"In the paintings where it's there—the tenderness—I work for it. I'm not afraid of it. If I could put my bleeding heart in there, I would."
Contemporary art speaks directly to the important questions of our time, as well as to the rapidly changing landscapes of American and global identity. It is both a mirror of contemporary society and a window through which we view and deepen our understanding of life as it exists today. Who are today's artists? What are they thinking about? How do they describe their work? Why do they do what they do?
These are some of the questions addressed in Art:21-Art in the Twenty-First Century 6, companion volume to the sixth season of the Emmy-nominated, two-time Peabody Award-winning PBS series, which introduces thirteen artists who draw on a variety of subjects, experiences, and aesthetic influences to create their work. The book echoes the style and philosophy of the television series, presenting the artists without interpretive mediation through excerpts of interviews juxtaposed with illustrations of their work.
Featured artists include Marina Abramović, Ai Weiwei, David Altmejd, El Anatsui, assume vivid astro focus, Lynda Benglis, Rackstraw Downes, Glenn Ligon, Robert Mangold, Catherine Opie, Mary Reid Kelley, Sarah Sze, and Tabaimo. Essay and artist interviews by Susan Sollins; edited by Marybeth Sollins.
About the Author
Susan Sollins, Art21, Executive Producer and Curator
Susan Sollins has been well known in the field of contemporary art for more than 30 years for her innovations in public programming and museum education, and as a curator. In addition to her work for many art institutions as a curator and consultant, Sollins is the co-founder and Executive Director Emerita of Independent Curators International (ICI), a non-profit museum without walls that develops, organizes, and circulates traveling exhibitions of contemporary art that present a broad range of recent trends and aesthetic concerns to viewers nationwide and abroad. During her 21-year tenure as Executive Director, ICI’s 75 exhibitions featuring more than 1,700 artists were seen at more than 360 institutions and alternative spaces in the US, Europe, Canada and Mexico. Sollins was formerly the Visual Arts Consultant for Thirteen/WNET’s Emmy and Peabody Award-winning arts magazine City Arts; serves on the Board of New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA), the MacDowell Colony, and ICI, and has been a panelist for the NEA, NYSCA, and New York’s Percent for Art program. Early in her career, Sollins was the Curator of Education (Chief, Museum Programs) at the Smithsonian’s American Art Museum, Smithsonian Institution and the Curator of its Discovery Museum, which showcased contemporary and other art.