Stay Tuned for the Next Art21
The series provides unparalleled access to the most innovative artists of our time,
revealing how artists engage the culture around them and how art allows viewers to
see the world in new
ways. Golden Globe and Emmy Award-winning actress Claire Danes will join the Peabody Award-winning documentary television series “Art in the Twenty-First Century” as its
broadcast host for the series’ eighth season.
“Growing up in a family where art was a part of everyday life, my parents taught me to question the world around me,” said Danes. “Artists today influence how we see the world, how we
express ourselves, and how art can transform society.”
For the first time in the show’s history, the episodes are not organized around an artistic theme. Instead the 16-featured artists are grouped by their unique and revealing relationships to the places where they live: Chicago, Los Angeles, Mexico City, and Vancouver. The artists share universal experiences through their life stories and creative works: resistance, pleasure,
mortality, and the hope for a better tomorrow.
“Art is increasingly being defined and described in relationship to a sense of place. In our time of hyper-interconnectivity, where you choose to live and work matters like never before,” said
ART21 Executive Director Tina Kukielski. The new season showcases the geography, architecture, society, culture, and heritage of each location. Each episode highlights aspects of contemporary life that viewers everywhere experience. “Using the sounds, colors, and energy of the city as a landscape that artists respond to and interact with, the films expand beyond the studio to explore each artist’s engagement with their communities and the world around them,” said ART21 Executive
Producer Eve Moros Ortega.
Season 8 reveals how artists today simultaneously draw inspiration from and influence their immediate surroundings, while engaging far-flung communities from all over the world—
Amsterdam, Aspen, Basel, Bloomfield Hills, Bregenz, Brussels, Chiapas, Cuernavaca, Denver, Detroit, Istanbul, La Porte, Lisbon, London, Milan, New York City, Okanagan, Pasadena,
Philadelphia, Puebla, San Francisco, Sinaloa, and Toronto. Through their work, artists participate in global conversations about the pressing issues of our time: from terrorism to
environmental crises to the struggle for civil rights.
“ART21 brought on three visionary directors— Deborah Dickson, Stanley Nelson and Pamela Mason Wagner—enlivening the series with a fresh approach to photography and storytelling,” said Beth Hoppe, PBS Chief Programming Executive and General Manager, General Audience Programming. “PBS is delighted to continue featuring ART21’s series as a treasured and unique highlight of our ongoing commitment to arts programming.”
The featured visual artists are some of the most compelling creative thinkers of our time and they granted ART21 filmmakers intimate access to their lives. The documentary series provides
a window into contemporary art that is ordinarily hidden from public view. ART21 presents artists in their private homes and studios and goes behind-the-scenes to reveal how artworks
and exhibitions are created. Viewers meet artists’ family members, friends, collaborators, and admirers who share their own insight into the featured art and its creation. Season 8 visits major exhibitions of the past two years, showing artworks in vivid color and detail, as well as presenting rare archival footage and documents. Artists narrate their own stories and invest the
documentaries with humor, pathos, and surprising insights.
In the past seven seasons, “Art in the Twenty-First Century” has profiled over 100 artists.
ART21’s ongoing series is a celebration of the diversity of art-making today, featuring artists from different backgrounds—age, gender, ethnicity, orientation, education, nationality—who
make work in countless media and styles. In Season 8, photography is explored through abstract still lifes and pictorial narratives; sculpture through hand-crafted and found objects;
painting through murals, figuration, and cartoons; performance through staged plays, improvisational dance, and group actions; video through immersive installations, literary adaptations, and films that blend fact with fiction. “These artists pose questions through their work in new and exhilarating ways, provoking social change as much as instigating aesthetic revolutions,” said ART21 Curator Wesley Miller.