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Season 10 of "Art in the Twenty-First Century"Trailer

The landmark tenth season of the Peabody Award-winning Art in the Twenty-First Century television series—the longest-running television series on contemporary art—features twelve artists and one collective are presented across three episodes, charting artmaking in London, Beijing, and regions around the United States-Mexico border.

Season 10 premieres Friday, September 18, at 10:00 p.m. on PBS in the United States and online at Art21.org.

“London” (September 18, 10:00 p.m.)
Featuring: John Akomfrah, Phyllida Barlow, Anish Kapoor, and Christian Marclay

“Beijing” (September 25, 10:00 p.m.)
Featuring: Guan Xiao, Liu Xiaodong, Song Dong & Yin Xiuzhen, and Xu Bing

“Borderlands” (October 2, 10:00 p.m.)
Featuring: Tanya Aguiñiga, Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, Richard Misrach, and Postcommodity

Now entering its third decade on television, the globally-revered Art in the Twenty-First Century series provides unprecedented access to the leading creative minds of our time.

“A social and political context of pressing importance…steadily emerges. It makes the grouping of these three shows unusually well-timed.”
Christopher Knight, Los Angeles Times

 

For the first time in the show’s history, the filmmakers chronicle artists’ responses to an entire bi-national region, the U.S.-Mexico border, where artists create platforms for an assembly of voices to speak. In London and Beijing, artists contemplate disruptions caused by the rapidly changing political and architectural landscapes of their cities.


Where to Watch

Live broadcast

PBS and PBS Video app (U.S.)

Full artist segments

Available the day of each episode premiere at 10pm ET

Art21.org
Art21.live

Full episodes

PBS and PBS Video app (U.S.; available the day of each episode premiere at 10pm ET)
Art21.org (all regions; beginning October 18)

More information and credits

Credits

Major underwriting for Season 10 of Art in the Twenty-First Century is provided by PBS, National Endowment for the Arts, Lambent Foundation, The Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Foundation, The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Toby Devan Lewis, The Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation, Henri Lambert, Nion McEvoy & Leslie Berriman, and Sakana Foundation.

Closed captionsAvailable in English, German, Romanian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Chinese, Italian

Translate this video

Through the Art21 Translation Project, multilingual audiences from around the globe can contribute translations, making Art21 films more accessible worldwide.

Licensing

Interested in showing this film in an exhibition or public screening? To license this video please visit Licensing & Reproduction.

Now streaming, full segments from the new season of Art in the Twenty-First Century, dubbed “the uniformly excellent television series on contemporary art” by the Los Angeles Times. Watch now.

Tanya Aguiñiga

Tanya Aguiñiga was born in 1978 in San Diego, California, and raised in Tijuana, Mexico. An artist, designer, and craftsperson, Aguiñiga works with traditional craft materials like natural fibers and collaborates with other artists and activists to create sculptures, installations, performances, and community-based art projects. Drawing on her upbringing as a binational citizen, who daily crossed the border from Tijuana to San Diego for school, Aguiñiga’s work speaks of the artist’s experience of her divided identity and aspires to tell the larger and often invisible stories of the transnational community.

John Akomfrah

John Akomfrah was born in Accra, Ghana, in 1957. A pioneering filmmaker, Akomfrah creates multichannel video installations that critically examine the legacy of colonialism, the Black diaspora, and environmental degradation. Akomfrah weaves together original footage with archival material to create stirring, layered narratives that juxtapose personal and historical memory, past and present, and environmental and human crises.

Phyllida Barlow

Phyllida Barlow was born in Newcastle upon Tyne, England, in 1944. Inspired by the urban environment, Barlow’s sculptures marry unconventional materials such as cardboard, plywood, plaster, and cement with vibrantly colored paint and fabrics. Her invented forms are created through layered processes of accumulation, removal, and juxtaposition—gestures that Barlow describes as “more functional than artistic.” The resulting massive works challenge viewers’ experiences of physical space, stretching the limits of mass, volume, and height as they tower, block, and interrupt space. Yet these works remain distinctly anti-monumental; the artist leaves exposed, unfinished seams, revealing the means of the works’ making and playing with the tensions between hardness and softness, the imperious and the comic, and the painterly and the sculptural.

Guan Xiao

Guan Xiao was born 1983 in Chongqing Province, China. In her sculpture and video work, Guan juxtaposes discordant images, diverse cultural artifacts, and modern technology to create objects that are futuristic, referential, unsettling, and humorous. Working with traditional Chinese sculpted tree roots, 3D fabrications, and readymade industrial objects, Guan Xiao epitomizes the next generation of artists from China, rooted in transnational culture and immersed in our technology-fueled present. Her video works mirror viewers’ experiences of the Internet and personal memories, where seemingly unrelated images find inexplicable yet resonant connection.

Anish Kapoor

Anish Kapoor was born in 1954 in Mumbai, India. World renowned for his perception-defying sculptures and large-scale public installations, Kapoor works with industrial materials like mirror, steel, stone, and vinyl to create forms that evoke the metaphysical and challenge viewers’ ideas about physical space. Kapoor’s sublime use of concave forms, reflective surfaces, intense colors, and monumental scale invites viewers to experience both collective awe and private contemplation.

Liu Xiaodong

Liu Xiaodong was born in 1963 in Jincheng, in the province of Liaoning, China. A leading figure among the Chinese Neo-Realist painters, Liu Xiaodong depicts everyday people in his enormous oil-and-acrylic paintings, foregrounding the human dimension of global issues like economic hardship, environmental crisis, and migration. The artist often works on site, painting his subjects en plein air.

Rafael Lozano-Hemmer

Rafael Lozano-Hemmer was born in Mexico City in 1967. An artist working at the intersection of architecture and performance art, Lozano-Hemmer creates participatory artworks that utilize technology like robotics, heart-rate sensors, and computerized surveillance tools in order to facilitate human connection. Technologically sophisticated yet deceptively simple in their execution, Lozano-Hemmer’s spectacular, immersive works are often installed in public places as a means of transforming these sites into forums for civic engagement.

Christian Marclay

Christian Marclay was born in 1955 in San Rafael, California, and raised in Geneva, Switzerland. For more than thirty years, Marclay has explored the relationship between the visual and the audible through a variety of media, including sculpture, video, performance, collage, and music.

Richard Misrach

Richard Misrach was born in 1949 in Los Angeles, California. A leading photographer of his generation, Misrach explores the collision of nature and culture through his large-format color photographs. Fascinated by the political and environmental transformation of the deserts of the American southwest, Misrach creates hauntingly beautiful photographs of arid landscapes that contrast the natural and man-made tragedies found there: floods, fires, nuclear-test sites, the U.S.-Mexico border wall, and the traces of migrants who make the perilous journey north.

Postcommodity

Postcommodity is an interdisciplinary arts collective composed of Cristóbal Martínez (born in New Mexico) and Kade L. Twist (born in California). Postcommodity creates site-specific installations, interventions, videos, and sound works, utilizing the members’ shared Indigenous lens to reveal the incongruent histories embedded in our modern-day institutions, systems, and beliefs. The group often works closely with local communities to create poetic installations that reimagine sites of conflict as places of curiosity that foreground Indigenous culture.

Song Dong

Song Dong was born in 1966 in Beijing, China. Working with humble, readily accessible materials, such as household objects, wooden window and door frames, and even food, Song Dong creates sculptures, installations, videos, and performance works that explore personal and collective memory, impermanence, and the transience of human endeavor.

Xu Bing

Xu Bing was born in 1955 in Chongqing, China, and grew up in Beijing. Fascinated with visual and written languages, Xu builds mixed-media installations that simultaneously evoke and subvert centuries-old Chinese cultural traditions, such as calligraphy, wood-block printing, and landscape painting scrolls. The artist asks viewers to consider how our cultural backgrounds, especially those shaped by language, fundamentally color our worldviews.

Yin Xiuzhen

Yin Xiuzhen was born in 1963 in Beijing, China. Working in site-specific installation and sculpture, Yin uses second-hand or recycled items like clothing and domestic objects to create works that preserve personal memories in a rapidly globalizing and homogenizing world.

"London"

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