Season: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | unknown
Year: 2001 | 2003 | 2005 | 2007 | 2009 | 2012 | 2014


Season 1


Season 1, Episode 1: Place

September 2001
How does contemporary art address the idea of place? How do artists working today reveal and question commonly held assumptions about land, home, and national identity? The Art:21 documentary "Place" explores these questions through the work of Laurie Anderson, Richard Serra, Sally Mann, Barry McGee, Margaret Kilgallen, and Pep?n Osorio.

Laurie Anderson ... Herself
Margaret Kilgallen ... Herself
Sally Mann ... Herself
Barry McGee ... Himself
Pepón Osorio ... Himself
Richard Serra ... Himself

Season 1, Episode 2: Spirituality

September 2001
How does contemporary art address the idea of spirituality? How do artists working today reveal and question commonly held assumptions about faith, belief, meditation, and religious symbols? The Art:21 documentary "Spirituality" explores these questions through the work of the artists Beryl Korot, Ann Hamilton, John Feodorov, Shahzia Sikander, and James Turrell.
John Feodorov ... Himself
Ann Hamilton ... Herself
Beryl Korot ... Herself

S. Epatha Merkerson ... Herself
Shahzia Sikander ... Himself
James Turrell ... Himself

Season 1, Episode 3: Identity

September 2001
How does contemporary art address the idea of identity? How do artists working today reveal and question commonly held assumptions about stereotypes, self-awareness, portaiture, and what it means to be an artist? The Art:21 documentary "Identity" explores these questions through the work of the artists William Wegman, Bruce Nauman, Kerry James Marshall, Maya Lin, and Louise Bourgeois.
Louise Bourgeois ... Herself
Jason Burch ... Himself
Chundo Chip ... Himself
Jerry Gorovoy ... Himself
Maya Lin ... Herself
Kerry James Marshall ... Himself

Steve Martin ... Himself
Bruce Nauman ... Himself
William Wegman ... Himself

Season 1, Episode 4: Consumption

September 2001
How does contemporary art address the idea of consumption? How do artists question commonly held assumptions about commerce, mass media, and consumer society? The Art:21 documentary "Consumption" explores these questions through the work of the artists Barabra Kruger, Michael Ray Charles, Matthew Barney, Andrea Zittel, and Mel Chin.
Matthew Barney ... Himself
Michael Ray Charles ... Himself
Mel Chin ... Himself
Bubba Crutchfield ... Himself
Barbara Kruger ... Herself

John McEnroe ... Himself
Andrea Zittel ... Herself

Season 2


Season 2, Episode 1: Stories

September 2003
How do artists tell stories in their work? How does contemporary art reflect and reveal narrative traditions? How does the art of today record and describe the world around us? The Art:21 documentary "Stories" explores these questions through the work of Charles Atlas, Kara Walker, Kiki Smith, Do-Ho Suh, and Trenton Doyle Hancock.
Trenton Doyle Hancock ... Himself
Kiki Smith ... Herself
Do-Ho Suh ... Himself
Kara Walker ... Herself

John Waters ... Himself

Season 2, Episode 2: Loss & Desire

September 2003
How do contemporary artworks embody emotion? How do artists express longing, love, and human experience in their work? The Art:21 documentary "Loss & Desire" explores these questions through the work of Charles Atlas, Collier Schorr, Gabriel Orozco, and Janine Antoni.

Jane Alexander ... Herself
Janine Antoni ... Herself
Charles Atlas ... Himself
Gabriel Orozco ... Himself
Collier Schorr ... Himself

Season 2, Episode 3: Time

September 2003
How do artists evoke and transform time in their work? Can a work of contemporary art be timeless? How does contemporary art relate to art of the ancient past, to nature, and to the rhythms of the life? The Art:21 documentary "Time" explores these questions through the work of Charles Atlas, Martin Puryear, Paul Pfeiffer, Vija Celmins, and Tim Hawkinson.
Charles Atlas ... Himself
Vija Celmins ... Himself
Merce Cunningham ... Himself
Tim Hawkinson ... Himself
Paul Pfeiffer ... Himself
Martin Puryear ... Himself

Season 2, Episode 4: Humor

September 2003
How do artists use irony, goofiness, satire, and sarcasm in their work? Can an artwork be funny and critical at the same time? Do contemporary artists always take themselves seriously? The Art:21 documentary "Humor" explores these questions through the work of Charles Atlas, Eleanor Antin, Raymond Pettibon, Elizabeth Murray, and Walton Ford.
Eleanor Antin ... Herself
Charles Atlas ... Himself

Margaret Cho ... Herself

Bruce Daniels ... Himself - Host
Walton Ford ... Himself
Elizabeth Murray ... Herself
Raymond Pettibon ... Himself

Season 3


Season 3, Episode 1: Power

September 2005
From politics to mass media, the theme of power pervades daily life and is reflected in the ideas and concerns of contemporary artists. The Art:21 documentary "Power" explores the work of the artists Cai Guo-Qiang, Laylah Ali, Krzysztof Wodiczko, and Ida Applebroog, and concludes with an original video artwork by Teresa Hubbard / Alexander Birchler.
Laylah Ali ... Herself

Ida Applebroog ... Herself
Guo-Qiang Cai ... Himself

David Alan Grier ... Himself
Krzystof Wodiczko ... Himself

Season 3, Episode 2: Memory

September 2005
How does memory function? What is history? How do contemporary artists frame the past in their work? The Art:21 documentary "Memory" explores these questions through the work of the artists Susan Rothenberg, Mike Kelley, Hiroshi Sugimoto, and Josiah McElheny, and concludes with an original video artwork by Teresa Hubbard / Alexander Birchler.
Mike Kelley ... Himself
Josiah McElheny ... Himself

Isabella Rossellini ... Herself
Susan Rothenberg ... Herself
Hiroshi Sugimoto ... Himself

Season 3, Episode 3: Play

September 2005
Spontaneous and joyful, subversive or amusing, play can take many forms in daily life as well as in contemporary art. The Art:21 documentary "Play" explores the work of the artists Oliver Herring, Arturo Herrera, Jessica Stockholder, and Ellen Gallagher, and concludes with an original video artwork by Teresa Hubbard / Alexander Birchler.
Ellen Gallagher ... Herself
Levin Golan ... Himself
Arturo Herrera ... Himself
Oliver Herring ... Himself
Grant Hill ... Himself
Jessica Stockholder ... Herself

Season 3, Episode 4: Structures

September 2005
How do we organize life? What are the ways in which we capture knowledge and attempt greater understanding? The Art:21 documentary "Structures" explores these questions in the work of the artists Roni Horn, Matthew Ritchie, Fred Wilson, and Richard Tuttle, and concludes with an original video artwork by Teresa Hubbard / Alexander Birchler.
Roni Horn ... Himself

Sarah Paige ... Rookie Cop
Matthew Ritchie ... Himself
Richard Tuttle ... Himself

Sam Waterston ... Himself
Fred Wilson ... Himself

Season 4


Season 4, Episode 1: Romance

September 2007
What role do intuition, emotion, fantasy, and escapism play in contemporary art? The Art:21 documentary "Romance" explores these questions in the work of the artists Pierre Huyghe, Judy Pfaff, Lari Pittman, and Laurie Simmons.
Pierre Huyghe ... Himself

Edward Lachman ... Himself
Judy Pfaff ... Herself
Lari Pittman ... Himself

Laurie Simmons ... Herself

Season 4, Episode 2: Protest

September 2007
How do contemporary artists engage politics, inequality, and the many conflicts that besiege the world today? How do artists use their work to discuss or oppose misery, turmoil, and injustice? The Art:21 documentary "Protest" explores these questions in the work of the artists Jenny Holzer, Alfredo Jaar, An-My L?, and Nancy Spero.
Jenny Holzer ... Herself
Alfredo Jaar ... Himself
An-My Lê ... Herself
Nancy Spero ... Herself

Season 4, Episode 3: Ecology

September 2007
How is our understanding of the natural world deeply cultural? The Art:21 documentary "Ecology" explores these questions in the work of the artists Robert Adams, Mark Dion, I?igo Manglano-Ovalle, and Ursula von Rydingsvard.
Robert Adams ... Himself
Mark Dion ... Himself
Iñigo Manglano-Ovalle ... Himself
Ursula von Rydingsvard ... Herself

Season 4, Episode 4: Paradox

September 2007
How do contemporary artists address contradiction, ambiguity, and truth? The Art:21 documentary "Paradox" explores these questions in the work of the artists Allora & Calzadilla, Mark Bradford, Robert Ryman, and Catherine Sullivan.
Jennifer Allora ... Herself
Mark Bradford ... Himself
Guillermo Calzadilla ... Himself
Robert Ryman ... Himself
Catherine Sullivan ... Herself

Season 5


Season 5, Episode 1: Compassion

7 October 2009
This episode features artists whose works explore conscience and the possibility of understanding and reconciling past and present, while exposing injustice and expressing tolerance for others.

Season 5, Episode 2: Fantasy

14 October 2009
This episode presents artists whose works defy convention and transport us to unreal worlds and altered states of consciousness.

Season 5, Episode 3: Transformation

21 October 2009
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.
Brienne Arrington ... Herself
Erika Fortner ... Herself
Larry Little ... Himself
Damon McCarthy ... Himself
Harmony Murphy ... Herself
Ann Marie Peña ... Herself
Jessica Rankin ... Herself
Sarah Rentz ... Herself
Analia Saban ... Herself
Horace Varnum ... Himself
Damien Young ... Himself

Season 5, Episode 4: Systems

28 October 2009
This episode features artists who realize complex projects, whether through acts of appropriation, accumulation, or creating projects so vast in scope as to elude comprehension.
John Baldessari ... Himself
Allan McCollum ... Himself
Brienne Arrington ... Herself
Erika Fortner ... Herself
Larry Little ... Himself
Harmony Murphy ... Herself
Jessica Rankin ... Herself
Sarah Rentz ... Herself
Analia Saban ... Herself
Horace Varnum ... Himself
Damien Young ... Himself

Season 6


Season 6, Episode 1: Change

13 April 2012
Artists Ai Weiwei, El Anatsui and Catherine Opie bear witness, through their work, to transformation -- cultural, material and aesthetic -- and actively engage communities as collaborators and subjects.

Marina Abramovic ... Herself

Weiwei Ai ... Himself
David Altmejd ... Himself
El Anatsui ... Himself
Charles Atlas ... Himself
Lynda Benglis ... Herself
Rackstraw Downes ... Himsaelf
Glenn Ligon ... Himself
Robert Mangold ... Himself
Catherine Opie ... Herself
Mary Reid Kelley ... Herself
Sarah Sze ... Herself

Season 6, Episode 2: Boundaries

20 April 2012
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.

Season 6, Episode 3: History

27 April 2012
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.

Marina Abramovic ... Herself
Glenn Ligon ... Himself
Mary Reid Kelley ... Herself

Season 6, Episode 4: Balance

4 May 2012
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 be a radical proposition.
Rackstraw Downes ... Himself
Robert Mangold ... Himself
Sarah Sze ... Herself

Unknown Season


Fiction

14 November 2014
From PBS - What makes a compelling story? Exploring the virtues of ambiguity, Omer Fast, Katharina Grosse and Joan Jonas mix genres and merge aesthetic disciplines to discern not simply what stories mean, but how and why they come to have meaning.

Investigation

24 October 2014
From PBS - Can acts of engagement and exploration be works of art in themselves? Leonardo Drew, Thomas Hirschhorn and Graciela Iturbide use their practices as tools for personal and intellectual discovery, simultaneously documenting and producing new realities in the process.

Legacy

7 November 2014
From PBS - Why do we break with some traditions and perpetuate others? Tania Bruguera, Abraham Cruzvillegas and Wolfgang Laib use life experiences and family heritage to explore new aesthetic terrain.

Secrets

31 October 2014
From PBS - How do artists make the invisible visible? What hidden elements persist in their work? Elliott Hundley, Trevor Paglen and Arlene Shechet share some of the secrets that are intrinsic to their work.

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