instance, dogs and bears are thought to be evolutionary cousins, related to each other through a missing link. The same could be said for every other stop on the tree. All of the animal types are thought to have arisen by the transformation of some other animal type, and at each branching node is a missing link, and between the node and the modern form are many more.

If you still don’t know what a missing link is, don’t worry. No one knows what a missing link is, because they are missing! We’ve never seen one. They’re still missing. Evolution depends on innumerable missing links, each of which lived in the unobserved past and have gone extinct, replaced by their evermore evolved descendants.

While we don’t really know what a missing link is (or was), we can know what they should be. As each type evolves into something else, there should be numerous in-between types, each stage gaining more and more traits of the descendant while losing traits of the ancestor.

If some type of fish evolved into some type of amphibian, there should have been distinct steps along the way of 90% fish/10% amphibian; then 80% fish/20% amphibian; etc., leading to the 100% amphibians we have today. You would suspect that unless evolution has completely stopped, there might even be some transitional links alive today, but certainly they lived and thrived for a while in the past before they were replaced.

Actually, evolutionists don’t mention missing links much anymore. With the introduction of “punctuated equilibrium” in the early 70s, they seem to have made their peace with the lack of transitional forms in the fossil record. Their claim is that basic animal types exhibited “stasis” (or equilibrium) for a long period, but they changed rapidly (punctuation) as the environment underwent rapid change, so rapidly they had little opportunity to leave fossils. Thus we wouldn’t expect to find transitional forms or missing links. Fair enough, but the fact is we don’t find them. Evolution says they did exist, but we have no record of them. Creation says they never existed, and agree that we have no record of them.

Some of these gaps which should be filled in by missing links are huge. Consider the gap between invertebrates and vertebrate fish. Which marine sea creature evolved into a fish with a backbone and internal skeleton? Fish fossils are even found in the lower Cambrian, and dated very early in the evolution scenario. But there are no missing links, no hint of ancestors. The missing links, which should be present in abundance, are still missing!

Both creation and evolution are views of history, ideas about the unobserved past, and both sides try to marshal evidence in their support. Creation says each basic category of life was created separately, thus there never were any “missing links.” Evolution says links existed whether or not we find them. The fact is we don’t find them. The question is: which historical idea is more scientific, and which is more likely correct?

* Dr. Morris is President of the Institute for Creation Research.

Cite this article: Morris, J. 2006. What’s a Missing Link? Acts & Facts. 35 (4).


Bill Nye Debates Ken Ham – HD (Official)

    Streamed live on Feb 4, 2014

Is creation a viable model of origins in today’s modern, scientific era? Leading creation apologist and bestselling Christian author Ken Ham is joined at the Creation Museum by Emmy Award-winning science educator and CEO of the Planetary Society Bill Nye. To see Bill Nye’s arguments debunked visit .



Francis Schaeffer “BASIS FOR HUMAN DIGNITY” Whatever…HTTHR

Dr. Francis schaeffer – The flow of Materialism(from Part 4 of Whatever happened to human race?)

Dr. Francis Schaeffer – The Biblical flow of Truth & History (intro)

Francis Schaeffer – The Biblical Flow of History & Truth (1)

Dr. Francis Schaeffer – The Biblical Flow of Truth & History (part 2)


Part 1 on abortion runs from 00:00 to 39:50, Part 2 on Infanticide runs from 39:50 to 1:21:30, Part 3 on Youth Euthanasia runs from 1:21:30 to 1:45:40, Part 4 on the basis of human dignity runs from 1:45:40 to 2:24:45 and Part 5 on the basis of truth runs from 2:24:45 to 3:00:04


Francis Schaeffer pictured below with some of his grand kids:


Francis Schaeffer with his son Franky pictured below. Francis and Edith (who passed away in 2013) opened L’ Abri in 1955 in Switzerland.

Francis Schaeffer has written extensively on art and culture spanning the last 2000 years and here are some posts I have done on this subject before : Francis Schaeffer’s “How should we then live?” Video and outline of episode 10 “Final Choices” episode 9 “The Age of Personal Peace and Affluence”episode 8 “The Age of Fragmentation”episode 7 “The Age of Non-Reason” episode 6 “The Scientific Age” episode 5 “The Revolutionary Age” ,  episode 4 “The Reformation” episode 3 “The Renaissance”episode 2 “The Middle Ages,”, and  episode 1 “The Roman Age,” . My favorite episodes are number 7 and 8 since they deal with modern art and culture primarily.(Joe Carter rightly noted, “Schaefferwho always claimed to be an evangelist and not a philosopher—was often criticized for the way his work oversimplified intellectual history and philosophy.” To those critics I say take a chill pill because Schaeffer was introducing millions into the fields of art and culture!!!! !!! More people need to read his works and blog about them because they show how people’s worldviews affect their lives!

J.I.PACKER WROTE OF SCHAEFFER, “His communicative style was not thaof a cautious academiwho labors foexhaustive coverage and dispassionate objectivity. It was rather that of an impassioned thinker who paints his vision of eternal truth in bold strokes and stark contrasts.Yet it is a fact that MANY YOUNG THINKERS AND ARTISTS…HAVE FOUND SCHAEFFER’S ANALYSES A LIFELINE TO SANITY WITHOUT WHICH THEY COULD NOT HAVE GONE ON LIVING.”

Francis Schaeffer’s works  are the basis for a large portion of my blog posts and they have stood the test of time. In fact, many people would say that many of the things he wrote in the 1960’s  were right on  in the sense he saw where our western society was heading and he knew that abortion, infanticide and youth enthansia were  moral boundaries we would be crossing  in the coming decades because of humanism and these are the discussions we are having now!)

There is evidence that points to the fact that the Bible is historically true as Schaeffer pointed out in episode 5 of WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE HUMAN RACEThere is a basis then for faith in Christ alone for our eternal hope. This link shows how to do that.

Francis Schaeffer in Art and the Bible noted, “Many modern artists, it seems to me, have forgotten the value that art has in itself. Much modern art is far too intellectual to be great art. Many modern artists seem not to see the distinction between man and non-man, and it is a part of the lostness of modern man that they no longer see value in the work of art as a work of art.” 

Many modern artists are left in this point of desperation that Schaeffer points out and it reminds me of the despair that Solomon speaks of in Ecclesiastes.  Christian scholar Ravi Zacharias has noted, “The key to understanding the Book of Ecclesiastes is the term ‘under the sun.’ What that literally means is you lock God out of a closed system, and you are left with only this world of time plus chance plus matter.” THIS IS EXACT POINT SCHAEFFER SAYS SECULAR ARTISTS ARE PAINTING FROM TODAY BECAUSE THEY BELIEVED ARE A RESULT OF MINDLESS CHANCE.



Today I featuring the artist Ellen Gallagher and she talks about Evolution in this video below. She asserts, “Matter is not fixed. It is always in motion. You are dealing with this idea of ecology, transformation and evolution into something different.”

Ellen Gallagher, Untitled, 2012.(Below)

Featured artist is Ellen Gallagher: “Osedax” | “Exclusive” | Art21

Published on Sep 6, 2013

Episode #188: Filmed in 2013, artist Ellen Gallagher discusses her large-scale installation “Osedax” (2010) at the New Museum in New York City. Made in collaboration with Dutch artist Edgar Cleijne, Osedax was inspired by and named after the bone-devouring worms recently discovered in an ocean canyon near Monterey, California. Drawn to scientists’ description of this discovery, Gallagher sees similarity between their account and how science fiction narratives unfold through the transformation and evolution of characters and physical matter.

Repetition and revision are central to Ellen Gallagher’s paintings, collages, and films. From afar, Gallagher’s work often appears abstract and minimal but, upon closer inspection, details reveal complex narratives that borrow from maritime history, science fiction, popular culture, and the experiences of African Americans. Although the work has often been interpreted as an examination of race, Gallagher also suggests a formal reading with respect to materials, processes, and formal structures.

Learn more about the artist at:…

CREDITS: Producer: Ian Forster. Consulting Producer: Wesley Miller & Nick Ravich. Interview: Ian Forster. Camera: Rafael Salazar & Ava Wiland. Sound: Ava Wiland. Editor: Brad Kimbrough. Artwork Courtesy: Edgar Cleijne & Ellen Gallagher. Special Thanks: New Museum. Theme Music: Peter Foley.

“Ellen Gallagher: Don’t Axe Me” at the New Museum, New York
June 19–September 15, 2013…

Watery abstraction: “Osedax,” a 2010 film installation by Ellen Gallagher and Edgar Cleijne, in a Gallagher retrospective at the New Museum.  (below)

Ellen Gallagher | Art21 | Preview from Season 3 of “Art in the Twenty-First Century” (2005)

Uploaded on May 28, 2008

Repetition and revision are central to Ellen Gallagher’s treatment of advertisements appropriated from popular magazines. Although her work has often been interpreted as an examination of race, Gallagher also suggests a more formal reading—from afar the work appears abstract and minimal, and employs grids as both structure and metaphors for experience.

Ellen Gallagher is featured in the Season 3 episode “Play” of the Art21 series “Art in the Twenty-First Century”.

Learn more about Ellen Gallagher:…

© 2005-2007 Art21, Inc. All Rights Reserved.


Ellen Gallagher: Projections | Art21 “Exclusive”

Uploaded on Apr 30, 2009

Episode #054: Artist Ellen Gallagher recounts her childhood obsession with projecting films, paired with documentation of her work “Murmur” (2003-04) installed at Gagosian Gallery in New York.

Repetition and revision are central to Ellen Gallaghers treatment of advertisements appropriated from popular magazines. Initially, Gallagher was drawn to the wig advertisements because of their grid-like structure. Later she realized that it was the accompanying language that attracted her, and she began to bring these narratives into her paintings—making them function through the characters of the advertisements as a kind of chart of lost worlds. Upon closer inspection, googly eyes, reconfigured wigs, tongues, and lips of minstrel caricatures multiply in detail. Although her work has often been interpreted as an examination of race, Gallagher also suggests a more formal reading- from afar the work appears abstract and minimal, and employs grids as both structure and metaphors for experience.

Learn more about Ellen Gallagher:…

VIDEO | Producer: Wesley Miller & Nick Ravich. Interview: Susan Sollins. Camera & Sound: Tom Hurwitz, Eddie Marritz, Mark Mandler, and Roger Phenix. Editor: Jenny Chiurco and Mary Ann Toman. Artwork Courtesy: Ellen Gallagher & Edgar Cleijne. Special Thanks: Gagosian Gallery, New York and Two Palms Press, New York.


Ellen Gallagher: Master Printer Craig Zammiello | Art21 “Exclusive”

Uploaded on Jun 4, 2009

Episode #059: Master Printer Craig Zammiello and artist Ellen Gallagher discuss their working relationship during the process of creating “DeLuxe” (2004-05), a suite of 60 individual works employing both traditional and non-traditional printmaking techniques.

Repetition and revision are central to Ellen Gallaghers treatment of advertisements appropriated from popular magazines. Initially, Gallagher was drawn to the wig advertisements because of their grid-like structure. Later she realized that it was the accompanying language that attracted her, and she began to bring these narratives into her paintings—making them function through the characters of the advertisements as a kind of chart of lost worlds. Upon closer inspection, googly eyes, reconfigured wigs, tongues, and lips of minstrel caricatures multiply in detail. Although her work has often been interpreted as an examination of race, Gallagher also suggests a more formal reading- from afar the work appears abstract and minimal, and employs grids as both structure and metaphors for experience.

Learn more about Ellen Gallagher:…

VIDEO | Producer: Wesley Miller & Nick Ravich. Interview: Catherine Tatge. Camera & Sound: Mead Hunt and Mark Mandler. Editor: Mary Ann Toman. Artwork Courtesy: Ellen Gallagher. Special Thanks: Craig Zammiello of Two Palms Press, New York.


Travelling Lines Conference 2011: Ellen Gallagher in Conversation with Tanya Barson

Published on Mar 25, 2013

Ellen Gallagher

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Ellen Gallagher
Ellen R. Gallagher

December 16, 1965 (age 53)

Nationality American
Known for
  • Painting
  • Mixed media
Movement Contemporary art

Ellen Gallagher (born December 16, 1965)[2] is an American artist. Her work has been shown in numerous solo and group exhibitions and is held in the permanent collections of many major museums. Her media include painting, works on paper, film and video. Some of her pieces refer to issues of race, and may combine formality with racial stereotypes and depict “ordering principles” society imposes.

Background and education[edit]

Gallagher was born on December 16, 1965 in Providence, Rhode Island. Referred to as African American,[3] she is of biracial ethnicity; her father’s heritage was from Cape Verde, in Western Africa (but he was born in the United States), and her mother’s background was Caucasian Irish Catholic.[4]

Gallagher studied writing at Oberlin College in Ohio (1982–84).[4] In 1989 she attended Studio 70 in Fort Thomas, Kentucky before earning a degree in fine arts from the School of the Museum of Fine Artsin Boston in 1992.[4][5] Her art education further continued in 1993 at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Maine.[5]

Ellen Gallagher, Wiglette from “DeLuxe” 2004–2005


Gallagher’s influences include the paintings of Agnes Martin and the repetitive writings of Gertrude Stein.[6] Some of Gallagher’s work involves repetitively modifying advertising found in African American focused publications such as EbonySepia, and Our World.[6] Her most famous pieces are her grid-like collages of magazines grouped together into larger pieces.[7] Examples of these are eXelento (2004), Afrylic (2004), and DeLuxe (2005). Each of these works contains as many as or more than 60 prints employing techniques of photogravurespit-bitecollage, cutting, scratching, silkscreenoffset lithography and hand-building.

Some of Gallagher’s early influences while attending the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston were the Darkroom Collective, a group of poets living and working out of Inman Square in Cambridge, MA[8] and would go on to become the art coordinator of the collective. Some other influences at the Museum School were Susan Denker, Ann HamiltonKiki Smith and Laylah Ali.[8]

Themes related to race are often evident in Gallagher’s work, sometimes using pictographs, symbols, codes and repetitions. “Sambo lips” and “bug eyes,” references to the Black minstrel shows, are often scattered throughout Gallagher’s works. Certain characters are also used repeatedly, such as the image of the nurse or the “Pegleg” character that sometimes populate her page’s iconography. Some of her pieces may explicitly reference the issue of race while also having a more subtle undercurrent related to race.[9] She combines formality (grid lines, ruled paper) with the racial stereotypes to depict the “ordering principles” society imposes.[10]

“Blackface minstrel is a ghost story, ” Gallagher has noted. “It’s about loss; there’s a black mask and sublimation…[B]lackface minstrel was the first great American abstraction, even before jazz. It’s the literal recording of the African body into American public culture. Disembodied eyes and lips float, hostage, in the electric black of the minstrel stage, distorting the African body into American blackface.”[11]

Her media includes paintings, works on paper, film and video. She has made innovative use of materials, such as creating a unique variation on scrimshaw by carving images into the surface of thick sheets of watercolor paper and drawing with ink, watercolor and pencil. These works depict sea creatures, of the mythical undersea world of Drexciya, which were the progeny of slaves who had drowned.[6][12][13]This mythology had been conceived by a musical duo of that name, from Detroit.[14] Gallagher commented upon the process of creating these pieces: “The way that these drawings are made is my version of scrimshaw, the carving into bone that sailors did when they were out whaling. I imagine them in this overwhelming, scary expanse of sea where this kind of cutting would give a focus, a sense of being in control of something.”[15] In some of her early pieces, she painted and drew on sheets of penmanship paper (ruled paper used for handwriting practice) she had pasted onto canvas.[6] Her choice of penmanship paper is significant, in an interview with Jessica Morgan, she says “the sense of a neutral surface that can accommodate any mark seems an ideal way of communicating freedom,”[16] which is described by her as “idiosyncratic” and “inscrutable”.[17]

In 1995, Gallagher’s work was exhibited at the Whitney Biennial and the Venice Biennale in 2003.[18] Artist Chuck Close created a 2009 tapestry portrait of Gallagher.[19] Gallagher is represented by Gagosian Gallery (New York) and Hauser & Wirth (London). She is based in the United States (New York City) and the Netherlands (Rotterdam).[5]

Awards and fellowships[edit]

Among the honors which Gallagher has earned are:[20]

Selected exhibitions[edit]

Ellen Gallagher’s work has been featured in solo exhibitions at numerous galleries and institutions including:[5]

Group exhibitions have included:[5]


Murmur. Orbus in collaboration with Edgar Cleijne. Hauser & Wirth London/Fruitmarket Gallery Edinburgh (ed.) 2005. English, 5 books holding together with magnet, 990 pages. With “Blizzard of White” (2003, 55 min loop, 16 mm). ISBN 3039390333


Gallagher’s work is held in many permanent collections including the Addison Gallery of American ArtGoetz CollectionHamburger BahnhofStudio Museum in HarlemWalker Art CenterSan Francisco Museum of Modern ArtModerna MuseetSammlung Goetz and the Centre Georges Pompidou.[4][18][24][25][26]

Specific works include:

Further reading[edit]

  • Butler, Cornelia, Modern Women: Women Artists at The Museum of Modern Art, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, 2010. OCLC 501397424
  • Barson, Tanya, Gorschlüter, Peter (eds.), Afro Modern: Journeys Through the Black Atlantic, London: Tate Publishing, 2010.
  • Ellen Gallagher. Coral Cities, London: Tate Publishing, 2007.
  • Gallagher, Ellen, Cleijne, Edgar, Murmur. Water Ecstatic, Kabuki, Blizzard of White, Super Boo, Monster, in: Heart of Darkness, New York NY: Walker Art Centre, 2006. pp. 81–104, ill.
  • Riemschneider, Burkhard & Uta Grosenick. Art Now. Cologne: Taschen, 2002.
  • De Zegher, Catherine, Jeff Fleming & Robin D.G. Kelley. Preserve. New York: D.A.P., 2002.
  • Grosenick, Uta. Women Artists. Cologne: Taschen, 2001. pp. 144–149.
  • Coleman, Beth. Ellen Gallagher: Blubber. New York: Gagosian Gallery, 2001.
  • Kertess, Klaus, John Ashbery, Gerald M. Edelman et al. 1995 Biennial Exhibition. New York: Whitney Museum of American Art / Harry N. Abrams, 1995.
  • Suzanne P. Hudson. ‘1000 Words: Ellen Gallagher’. ArtForum, vol.42, no.8, April 2004, pp. 128–31.
  • Chan, Suzanna. “Astonishing Marine Living: Ellen Gallagher’s Ichthyosaurus at the Freud Museum,” in G. Pollock (ed.) Visual Politics of Psychoanalysis, London: I.B.Tauris, 2013. ISBN 978-1-78076-316-3
  • Tate, Greg; Robert Storr; Jill Medvedow. “Ellen Gallagher” Institute of Contemporary Art in association with D.A.P./Distributed Art Publishers, Inc. 2001. ISBN 1-891024-31-0

Travelling Lines brings together scholars, artists, curators and collectors to create an international forum to consider three key themes: itinerant modes of drawing by Latin America based artists that prioritise investigation and exploration; how the nomadic practices of artists necessitate conceptual and low-key strategies associated with drawing, an especially portable medium; and how itinerant and other modes of drawing circulate within the transnational circuits of the globalised art world. Focusing on one medium, speakers address how visual languages participate in, depend on, and travel across local as well as global territories.

The conference is organised by TrAIN in collaboration with the Drawing Room. It coincides with the exhibition at the Drawing Room entitled The Peripatetic School: Itinerant drawing from Latin America, curated by Tanya Barson, international curator, Tate Modern. Artists whose work is in the exhibition are among the speakers. The exhibition includes art by Brigida Baltar, Jose Tony Cruz, Andre Komatsu, Mateo López, Jorge Macchi, Gilda Mantilla and Raimond Chaves, Nicolas Paris, and Ishmael Randall Weeks.


About Ellen Gallagher

Ellen Gallagher was born in Providence, Rhode Island, in 1965, and lives and works in New York and Rotterdam, Holland. She attended Oberlin College and the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Repetition and revision are central to Gallagher’s treatment of advertisements that she appropriates from popular magazines like “Ebony,” “Our World,” and “Sepia” and uses in works like “eXelento” (2004) and “DeLuxe” (2004–05). Initially, Gallagher was drawn to the wig advertisements because of their grid-like structure. Later, she realized that it was the accompanying language that attracted her, and she began to bring these “narratives” into her paintings—making them function through the characters of the advertisements, as a kind of chart of lost worlds. Although the work has often been interpreted strictly as an examination of race, Gallagher also suggests a more formal reading with respect to materials, processes, and insistences. From afar, the work appears abstract and minimal; upon closer inspection, googly eyes, reconfigured wigs, tongues, and lips of minstrel caricatures multiply in detail. Gallagher has been influenced by the sublime aesthetics of Agnes Martin’s paintings, as well the subtle shifts and repetitions of Gertrude Stein’s writing. In her earlier works, Gallagher glued pages of penmanship paper onto stretched canvas and then drew and painted on it. In “Watery Ecstatic” (2002–04), she literally carved images into thick watercolor paper, in her own version of scrimshaw, from which emerge images of the sea creatures from Drexciya, a mythical underwater Black Atlantis. Gallagher received the American Academy Award in Art and a Joan Mitchell Foundation Fellowship. Solo exhibitions include Whitney Museum of American Art; Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami; St. Louis Art Museum; Des Moines Art Center; Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco; and the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston.


Charles Darwent on Ellen Gallagher: AxME – The dog ate my homework, Miss Gallagher

Why does this highly-rated American artist ask so much of us before we even look at her work?

Saturday 04 May 2013

JF (alarmed): “Uh, I’m not sure ‘like’ is a word that can be used in critical discourse these days.”

So it goes. Once upon a time, long, long ago, there was nothing wrong with work that pleased, in whatever way it contrived to. Then someone invented critical theory, art schools became university departments, and pleasure went out of the window. Good painting might do a whole  thesaurus of things — ironise, deconstruct, conceptualise, “reference its own process”, etcetera – but it must on no account be likeable.

I have no doubt, by these lights, that Ellen Gallagher is a very good painter. The 47-year-old American is best known for her canvases, although, this being 2013, she also makes films and sculptures: one, Jungle Gym/Preserve, is in the new show of her work, AxME, at Tate Modern. There is nothing wrong with making art in different mediums – see Michelangelo. But it is the idea of Gallagher as a painter, of the kind of painting she does, that bothers me.

Let’s start with Double Natural (2002). This vast, yellow canvas, perhaps 7ft high and 10ft wide, is Gallagher’s best known. On it are pasted, in a grid 33 squares wide and 12 high, advertisements and cuttings from American black lifestyle magazines. (Gallagher’s father’s family came from Cape Verde.) All of these offer perfectability of a kind, or at least an idea of self-improvement. One woman beams at us from under a headline that says, unconvincingly, “I Am Happy”. Another asks, “Do you want men to OBEY YOU?”, while a third advertises an Amazing Liquid That Removes Corns.

It is hair that is Gallagher’s particular focus, though, as it is of the small ads she uses. The majority of these are for hairstyles or hair products. To these the artist has added plasticine hairdos – straightened bangs, cornrows, dreadlocks, flicks – moulded by hand and painted yellow. Gallagher has also blanked out her subjects’ eyes, turning them into zombies. Her point seems clear. Black women are sold a dream of white womanly perfection. She has taken that process to its deadening extreme by turning her women blonde.

To say that Double Natural is dislikeable is to state the obvious.  Its subject – the exploitation of racial insecurity for commercial gain – is not a pretty one, and Gallagher’s image would have no business being pretty. But the problem is that it isn’t anything else, either. Other than an immediate hit of macabre glibness, Double Natural just doesn’t deliver. The longer you look at it, the less you get back. Vacuousness in art can be extraordinarily powerful: Andy Warhol made an entire career out of it. But Gallagher’s painting isn’t empty in a good way. It is just empty.

Let me see if I can be clearer. Another work in this vast, 11-room show is called Bird in Hand. It, too, is vast. Like many contemporary artists, Gallagher has created her own myth-world, one figure of which is a one-legged tap-dancer called Pegleg. (Pegleg actually existed — one of the ads in Double Natural is for his show.) In Bird in Hand, he mutates into a pirate, his hair and half-leg doodling out to fill the canvas in tendrils that might be seaweed.

Gallagher is part of her own mythology. Prior to being an artist she studied marine biology, and did research into pteropods. The many works in her Watery Ecstatic series, given a whole room in this exhibition, start from an interest in sea-life – eels, urchins, octopi. The pictures are largely in watercolour and cut paper, and, as compositions, appear less to evolve than to mutate. You can see the reasoning. Life starts at Point A and wanders off where Darwin takes it: so why not art? Bird in Hand grows, pictorially, out of Gallagher’s own history and interests.

But does that make it a good painting? The abstract works of the Jerwood painter I spoke to stood on their own as images: you didn’t need to know his life story or theories on art to respond to them. To get Gallagher, you have to have done your homework. Her art is about understanding, not seeing; when she paints, she paints incidentally. Any other medium might have done – actually, her films seem to me far better than her canvases (Murmur: Super Boo is annoyingly unforgettable). But then many people disagree with me, and you may well be one of them.



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__________________ Alain Resnais Interview 1 ______________ Last Year in Marienbad (1961) Trailer   ________________________ My Favorite Films: Last Year at Marienbad Movie Review – WillMLFilm Review ________________________ INTERVIEW: Lambert Wilson on working with Alain Resnais a… Published on Jan 5, 2014 INTERVIEW: Lambert Wilson on working with Alain Resnais at You Aint Seen Nothing Yet Interviews: […]

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 7 Jean Paul Sartre (Feature on artist David Hooker )

__________________ Today we are going to look at the philosopher Jean Paul Sartre and will feature the work of the artist David Hooker. Francis Schaeffer pictured below: _________________________________ Sunday, November 24, 2013 A Star to Steer By – Revised! The beautiful Portland Head Lighthouse on the Maine coast. It was the flash from this lighthouse I […]

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 6 The Adoration of the Lamb by Jan Van Eyck which was saved by MONUMENT MEN IN WW2 (Feature on artist Makoto Fujimura)

________________ How Should We Then Live? Episode 3: The Renaissance Published on Jul 24, 2012 Dr. Schaeffer’s sweeping epic on the rise and decline of Western thought and Culture _________________________ Christians used to be the ones who were responsible for the best art in the culture. Will there ever be a day that happens again? […]

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 5 John Cage (Feature on artist Gerhard Richter)

_________________ Francis Schaeffer has written extensively on art and culture spanning the last 2000 years and here are some posts I have done on this subject before : Francis Schaeffer’s “How should we then live?” Video and outline of episode 10 “Final Choices” , episode 9 “The Age of Personal Peace and Affluence”, episode 8 “The Age of Fragmentation”, episode 7 “The Age of Non-Reason” , episode 6 “The Scientific Age” , episode 5 “The Revolutionary Age” ,  episode 4 “The Reformation”,  episode 3 […]

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 4 ( Schaeffer and H.R. Rookmaaker worked together well!!! (Feature on artist Mike Kelley Part B )

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 4 ( Schaeffer and H.R. Rookmaaker worked together well!!! (Feature on artist Mike Kelley Part B ) [ARTS 410] William Dyrness: The Relationship of Art and Theology Published on Sep 14, 2013 Guest lecture in ARTS 410: Arts and the Bible. At the 30:00 mark William Dyrness talks […]

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 3 PAUL GAUGUIN’S 3 QUESTIONS: “Where do we come from? What art we? Where are we going? and his conclusion was a suicide attempt” (Feature on artist Mike Kelley Part A)

___________________ How Should we then live Part 7 Dr. Francis Schaeffer examines the Age of Non-Reason and he mentions the work of Paul Gauguin. Paul Gauguin October 12, 2012 by theempireoffilms Paul Gauguin was born in Paris, France, on June 7, 1848, to a French father, a journalist from Orléans, and a mother of Spanish Peruvian descent. When […]

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 2 “A look at how modern art was born by discussing Monet, Renoir, Pissaro, Sisley, Degas,Cezanne, Van Gogh, Gauguin, Seurat, and Picasso” (Feature on artist Peter Howson)

__________________________ Today I am posting my second post in this series that includes over 50 modern artists that have made a splash. Last time it was Tracey Emin of England and today it is Peter Howson of Scotland. Howson has overcome alcoholism in order to continue his painting. Many times in the past great painters […]


__________________ Francis Schaeffer pictured below: _______________- I want to make two points today. First, Greg Koukl has rightly noted that the nudity of a ten year old girl in the art of Robert Mapplethorpe is not defensible, and it demonstrates where our culture is  morally. It the same place morally where  Rome was 2000 years […]


Francis Schaeffer’s “How should we then live?” Video and outline of episode 10 “Final Choices” (Schaeffer Sundays)

E P I S O D E 1 0   Dr. Francis Schaeffer – Episode X – Final Choices 27 min FINAL CHOICES I. Authoritarianism the Only Humanistic Social Option One man or an elite giving authoritative arbitrary absolutes. A. Society is sole absolute in absence of other absolutes. B. But society has to be […]

Francis Schaeffer’s “How should we then live?” Video and outline of episode 9 “The Age of Personal Peace and Affluence” (Schaeffer Sundays)

E P I S O D E 9 Dr. Francis Schaeffer – Episode IX – The Age of Personal Peace and Affluence 27 min T h e Age of Personal Peace and Afflunce I. By the Early 1960s People Were Bombarded From Every Side by Modern Man’s Humanistic Thought II. Modern Form of Humanistic Thought Leads […]

Francis Schaeffer’s “How should we then live?” Video and outline of episode 8 “The Age of Fragmentation” (Schaeffer Sundays)

E P I S O D E 8 Dr. Francis Schaeffer – Episode VIII – The Age of Fragmentation 27 min I saw this film series in 1979 and it had a major impact on me. T h e Age of FRAGMENTATION I. Art As a Vehicle Of Modern Thought A. Impressionism (Monet, Renoir, Pissarro, Sisley, […]

Francis Schaeffer’s “How should we then live?” Video and outline of episode 7 “The Age of Non-Reason” (Schaeffer Sundays)

E P I S O D E 7 Dr. Francis Schaeffer – Episode VII – The Age of Non Reason I am thrilled to get this film series with you. I saw it first in 1979 and it had such a big impact on me. Today’s episode is where we see modern humanist man act […]

Francis Schaeffer’s “How should we then live?” Video and outline of episode 6 “The Scientific Age” (Schaeffer Sundays)

E P I S O D E 6 How Should We Then Live 6#1 Uploaded by NoMirrorHDDHrorriMoN on Oct 3, 2011 How Should We Then Live? Episode 6 of 12 ________ I am sharing with you a film series that I saw in 1979. In this film Francis Schaeffer asserted that was a shift in […]

Francis Schaeffer’s “How should we then live?” Video and outline of episode 5 “The Revolutionary Age” (Schaeffer Sundays)

E P I S O D E 5 How Should We Then Live? Episode 5: The Revolutionary Age I was impacted by this film series by Francis Schaeffer back in the 1970′s and I wanted to share it with you. Francis Schaeffer noted, “Reformation Did Not Bring Perfection. But gradually on basis of biblical teaching there […]

Francis Schaeffer’s “How should we then live?” Video and outline of episode 4 “The Reformation” (Schaeffer Sundays)

Dr. Francis Schaeffer – Episode IV – The Reformation 27 min I was impacted by this film series by Francis Schaeffer back in the 1970′s and I wanted to share it with you. Schaeffer makes three key points concerning the Reformation: “1. Erasmian Christian humanism rejected by Farel. 2. Bible gives needed answers not only as to […]

“Schaeffer Sundays” Francis Schaeffer’s “How should we then live?” Video and outline of episode 3 “The Renaissance”

Francis Schaeffer’s “How should we then live?” Video and outline of episode 3 “The Renaissance” Francis Schaeffer: “How Should We Then Live?” (Episode 3) THE RENAISSANCE I was impacted by this film series by Francis Schaeffer back in the 1970′s and I wanted to share it with you. Schaeffer really shows why we have so […]

Francis Schaeffer’s “How should we then live?” Video and outline of episode 2 “The Middle Ages” (Schaeffer Sundays)

  Francis Schaeffer: “How Should We Then Live?” (Episode 2) THE MIDDLE AGES I was impacted by this film series by Francis Schaeffer back in the 1970′s and I wanted to share it with you. Schaeffer points out that during this time period unfortunately we have the “Church’s deviation from early church’s teaching in regard […]

Francis Schaeffer’s “How should we then live?” Video and outline of episode 1 “The Roman Age” (Schaeffer Sundays)

Francis Schaeffer: “How Should We Then Live?” (Episode 1) THE ROMAN AGE   Today I am starting a series that really had a big impact on my life back in the 1970′s when I first saw it. There are ten parts and today is the first. Francis Schaeffer takes a look at Rome and why […]

By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Francis Schaeffer | Edit | Comments (0)



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