Art:21 Season 4 – Romance premieres this Sunday on PBS!


episode 1: romance
premieres sunday, october 28, 2007 at 10 p.m.
(check local listings)

How do contemporary artists respond to traditionally romantic ideals such as sentimentality, pathos, and the philosophy of art for art’s sake? The first hour of Season 4 of Art:21—Art in the Twenty-First Century 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.


about the artists

Laurie Simmons’s first feature film The Music of Regret provided her with an opportunity to literally bring her photography to life. Staging scenes with puppets, ventriloquist dummies, and dancers costumed as everyday objects (a book, a clock, a cake), Simmons creates a nostalgic world that explores the sentiments of love and romance among family and neighbors.

Lari Pittman draws inspiration from a childhood that allowed him to be creative and imaginative, as well as from an acute awareness of our country’s attitude toward the gay community. His meticulously-layered paintings transform decoration, pattern and signage into elaborate scenes in which viewers get swept away by their dizzying complexity.

Sculptor Judy Pfaff designed an exhibition around the sadness and loss she experienced following the death of several of her closest friends and family members. Balancing intense planning with improvisational decision-making on site, Pfaff creates a sprawling sculptural installation that explores the worlds of black and white, and blends landscape and architecture into an organic whole.

Pierre Huyghe uses various forms of expression to create new worlds and investigate the circulation of stories. His films, installations and public projects closely examine culture and boundaries, and use playfulness and humor as a way to address complex social topics. From an expedition in Antarctica to a small-town parade, Huyghe thrives on the production and documentation of new and scripted realities.