Announcing Season Five of Art:21


We are pleased to announce Season Five of Art:21—Art in the Twenty-First Century, premiering in October 2009 on PBS, and available on iTunes (link opens in iTunes), Hulu, and other online platforms in the United States and Canada. Meet fourteen of today’s most intriguing and thought-provoking contemporary artists as they create works that reflect important and timely issues. In its most international season to date, Art21 traveled to every continent (except Antarctica) to film artists in museums, galleries, studios and homes.

“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,” says Susan Sollins, Executive Producer & Curator.

Season 5 Themes, Artists, and Air-Dates

Season Five features four one-hour episodes: Compassion, Fantasy, Transformation, and Systems. As in previous seasons, the thematic groupings serve as threads that loosely tie the artists together into a single episode.

Wednesday, October 7 at 10:00 p.m. (ET)
This episode features three artists — William Kentridge, Doris Salcedo, and Carrie Mae Weems — whose works explore conscience and the possibility of understanding and reconciling past and present, while exposing injustice and expressing tolerance for others.

Wednesday, October 14 at 10:00 p.m. (ET)

This episode presents four artists — Cao Fei, Mary Heilmann, Jeff Koons, and Florian Maier-Aichen — whose hallucinatory, irreverent, and sublime works transport us to imaginary worlds and altered states of consciousness.

Wednesday, October 21 at 10:00 p.m. (ET)
Whether satirizing society or reinventing icons of literature, art history, and popular culture, the artists in this hour — Paul McCarthy, Cindy Sherman, and Yinka Shonibare MBE — inhabit the characters they create and capture the sensibilities of our age.

Wednesday, October 28 at 10:00 p.m. (ET)
This episode features four artists — John Baldessari, Kimsooja, Allan McCollum, and Julie Mehretu — who invent new grammars and logics, finding comfort in some systems while rebelling against others in today’s supercharged, information-based society.

For more information about Season Five of Art:21Art in the Twenty-First Century please visit to read the full press release. Stay informed and join the conversation on Facebook & Twitter.

Major underwriting for Season Five of Art:21Art in the Twenty-First Century and its accompanying education programs has been provided by the National Endowment for the Arts, Agnes Gund, Bloomberg, The Nathan Cummings Foundation, the Public Broadcasting Service, The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, The Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation, and by individual contributions to Art21. Support for the production of “Jeff Koons” has been provided by The Broad Art Foundation; support for the production of “Kimsooja” has been provided by the Korea Foundation.

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