Watch Art in the Twenty-First Century

Art in the Twenty-First Century is a PBS program that first aired in 2001. The television series is also referred to by the title Art: 21. Art in the Twenty-First Century has aired eight seasons. It also has a sister program entitled Art in the Twentieth Century. Each episode of the eight seasons of Art in the Twenty-First Century explored a different theme art. The first season involves such themes as place, identity, spirituality, and consumption. Each episode is hosted by a new artist, and then has a number of interviews with different artists. Each artist attempts to offer a different view of the topic.

Art in the Twenty-First Century has won a huge number of awards over the years, including the George Foster Peabody Award, Silver Hugo from the 44th Hugo Television Awards, Gold Remi from the 41st WorldFest Independent Film Festival, and the Platinum Best in Show from the Aurora Awards.

PBS
8 Seasons, 34 Episodes
September 21, 2001
Documentary & Biography
7.4/10
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Art in the Twenty-First Century Full Episode Guide

  • Liz Magor (b.1948, Winnipeg, MB, Canada) makes uncannily realistic casts of humble objects-gloves, cardboard boxes, cigarettes-that speak to mortality and local histories. Through complex video installations, photos, theatrical productions, and virtual reality simulations, Stan Douglas (b.1960, Vancouver, BC, Canada) reenacts historical moments of tension that connect the history of Vancouver to broader social movements of struggle and utopian aspiration. Brian Jungen (b.1970, Fort St. John, BC, Canada) draws from his family's ranching and hunting background, as well as his Dane-zaa heritage, when disassembling and recombining consumer goods into whimsical sculptures. Attentive to the accidental encounters that can inspire an image, photographer Jeff Wall (b.1946, Vancouver, BC, Canada) recreates flashes of inspiration by building sets and repeatedly photographing gestures until they coalesce into a picture that's printed on a grand scale.

  • While sprawling Los Angeles has world-class museums and art schools, artists working in the shadow of the entertainment industry are more "œunder the radar," affording them the space and time to imagine. Diana Thater (b.1962, San Francisco, CA, USA) makes video installations that poetically grapple with threats to the natural world. She is filmed preparing for her monumental exhibition, The Sympathetic Imagination, at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Liz Larner (b.1960, Sacramento, CA, USA) experiments with abstract sculptural forms in a dizzying array of materials, including polychromatic ceramics that evoke the tectonic geologic shifts of the western landscape. Tala Madani (b.1981, Tehran, Iran) skewers stereotypes in her sharply satirical paintings that evoke clashes of culture: men and women, the rational and the absurd, Western and non-Western. And Edgar Arceneaux (b.1972, Los Angeles, CA) investigates historical patterns through drawings, installations, and multimedia events, such as the reenactment of Ben Vereen"™s tragically misunderstood blackface performance at Ronald Reagan"™s 1981 Inaugural Gala.

  • Featuring artists Natalia Almada, Minerva Cuevas, Damin Ortega, and Pedro Reyes.

  • Chicago is a city rooted in industry and towering architecture, and artists in Chicago are disrupting urban experience through experimentation.

  • Three artists mix genres and merge aesthetic to tell beautiful stories.

  • A look at artists inspired by life experiences and family heritage. Included: Wolfgang Laib, who connects the ephemeral and eternal; Tania Bruguera, who explores art, activism and social change; and Abraham Cruzvillegas, who focuses on transformation.

  • Elliott Hundley, Arlene Shechet and Trevor Paglen are featured. Hundley creates collages that both reveal and hide their meanings; Shechet's ceramic work obscures its nature behind surface effects; and Paglen documents the American surveillance state.

  • From PBS - Can acts of engagement and exploration be works of art in themselves? Leonardo Drew, Thomas Hirschhorn and Graciela Iturbide use their practices as tools for personal and intellectual discovery, simultaneously documenting and producing new realities in the process.

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