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Weekly Watchlist: Paths of Infinite Exploration

Introducing a new way to explore Art21 films

A typical museum visit might start one of two ways. Perhaps you know exactly what you want to see, so you make a beeline straight to that gallery. Or, maybe you find yourself at the whims of chance and seek other forces to guide you towards inspiration.

A little bit of guidance can sometimes lead you down a path of infinite exploration.

Today, we are proud to introduce a new way to navigate over 65 hours of video in the Art21 Library.

The new Explore area of Art21.org gathers the threads that connect artists’ stories as documented through over 20 years of Art21 films. Like a series of curated screening rooms, each Explore collection brings together programming aligned by a common theme, medium, or narrative.

As with our celebrated Art21.live streaming channel, our Explore collections aim to deliver paths to the works and words of artists in moments that call for enlightened direction.

Whether these collections lead you to a new discovery or to an old favorite, we can’t wait to hear about what you find. We gladly appreciate any feedback either by our contact form or by reaching out to us through social at @art21.

Get started with some suggested collections below, or find a starting point of your own.

Explore now.

Deepen your connection to Art21

Explore: Language and Text

Xu Bing in his Beijing studio, 2019. Production still from the Art in the Twenty-First Century episode, “Beijing.” © Art21, Inc. 2020.

Employing found or invented grammars, these artists operate within structured systems of mass communication.

Decipher the calligraphy of Xu Bing, become immersed in the text-driven installations of Barbara Kruger, and absorb the literary works referenced by Glenn Ligon in our Language and Text collection.

Explore Language and Text.

Explore: Found Objects

Sarah Sze installing work at the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Nice, France, 2010. Production still from the Extended Play film, “Sarah Sze: Improvisation.” © Art21, Inc. 2012.

Sourced from thrift stores, junkyards, or personal collections, premade objects serve a new function when incorporated into an artist’s work—be they for reasons either autobiographical or purely aesthetic.

In our Found Objects collection, parse the domestic detritus of Sarah Sze‘s installations, trace the personal narratives in Rashid Johnson‘s sculptures, and unravel David Altmejd‘s assemblages.

Explore Found Objects.

Upcoming workshop for educators

Join us on Tuesday, September 14, at 6:00 p.m. ET, for the latest installment of our new five-part professional development series exploring how artists use the five senses in their practice.

For “Visionaries,” behold artists with the vision to consider the human eye. Notice shape, position, brightness, and color during this glimpse into the role of sight in contemporary art.

The program is free and will take place via Zoom.

Register now.

Visit our education calendar for a list of upcoming workshops for educators.

Thank you for supporting our work

More than ever, online access to the lives and stories of artists is crucial, and Art21 is proud to share them with an ever-growing number of visitors including students, teachers, parents, and art enthusiasts alike from around the globe. If you are able at this time, please consider supporting the work of Art21. Every dollar makes a difference.