Art21 launches 100 Artists, celebrating milestone of filming 100 of today’s most iconic artists

DOWNLOAD: Press release PDF
VISIT: 100 Artists website
WATCH: 100 Artists: Highlights from the Art21 Archive

January 31, 2013

(New York, NY)—Art21, the nonprofit organization that produces the Emmy-nominated and Peabody Award–winning documentary series Art in the Twenty-First Century, has just launched 100 Artists, a yearlong celebration of the 100 artists appearing in the series to date. Throughout 2013, Art21 will release new content online; present 1,000 screenings worldwide; facilitate programs with hundreds of partners, ranging from museums to educators to community organizations and cultural institutions; and offer the newly released Art21 Collection, a DVD box set of Seasons 1–6 of the series.

The documentary series Art in the Twenty-First Century, nationally broadcast primetime on PBS, first aired in 2001–2. Through in-depth profiles and interviews, the Art in the Twenty-First Century series reveals the inspiration, vision, and techniques behind the creative works of today’s artists. With the completion of Season 6 in 2012, Art21 has profiled 100 of the most influential artists of our time, including, among others, Ai Weiwei, Marina Abramović, Laurie Anderson, John Baldessari, Matthew Barney, Ann Hamilton, Mike Kelley, William Kentridge, Jeff Koons, Glenn Ligon, Julie Mehretu, Bruce Nauman, Gabriel Orozco, Raymond Pettibon, Martin Puryear, Susan Rothenberg, Robert Ryman, Richard Serra, Cindy Sherman, Laurie Simmons, Hiroshi Sugimoto, James Turrell, Kara Walker, Carrie Mae Weems, and Fred Wilson. In addition to the broadcast series, Art21 has produced companion books, extensive educational resources, public programs, websites, and social media platforms, with a collective audience of millions.

"It has been an enormous privilege and amazing journey to work with all of the artists featured to date in the series,” said Susan Sollins, Executive Director of Art21 and Executive Producer of the series. “As role models for creative thinking, these artists reveal alternative ways to consider and publicly address the important issues of our time, from technological innovation to environmental sustainability to globalization. As we prepare to film a new group of artists in the next season, we look forward to working with the original 100 artists, providing new content that sparks fresh dialogue and inspires new acts of creativity."

Widely available on DVD and online (, the profiles of the 100 artists in the Art in the Twenty-First Century series have been seen by more than 24 million PBS viewers, are distributed internationally to more than 40 countries, and have transformed visual arts curricula at schools and universities. Art21 is currently producing Season 7 of the series, scheduled to premiere in fall 2014.

Access 100 Artists

A centerpiece of 100 Artists is Art21's screening initiative Access 100 Artists. This year Art21's worldwide festival of free preview screenings will feature all 24 films in the Art in the Twenty-First Century series. Throughout 2013, Art21 will offer its entire collection to Access partner organizations to screen for free, waiving licensing fees. Host organizations will include schools, universities, museums, arts centers, and community organizations. Art21 anticipates 1,000 screenings in all 50 states and in more than 40 countries. Access 100 Artists events are presented in partnership with Americans for the Arts and its Emerging Leaders of New York Arts, the National Guild for Community Arts Education, and the YMCA. Visit for additional information about Access 100 Artists.

The Art21 Collection

It is a testimony to the long-standing success and popularity of the series to be among the few elite programs—such as Downton Abbey and American Masters—selected by PBS to be made available in a box set edition. The Art21 Collection—all six seasons in a handsome new package designed by the award-winning design firm Open—is available at

Art21 Online

Art21 has added a special portal to its website ( for visitors to discover Art21’s rich content: New content featuring the 100 artists will be added throughout 2013. New releases will include never-before-published content from Art21’s rich archive, as well as new material created in collaboration with the artists. Every other Friday, Art21 will publish new episodes from its highly popular short-format Web series, Exclusive. Episodes from the series are created from a combination of archival footage and recently filmed material and feature the artists profiled in Art in the Twenty-First Century. Additional content will include interviews, studio updates, reading lists, a library of artist quotes drawn from the Art21 archive, and fresh commentary and perspectives from the 100 artists. And following the success of Art21's interactive Web projects created in collaboration with several Season 6 artists, Art21 will develop two to four new unique Web projects around the 100 artists, creating new ways for audiences to interact with the featured artists and Art21. Art21 will also dedicate two to three days per artist throughout the year to highlight featured content on social media platforms—Twitter, Facebook, and Tumblr, as well as the Art21 Blog—encouraging exploration of new and archival content.


Art21's 100 Artists partners include BOMB, Hyperallergic, The Armory Show, and Art Platform — Los Angeles. Sponsors include Bloomberg, the National Endowment for the Arts, and PBS.

About Art21

Art21 is a nonprofit contemporary art organization founded in 1997. Art21’s mission is to inspire a more creative world through the work and words of living artists. In addition to producing Art in the Twenty-First Century for PBS—the longest-running television program on contemporary visual art and artists in the United States—Art21 produces additional films, including the Peabody Award–winning feature William Kentridge: Anything Is Possible and the online documentary series New York Close Up and Exclusive; books; public programs; educational resources; and a national professional development program for teachers, Art21 Educators.


Press Contact:
Eve Moros Ortega
Managing Director, Art21
eve [AT]