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New Flash Points Topic: Fantasy

Cao Fei. "A Mirage (COSPlayers Series)," 2004. Digital c-print, 29 1/4 x 39 1/4 inches. © Cao Fei, courtesy the artist and Lombard-Freid Projects, New York.

Cao Fei, "A Mirage (COSPlayers Series)," 2004. Digital c-print, 29 1/4 x 39 1/4 inches. © Cao Fei. Courtesy the Artist and Lombard-Freid Projects, New York.

In celebration of the fifth season of Art:21—Art in the Twenty-First Century, premiering this fall on PBS, the current round of Flash Points topics correspond to our upcoming four thematic episodes: Compassion, Fantasy, Transformation, and Systems.

After a few weeks of Compassion, up next is Fantasy. The signature question for this topic is:

Does art expand our ability to imagine?

Additional questions to ponder include:

Throughout this time, we’ll publish in-depth posts about the artists profiled in the forthcoming Fantasy episode — Cao Fei, Mary Heilmann, Jeff Koons, and Florian Maier-Aichen — as well as feature musings from our roster of guest writers, extending the theme beyond the series to real world correlations, questions, and perhaps even discomforts.

Help us start the conversation by leaving a comment below. Feel free to note other artists whose work addresses the theme of fantasy — we’d love to collectively envision a broader landscape of how it is considered in contemporary art practice. And save the date for the Fantasy episode which debuts nationwide October 14, 2009 on PBS!

Mary Heilmann, "Go Ask Alice," 2006. Oil on canvas, 36 x 48 inches. Photo by John Berens, © Mary Heilmann. Courtesy the Artist, 303 Gallery, New York and Hauser & Wirth Zurich London.

(L) Jeff Koons, "Bear and Policeman," 1988. Polychromed wood, 85 x 43 x 37 inches. © Jeff Koons. Courtesy the Artist; (R) Florian Maier-Aichen, "Untitled," 2007. C-print, 91 x 72 2/5 inches. © Florian Maier-Aichen. Courtesy Blum & Poe, Los Angeles and 303 Gallery, New York.

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