Following John Berger’s January death there’s been a resurgence of interest in his 1972 BBC television series Ways of Seeing. The series addresses the various modes of representation that Berger observed in visual art along with an exploration of what I would call the psychology of observation. It’s deep, interesting stuff, and even rather revolutionary for its time. That said, I don’t think the series is the best at addressing the questions that contemporary art asks of its audience or of explaining how we got from The Renaissance to Koons’ balloon dogs. For that heavy lifting I recommend Robert Hughes’ 1980 BBC series The Shock of the New which traces the revolutionary movements through art history. This YouTube playlist starts with the birth of Impressionism and follows the entire series including Hughes’ 2004 The New Shock of the New which catches viewers up to the art of the 21st century.