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Identity
Part of the Series: Art21 - Season 1
PBS
With an introduction created by Steve Martin and William Wegman, this episode examines how artists confront the questions "Who am I?" and "Who are we?" in a pluralistic, multicultural world. Kerry James Marshall's paintings and installations emerge from his deep…
Place
Part of the Series: Art21 - Season 1
PBS
With an introduction and video art by Laurie Anderson, this program considers the influence of place -- physical, conceptual or psychological; regional, national or transnational -- on such artists as Richard Serra, whose massive rolled-steel plates carve private moments out…
Systems
Part of the Series: Art21 - Season 5
PBS
Whether through acts of appropriation, repetition, or accumulation, the artists in this episode realize projects both vast in scope and beyond comprehension.
Time
Part of the Series: Art21 - Season 2
PBS
"Time" is always present in our interaction with works of art, whether we sit to contemplate a painting, stroll past a sculpture, or watch a video piece for its entire duration or cycle. Some works of art are time-based in…
Stories
Part of the Series: Art21 - Season 2
PBS
The artists profiled in "Stories" tell tales--autobiographical, fictional, satirical, or fantastical--through architecture, literature, mythology, fairytales, and history. These artists provoke us to think about our own stories, the characters and caricatures, the morals and messages that define our real and…
Memory
Part of the Series: Art21 - Season 3
PBS
How does memory function? Who creates history? Whether commemorative, critical or irreverent, the artists in episode two - Susan Rothenberg, Mike Kelley, Hiroshi Sugimoto and Josiah McElheny - delve into the past, transforming it and remaking it in their work.…
Spirituality
Part of the Series: Art21 - Season 1
PBS
This episode addresses the continuing examination of the spiritual in art and life. James Turrell's works are investigated as they relate to and depart from his Quaker heritage, and through the idea of light as a metaphor for the spiritual.…
Humor
Part of the Series: Art21 - Season 2
PBS
The four artists profiled in "Humor" have been influenced by the history of humor and comedy, including vaudeville, cartoons, and comic books. The artists in this hour reveal how humor and satire can stimulate laughter as well as serve as…
Loss and Desire
Part of the Series: Art21 - Season 2
PBS
Thoughts and responses to themes of "Loss & Desire" surface in many areas of our lives, from the philosophical to the emotional. In this episode, specific works of art cause us to contemplate issues such as war and peace; the…
Protest
Part of the Series: Art21 - Season 4
PBS
The second installment examines the ways in which four artists use their work to picture war, express outrage and empathize with the suffering of others. Politics and the brutality of war underscore many of Nancy Spero's paintings. A pioneer of…
History
Part of the Series: Art21 - Season 6
PBS
In this episode, artists Glenn Ligon, Mary Reid Kelley and Marina Abramovic play with historical events, explore and expose commonly held assumptions about historic "truth" and create narratives based on personal experiences.
Play
Part of the Series: Art21 - Season 3
PBS
Spontaneous, funny or subversive, play can take many forms. The artists in this episode - Jessica Stockholder, Ellen Gallagher, Arturo Herrera and Oliver Herring - improvise games, draw inspiration from dance and music, and employ color, pattern and movement to…
Romance
Part of the Series: Art21 - Season 4
PBS
The premiere hour features four distinctly different artists whose works pose questions about the role of emotion, regret, fantasy and nostalgia in contemporary art. Laurie Simmons' first feature film, The Music of Regret, gave her an opportunity to bring her…
Consumption
Part of the Series: Art21 - Season 1
PBS
With an introduction by John McEnroe in a video created by Barbara Kruger, the second half of this program turns its eye on the influences a consumerist society and pop culture exert on contemporary art and vice-versa. Featured are the…
Paradox
Part of the Series: Art21 - Season 4
PBS
The final episode of the series showcases five artists who, through uniquely different styles of work, address and respond to contradiction, conflict and ambiguity and examine the relationship between mystery and meaning in art. Collaborators Jennifer Allora and Guillermo Calzadilla…
Compassion
Part of the Series: Art21 - Season 5
PBS
This episode features three artists -- William Kentridge, Doris Salcedo, and Carrie Mae Weems -- whose works explore conscience and the possibility of understanding and reconciling past and present, while exposing injustice and expressing tolerance for others.
Balance
Part of the Series: Art21 - Season 6
PBS
The artists in this episode, Rackstraw Downes, Robert Mangold and Sarah Sze, create ordered and precise works that explore the gap between art and existence, challenge the distinction between seeing and knowing and demonstrate that the pursuit of harmony can…
Fantasy
Part of the Series: Art21 - Season 5
PBS
This episode presents artists whose works defy convention and transport us to unreal worlds and altered states of consciousness. With works at times hallucinatory, irreverent, and sublime, each of these artists pursues a vision first held in the mind's eye.
Boundaries
Part of the Series: Art21 - Season 6
PBS
The artists in this episode, David Altmejd, Tabaimo and Lynda Benglis, synthesize disparate aesthetic traditions, present taboo subject matter, discover innovative uses of media and explore the shape-shifting potential of the human figure.
Transformation
Part of the Series: Art21 - Season 5
PBS
Whether observing and satirizing society or reinventing icons of literature, art history, and popular culture, these artists inhabit the characters they create and capture the sensibilities of our age.