"Art making is a form of alchemy, in a way, because you are trying…to make gold from nothing. When it works very well is when you manage to turn the ordinary into the extraordinary."
Timely and timeless, global and local, beautiful and provocative, contemporary art challenges us to look at our world in new ways. Contemporary artists grapple with the complex issues of our time, ask tough questions, and make works that delight, amaze and sometimes unsettle audiences worldwide. Yet rarely are we provided access to the artists who create the art of our time. Season 5 of "Art in the Twenty-First Century" provides viewers a unique look at today’s artists. In its most international season to date, Art21’s four-part series reveals artists’ perspectives on current affairs, politics, economics, history and popular culture, as well as showcases the artists’ working processes and their studios.
Through in-depth profiles and dynamic behind-the-scenes footage featuring artists speaking directly about their inspirations and ideas, Season 5 shows a broad range of artistic practice, technical innovation, and experimentation, from artists tackling large-scale collaborative projects in hangar-like studios, to those working in the quiet of more intimate studio settings.
Art21 traveled around the world in Season 5, filming the creation of new art on every continent (except Antarctica) and in museums, studios, galleries and homes in nine countries. Fourteen internationally recognized artists, from painters and sculptors to photographers and artists exploring the possibilities of new media, were filmed in their own environments and in their own words. The result is an exceptional opportunity for audiences to experience first-hand the complex artistic processes behind some of today’s most intriguing and thought-provoking art.
“This series provides an important glimpse into the minds and workspaces of artists who, regardless of their nationality or background, have the power to challenge the way we view the world,” said Susan Sollins, Executive Producer.
As in the previous four seasons of "Art in the Twenty-First Century," each hour-long episode of Season 5 is constructed around a theme that functions as a thread that loosely connects the artists—as diverse as their histories, styles and mediums may be. Season Five of "Art in the Twenty-First Century" features the episodes "Compassion," "Fantasy," "Transformation," and "Systems."
Major underwriting for "Art in the Twenty-First Century" Season Five provided by: National Endowment for the Arts; Public Broadcasting Service; Agnes Gund; Bloomberg; The Nathan Cummings Foundation; The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts; The Broad Art Foundation; Korea Foundation; The Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation.