Art 21 | Contemporary Art Magazine


Art:21 – Art in the 21st Century is a PBS series, educational resource, archive, and history of contemporary art. It premiered in 2001, and is now broadcast in over 50 countries worldwide. Premiering a new season every two years, Art:21 is the only series on United States television to focus exclusively on contemporary visual art and artists. It is a nonprofit organization founded in 1997 to make contemporary art more accessible to the public, and to document 21st-century art and artists from the artists’ own perspectives. Their overall goal is to raise the profile of major players in the world of contemporary art and to encourage creativity. The main office is located in New York City.

Sponsors include: Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Corporation for Public Broadcasting, New York State Council on the Arts, Bloomberg, National Endowment for the Arts, The Weinstein Company, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Ford Foundation, The Coca-Cola Company, Fox Searchlight Pictures, The Rockefeller Foundation, and Rosalind P. Walter.


The Art21 organization’s current projects include their PBS television series, education, public programs & outreach, online resources (including Art21 Blog), and the publishing of books.

Art21 Blog is written by writers and contributors and since 2008, has featured posts written by guest writers.

Season synopsis

Each season is separated into episodes by themes. Each theme showcases artists that fit into that niche in some fashion.

Season one (2001)

Place – Introduction by artist Laurie Anderson. Featured artists are Richard Serra, Sally Mann, Margaret Kilgallen, Barry McGee, and Pepon Osorio.

Spirituality – Introduction by Beryl Korot and S. Epatha Merkerson. Featured artists are Ann Hamilton, John Feodorov, Shahzia Sikander, and James Turrell.

Identity – Introduction by comedian Steve Martin, and artist, William Wegman. Featured artists are Bruce Nauman, Kerry James Marshall, Maya Lin, and Louise Bourgeois.

Consumption – Introduction by artist Barbara Kruger, and former professional tennis player John McEnroe. Featured artists are Michael Ray Charles, Matthew Barney, Andrea Zittel, and Mel Chin.

Season two (2003)

Stories – Introduction by filmmaker John Waters (directed by Charles Atlas). Featured artists are Kara Walker, Kiki Smith, Do-Ho Suh, and Trenton Doyle Hancock.

Loss and Desire – Introduction by four-time Oscar-nominated actress Jane Anderson (directed by Charles Atlas). Featured artists are Collier Schorr, Gabriel Orozco, and Janine Antoni.

Humor – Introduction by comedian Margaret Cho. (directed by Charles Atlas) Featured artists are Eleanor Antin, Raymond Pettibon, Elizabeth Murray, and Walton Ford.

Time – Introduction by dancer/choreographer Merce Cunningham. (directed by Charles Atlas) Featured artists are Martin Puryear, Paul Pfeiffer, Vija Celmins, and Tim Hawkinson.

Season three (2005)

Power – Introduction by actor David Alan Grier. Featured artists are Cai Guo-Qiang, Laylah Ali, Krzysztof Wodiczko, Ida Applebroog, Teresa Hubbard / Alexander Birchler.

Memory – Introduction by actress Isabella Rossellini. Featured artists are Susan Rothenberg, Mike Kelley, Hiroshi Sugimoto, Josiah McElheny, Teresa Hubbard / Alexander Birchler.

Play – Introduction by basketball player Grant Hill. Featured artists are Jessica Stockholder, Oliver Herring, Arturo Herrera, Ellen Gallagher, Teresa Hubbard / Alexander Birchler.

Structures – Introduction by actor Sam Waterston. Featured artists are Matthew Ritchie, Fred Wilson, Richard Tuttle, Roni Horn, Teresa Hubbard / Alexander Birchler.

Season four (2007)

Romance – Featured artists are Laurie Simmons, Lari Pittman, Judy Pfaff, and Pierre Huyghe.

Protest – Featured artists are Nancy Spero, An-My Lê, Alfredo Jaar, and Jenny Holzer.

Ecology – Featured artists are Ursula von Rydingsvard, Iñigo Manglano-Ovalle, Robert Adams, and Mark Dion.

Paradox – Featured artists are Mark Bradford, Catherine Sullivan, Robert Ryman, Jennifer Allora and Guillermo Calzadilla.

Season five (2009)

Compassion – Featured artists are William Kentridge, Doris Salcedo and Carrie Mae Weems.

Fantasy – Featured artists are Cao Fei, Mary Heilmann, Jeff Koons, and Florian Maier-Aichen.

Transformation – Featured artists are Paul McCarthy, Cindy Sherman, Yinka Shonibare.

Systems – Featured artists are Julie Mehretu, John Baldessari, Kimsooja, and Allan McCollum.

Season six (2012)

Change – Featured artists are Ai Weiwei, Catherine Opie, and El Anatsui.

Boundaries – Featured artists are assume vivid astro focus, David Altmejd, Lynda Benglis, and Tabaimo.

History – Featured artists are Glenn Ligon, Marina Abramović, and Mary Reid Kelley.

Balance – Featured artists are Rackstraw Downes, Robert Mangold, and Sarah Sze.

Season seven (2014)

Investigation (10/24) – Featured artists are Thomas Hirschhorn, Graciela Iturbide, Leonardo Drew.

Secrets (10/31) – Featured artists are Elliott Hundley, Arlene Shechet, Trevor Paglen.

Legacy (11/7) – Featured artists are Tania Bruguera, Abraham Cruzvillegas, Wolfgang Laib.

Fiction (11/14) – Featured artists are Katharina Grosse, Joan Jonas, Omer Fast.

Season eight (2016)

In May 2016 the schedule for an eighth season was announced, air dates to start in September of that year. Actress Claire Danes hosts each episode of the eighth season, each focusing on one of four North American cities: Chicago, Los Angeles, Mexico City, and Vancouver.

Chicago (9/16) – Featured artists are Nick Cave (performance artist), Theaster Gates, Barbara Kasten, Chris Ware.

Mexico City (9/16) – Featured artists are Natalia Almada, Minerva Cuevas, Damián Ortega, Pedro Reyes.

Los Angeles (9/23) – Featured artists are Ed Arceneaux, Liz Larner, Tala Madani, Diana Thater.

Vancouver (9/23) – Featured artists are Stan Douglas, Brian Jungen, Liz Magor, Jeff Wall.

Season nine (2018)

Johannesburg – Featured artists are Robin Rhode, David Goldblatt, Zanele Muholi, Nicholas Hlobo.

Berlin – Featured artists are Olafur Eliasson, Nathalie Djurberg & Hans Berg, Susan Philipsz, Hiwa K.

San Francisco Bay Area – Featured artists are Stephanie Syjuco, Katy Grannan, Lynn Hershman Leeson, Creative Growth Art Center.

Season ten (2020)

London – Featured artists are John Akomfrah, Phyllida Barlow, Anish Kapoor, and Christian Marclay.

Beijing – Featured artists are Guan Xiao, Liu Xiaodong, Song Dong & Yin Xiuzhen, and Xu Bing.

The Borderlands – Featured artists are Tanya Aguiñiga, Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, Richard Misrach, and Postcommodity.


Susan Sollins and the crew of Art-21-Art in the Twenty-First Century at the 67th Annual Peabody Awards


George Foster Peabody Award

Platinum Best in Show from the Aurora Awards

Gold Remi from the 41st WorldFest Independent Film Festival

Silver Hugo from the 44th Hugo Television Awards

Silver Screen from the 41st U.S. International Film and Video Festival

Emmy Nomination for Outstanding Artistic and Cultural Programming

Gold Hugo Award from the Chicago International Television Competition

CINE Golden Eagle Award

Gold Award from Aurora Film Festival

Bronze Remi Award from World Fest Houston International Film Festival

Source: Wikipedia

Home / Website