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How do contemporary artists respond to traditionally romantic ideals such as sentimentality, pathos, and the philosophy of art for art’s sake? This episode poses questions about the value of pleasure in art and features artists whose works are extended meditations on mortality, love, reality and make-believe. Romance is shot on location in New York, New York, Tivoli, New York; Kingston, New York; Los Angeles, California; Berlin, Germany; London, England; and Paris, France.More information and credits
Created by: Susan Sollins & Susan Dowling. Executive Producer & Curator: Susan Sollins. Series Producer: Eve-Laure Moros Ortega. Associate Producer: Migs Wright. Associate Curator: Wesley Miller. Production Manager: Alice Bertoni & Nick Ravich. Production Coordinator: Amanda Donnan & Meredith Klein. Consulting Director: Catherine Tatge. Editor: Mark Sutton. Director of Photography: Martial Barrault, Terry Doe, Bob Elfstrom, Mead Hunt, & Joel Shapiro. Additional Photography: Bernd Meiners. Sound: Tom Bergin, Ray Day, Ron Garson, Judy Karp, Gilles Metivier, Roger Phenix, & Merce Williams. Assistant Camera: Craig Feldman, Brian Hwang, Cyril Mulon, & Michael Pruitt-Bruun. Field Producer: Charles Atlas. Production Assistant: Marissa Berrong, Kam Stocks, & Daniel Swann. Additional Animation: Shawn Dunbar.
Creative Consultant: Ed Sherin. Art Direction & Design: Open, New York. On-Line Editor: Don Wyllie. Composer: Peter Foley. Voice-Over Artist: Jace Alexander. Sound Editing: Margaret Crimmins & Greg Smith. Sound Mix: Cory Melious & Tony Volante. Animation Stand: Frank Ferrigno. Assistant Editor: Ahmed Amer, Jennifer Chiurco, & George Panos.
Artworks Courtesy of: Pierre Huyghe; Judy Pfaff; Lari Pittman; Laurie Simmons; Ameringer & Yohe Fine Art, New York; Barbara Gladstone Gallery, New York; Double Wide Media; Gladstone Gallery, New York; Marian Goodman Gallery, New York/Paris; Performa 05; Regen Projects, Los Angeles; Salon 94, New York; & Sperone Westwater, New York. Archival Footage Courtesy of: Judy Pfaff Studio.
Special Thanks: Lisa Albaugh; Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation; The Art21 Board of Trustees; Atle Gerhardsen, Berlin; Catherine Belloy; Tanya Brodsky; Bettina Bruning; Shawn Caley Regen; Karina Daskalov; Dog Bark Sound; Bridget Donahue; Roy Dowell; Sophie Dufour; Jeanne Englert; Don Faller; Ruth Findlay; Frame:Runner NYC; Maike Fries; Jeanne Greenberg Rohatyn; Industria Studios, New York; Meredith Klein; Rose Lord; Sheila Lynch; Anna Miller; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; Adam Ottavi-Schiesl; Karen Polack; Paul Power; Thomas Quigley; Andre Ribuoli; Donald Rosenfeld; Sound Lounge; Fabienne Stephan; Meryl Streep; Tate Modern, London; Rob van Erve; Dawson Weber; Chris Webster; Kori Wilson; & James Yohe.
Director of Education & Public Programs: Tana Hargest. Education Consultant: Jessica Hamlin. Manager of Public Programs & Outreach: Kelly Shindler. Web Producer: Ana Otero. Senior Development Officer: Beth Allen. Development Associate: Sara Simonson. Development Coordinator: Erin Cesta & Katherine Payne.
Interns: Stephanie Abraitis, Alex Agnant, Gabriella della Croce, Nora Herting, Milena Hoegsberg, Rives Kitchell, Katie McCurry, Simone Otenaike, Karoline Pfeiffer, Nick Pozek, Carolina Puente, Muña Qamar, Bettina Riccio Henry, Meg Scally, Karen Seapker, Peter Sebeckis, Lucy Strong, & Kelly Williamson.
Public Relations: Goodman Media International. Station Relations: De Shields Associates, Inc. Legal Counsel: Albert Gottesman. Bookkeeper: Marea Alverio-Chaveco & Valerie Riley. Travel Agent: Lita Gottesman.
Major underwriting for Art in the Twenty-First Century Season Four provided by: National Endowment for the Arts; Public Broadcasting Service; Agnes Gund and Daniel Shapiro; Nathan Cummings Foundation; Bloomberg; The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts; The Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation; Bagley Wright Fund; & W.L.S. Spencer Foundation. Lead education sponsor for Art in the Twenty-First Century Season Four: JPMorgan Chase.
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Balancing intense planning with improvisational decision-making, Judy Pfaff creates exuberant, sprawling sculptures and installations that weave landscape, architecture, and color into a tense yet organic whole. A pioneer of installation art in the 1970s, Pfaff synthesizes sculpture, painting, and architecture into dynamic environments, in which space seems to expand and collapse, fluctuating between the two- and three-dimensional. Her work is a complex ordering of visual information, composed of steel, fiberglass, and plaster as well as salvaged signage and natural elements such as tree roots. She has extended her interest in natural motifs in a series of prints integrating vegetation, maps, and medical illustrations, and has developed her dramatic sculptural materials into set designs for several theatrical stage productions.
Inspired by commercial advertising, folk art, and decorative traditions, Lari Pittman’s meticulously layered paintings transform pattern and signage into luxurious scenes fraught with complexity, difference, and desire. Pittman uses anthropomorphic depictions of furniture, weapons, and animals—loaded with symbolism—to convey themes of romantic love, violence, and mortality. Despite subject matter that changes from series to series, Pittman’s deployment of simultaneously occurring narratives and opulent imagery reflects the rich heterogeneity of American society, the artist’s Colombian heritage, and the distorting effects of hyper-capitalism on everyday life.
Laurie Simmons stages photographs and films with paper dolls, finger puppets, ventriloquist dummies, and costumed dancers as “living objects,” animating a dollhouse world suffused with nostalgia and colored by an adult’s memories, longings, and regrets. Simmons’s work blends psychological, political, and conceptual approaches to art making—transforming photography’s propensity to objectify people, especially women, into a sustained critique of the medium. Mining childhood memories and media constructions of gender roles, her photographs are charged with an eerie, dreamlike quality.
Employing folly, leisure, adventure, and celebration in creating art, Pierre Huyghe’s films, installations, and public events range from a small-town parade to a puppet theater, from a model amusement park to an expedition to Antarctica. By filming staged scenarios, Huyghe probes the capacity of cinema to distort and ultimately shape memory. While blurring the traditional distinction between fiction and reality—and revealing the experience of fiction to be as palpable as anything in daily life—Huyghe’s playful work often addresses complex social topics, such as the yearning for utopia, the lure of spectacle in mass media, and the impact of Modernism on contemporary values and belief systems.
“As I start a project, I always need to create a world. Then I want to enter this world, and my walk through this world is the work.”