Art in the Twenty-First Century

Watch Art in the Twenty-First Century

  • TV-PG
  • 2001
  • 11 Seasons
  • 7.2  (76)

Art in the Twenty-First Century is a television series created for PBS that focuses on contemporary art and the artists creating it in the 21st century. The show first aired in 2001 and has continued to be produced with multiple seasons that feature a range of artists and styles.

The series is unique in that it provides an in-depth exploration into the artists' processes and philosophies, allowing viewers to gain a deeper understanding of the motivations behind their artworks. Each episode showcases three artists, and the host engages in conversations with them while visiting their studios and exhibitions.

Charles Atlas, Damien Young, and Harmony Murphy co-starred in the first season of Art in the Twenty-First Century. Charles Atlas is a New York-based filmmaker, visual artist, and video dance pioneer known for his avant-garde films that blur the lines between dance, art, and film. Damien Young is a contemporary painter, known for his large-scale mixed-media works that explore the complexity of the human psyche with a unique artistic style. Lastly, Harmony Murphy is a contemporary art dealer who works with up-and-coming artists, establishing relationships between creators and collectors.

The show provides an intimate look into the artists' creative processes, shedding light on what inspires and motivates them to create. This approach to showcasing contemporary art allows viewers to connect with the artists on a personal level, making the artwork more accessible.

In Charles Atlas' episode, viewers get to learn about his pioneering work in video dance and his collaborations with choreographers such as Merce Cunningham and Michael Clark. The episode features an exploration of Atlas' creative process, including interviews with his collaborators and footage of his work. Atlas' unbridled energy and enthusiasm for his craft come through in the interview, making it clear that his passion for dance and videography is what drives him creatively.

Damien Young's episode offers a glimpse into the artist's painting process, with focus placed on his signature style that mixes painting, drawing, and printmaking. We learn about his inspirations, which range from the art brut movement to contemporary culture, and how his techniques and mediums are constantly evolving.

Harmony Murphy's episode is like a tour behind the scenes of an art gallery. We get to see how a modern art dealer selects artists to represent and the process of connecting collectors with these artists. Harmony reveals some of the challenges and rewards of her profession, highlighting the importance of the symbiotic relationship between artists, dealers, and collectors.

One of the most significant strengths of Art in the Twenty-First Century is its ability to showcase diverse contemporary art forms and artistic visions. By doing so, it highlights how varied the contemporary art scene is in 21st century America. It is not only limited to painting, sculpture, and photography but extends to performance art, video, installation art, and more. In each episode, the artists and their work provide insight and inspiration about a myriad of artistic mediums, and their motivations for pursuing their art.

Art in the Twenty-First Century is a compelling show for anyone interested in the arts or contemporary culture. Its emphasis on showcasing artists and their creative processes makes it an engaging watch for artists at all levels. The series has become a must-watch show for art enthusiasts, providing an immersive space for diverse contemporary art forms and artists to connect with a wide audience.

Art in the Twenty-First Century is a series that is currently running and has 11 seasons (43 episodes). The series first aired on September 21, 2001.

Art in the Twenty-First Century
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Friends & Strangers
3. Friends & Strangers
October 20, 2023
Four acclaimed contemporary artists look inside and outside their immediate social circles to find emotional connection and build community, creating poignant performances, sculptures, drawings and films. Resisting the growing isolation of life in the United States, the artists imagine new stories to tell about themselves and their communities. Includes celebrated filmmaker Miranda July.
Bodies of Knowledge
2. Bodies of Knowledge
June 23, 2023
A group of acclaimed contemporary artists use history, science and politics as the raw material to create their potent works. Drawing on the tools of historians and scientists, these artist-investigators take deep dives into difficult subjects like the on-going exclusion of women and artists of color from major art institutions. Includes the legendary female artist collective Guerrilla Girls.
Everyday Icons
1. Everyday Icons
April 7, 2023
Four acclaimed artists mix pop culture with art history, creating new icons and monuments out of the everyday. Working across North America these artists honor the neglected and unexpected with their paintings, sculptures and films and give viewers the rare chance to see themselves represented in the contemporary art world. Includes Michelle Obama portrait painter Amy Sherald.
Where to Watch Art in the Twenty-First Century
Art in the Twenty-First Century is available for streaming on the PBS website, both individual episodes and full seasons. You can also watch Art in the Twenty-First Century on demand at Amazon Prime, Amazon, Google Play and PBS.
  • Premiere Date
    September 21, 2001
  • IMDB Rating
    7.2  (76)