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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…
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.…
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…
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…
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.
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.
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…
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.
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.
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…
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.
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…
Structures
Part of the Series: Art21 - Season 3
PBS
How do we organize life? What are the ways in which we capture knowledge and attempt greater understanding? The artists in this episode - Mathew Ritchie, Fred Wilson, Richard Tuttle and Roni Horn - create systems, shift contexts and engage…
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…
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…
Ecology
Part of the Series: Art21 - Season 4
PBS
This program introduces viewers to four artists whose works pose questions about the relationships between nature and culture. Ursula von Rydingsvard works primarily with cedar to create large-scale structures. Drawing from her childhood memories of growing up in WWII Polish…
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…
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.
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…