Art in the Twenty-First Century

Season 3

What goes on inside the minds of today’s most dynamic visual artists? How do they make the leap between insight and finished object? What inspires artists to break through the barriers of convention to arrive at new ways of seeing? These and other intriguing questions are explored in Season 3.

Creating art is a complex process; sometimes deliberate, sometimes serendipitous, always rigorous. This season, Art21 travels from São Paulo to Boston, from Berlin to Houston, to film 16 working artists and to open up the intimate spaces where they flourish. For the first time in the show’s history, Art21 commissioned original video artwork from artist collaborators Teresa Hubbard and Alexander Birchler to conclude each episode in Season 3.

Included in the season are artists Laylah Ali, Ida Applebroog, Cai Guo-Qiang, Ellen Gallagher, Arturo Herrera, Oliver Herring, Roni Horn, Hubbard/Birchler, Mike Kelley, Josiah McElheny, Matthew Ritchie, Susan Rothenberg, Jessica Stockholder, Hiroshi Sugimoto, Richard Tuttle, Fred Wilson, and Krzysztof Wodiczko.

Major underwriting for Season 3 of Art in the Twenty-First Century is provided by National Endowment for the Arts, PBS, Agnes Gund and Daniel Shapiro, Nathan Cummings Foundation, Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Jon and Mary Shirley Foundation, Bagley Wright Fund, Bloomberg, The Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation, JPMorgan Chase, Melva Bucksbaum and Raymond Learsy, The Paul G. Allen Family Foundation, and The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.

Season 3 premiered in September 2005 on PBS.

Broadcast Episodes

  • 54:10

    The artists in Power challenge authority, oppression, and control. Each artist humanizes difficult issues by acting as a witness to violence, working to heal communities, or achieving a balance between constructive and destructive energies.

  • 54:10

    Whether critical, irreverent, or introspective, the artists in Memory delve into personal memory and the past, transforming them in their work.

  • 54:10

    The artists in Structures create systems, shift contexts, and engage with perception, utilizing unconventional devices such as exhibitions within exhibitions and dramatic shifts in scale between microcosm and macrocosm.

  • 54:09

    The artists in Play improvise games, draw inspiration from dance and music, and employ color, pattern, and movement to elicit delight.