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Art21 News Roundup: Jordan Casteel Challenges Preconceptions Through Portraiture

Five new artists entered the Art21 family last month as part of our New York Close Up digital series: Meriem Bennani, Jordan Casteel, Raúl de Nieves, Aki Sasamoto, and Avery Singer. If you’re like us, you might prefer to sit back and watch these films with friends—you can even watch the remaining debut film with the artist herself almost a full week ahead of its public premiere. We invite you to join us for an advance viewing of an upcoming Art21 release on July 8th as a free premiere and artist talk featuring artist Aki Sasamoto.

July is a busy month for us as we continue our all-digital Summer of Shorts programming series (featured in ARTnews, Slate, and Teen Vogue) and welcome a new group of educators to this year’s Summer Institute, kicking off in the Whitney Museum’s Education Wing next week. The 2017 Art21 Educators Institute marks the seventh year of this one-of-a-kind teaching community. As excited as we are to welcome new artists into our program, we are equally enthusiastic about empowering a new cohort of teacher-leaders. Welcome!

New Summer of Shorts Videos Featuring Avery Singer, Theaster Gates, Jordan Casteel, and Meriem Bennani

Avery Singer’s Next Painting

Premiered June 2, as part of the Art21 digital series New York Close Up

In her Mott Haven studio in the Bronx, artist Avery Singer perfects a personally developed technique that mixes traditional methods with digital processes and pushes her paintings into new terrain. “You can take traditional tools and employ them in the way that they’ve been intended to be employed for five hundred years, and then in the next hour incorporate some kind of new technology,” says the artist. “The juxtaposition of all these things produces meaning.”

Watch the film.

Theaster Gates: Collecting

Premiered June 9, as part of the Art21 digital series Extended Play

From his Chicago studio, Theaster Gates reflects on the various collections he has acquired and created artworks with, including the Jet magazine archives and the inventory of an entire hardware store. “I’m having a lot of fun looking at these objects both as sculptural objects and as objects that have the potential to create new sculptural works,” says the artist. “It’s the thing, and it’s the thing that makes the thing.”

Watch the film.

Jordan Casteel Paints Her Community

Premiered June 16, as part of the Art21 digital series New York Close Up

With a process that takes her from the streets of Harlem to her studio in DUMBO, Brooklyn, artist Jordan Casteel paints vibrant large scale portraits, making visible the often unrepresented humanity of Black men. “I needed to find a way to create a sense of visibility around my family and my brothers that was feeling absent…” says the artist.

Watch the film.

Meriem Bennani’s Exploded Visions

Premiered June 23, as part of the Art21 digital series New York Close Up

Using social media-inspired effects, artist Meriem Bennani subverts expectations of both pop culture and her Muslim community with unexpected playfulness and pathos. “What this political climate does is that it asks you to think about your identity constantly,” says the artist. “My reaction to that has been to make work that itself doesn’t stick to a genre or one identity.”

Watch the film.

Art21 Events: Film Premiere and Talk with Artist Aki Sasamoto

Join Art21 on July 8 for the premiere of the latest film in our New York Close Up digital series, released as part of our Summer of Shorts.

The film documents artist Aki Sasamoto and her recent installation and performances at The Kitchen, collectively entitled Yield Point. The premiere will be followed by an artist talk and Q&A.

Get tickets.

Announcing This Year’s Art21 Educators

This year we’re proud to welcome ten new Art21 Educators to our Year 7 cohort: Ashley Cantor, Molly Cornwell, Tracie Dunn, Marie Elcin, Grace Hulse, Alina Ianovskaia, LaRosa Jones-Arroyo, Alex Mendez, Cory Schneider, and Anna Wolff.

These teachers will join us next month for our six-day intensive Summer Institute before embarking on a year-long professional development experience. Congratulations and welcome to our new Art21 Educators!

Featured Art21 Playlist

“Deterioration and Decay”

Using rust, decay, and decomposition, artists tell stories, illuminate histories, and prompt us to think about beauty in new ways. This playlist includes ten films featuring artists who reverse deterioration—or even employ it themselves—to transform objects and communities alike.

For more, read Senior Education Advisor Joe Fusaro’s Art21 Magazine article “Rust, Decay and Decomposition: Four Artists to Teach With.”

Watch the playlist.

Highlights from the Art21 Magazine

From the May / June “Rust” issue:

  • Rachel Heidenry profiles a treasured Philadelphia nonprofit, the Recycled Artist in Residency (RAIR), which builds awareness about sustainability through art and design.
  • Curators and co-guest editors Laura Mott and Taylor Aldridge sit down with Detroit artists Tiff Massey and Matthew Angelo Harrison for a roundtable discussion on prototyping, nostalgia, industry and decay.

Read the issue.

Image: Artist Martha McDonald. Photo by Ryan Collerd.

Join Art21 in the Hamptons

Join as a member today and get an exclusive invite to party with Art21’s Contemporary Council at the Elaine de Kooning House in East Hampton on Saturday, July 15. Enjoy a refreshing glass of rosé or a signature cocktail while viewing films from Art21’s Summer of Shorts, and see collaborative installations by artists John Riepenhoff and Ryan Wallace. This is a party you won’t want to miss.

Join or renew your membership by Friday, June 30 to attend, and receive exclusive invitations to special events throughout the year.

Event hosts Chris Byrne and Alexandra Fairweather. Co-presented by the Art21 Contemporary Council and Guild Hall Contemporaries Circle. Special thanks to Gem&Bolt and Wolffer Estate for their in-kind support.

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