PBS Announces New Season of Art21's "ART IN THE TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY," Featuring Profile of Weiwei
-Begins April 13, 2012 on PBS-
PASADENA, CA, January 4, 2012--PBS announced today that ART IN THE TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY, the Peabody Award-winning biennial series that presents exclusive documentary profiles of the top contemporary artists working today, will return with a sixth season airing Fridays, April 13, 20, 27 and May 4, 2012, 9:00 p.m. ET on PBS (check local listings). The premiere episode, "Change," features a profile of Ai Weiwei, the Chinese artist arrested by government officials last year. The segment includes one of the first on-camera interviews he gave after he was released from detention in June 2011. A clip from the interview can be found at series producer Art21's website art21.org.
In addition to Ai Weiwei, artists featured in the sixth season are Marina Abramovic, Glenn Ligon, Mary Reid Kelley, Catherine Opie, El Anatsui, David Altmejd, Lynda Benglis, Tabaimo, Rackstraw Downes, Robert Mangold and Sarah Sze.
"For 10 years, ART IN THE TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY has given viewers a rare, inside look at contemporary art that you won't find in any museum or gallery," said John F. Wilson, senior vice president & chief TV programming executive. "PBS viewers have the opportunity to hear the artists themselves discussing their creative process in their own words, and see them in their studios as they create works of art that have received critical acclaim the world over. We are very proud to present this kind of quality arts programming that can't be found anywhere else on television."
"Since 2001, Art21 has consistently presented artists as role models for creative thinking. We continue to do so this season by including artists such as Ai Weiwei, whose detention last summer by Chinese authorities galvanized people around the world, El Anatsui, Marina Abramovi?, Glenn Ligon, and Catherine Opie, among others. The Art21 series itself is a dramatic reminder of the engagement of artists with the aesthetic and the political issues of our time," said Susan Sollins, executive director of Art21. "We are extremely proud of our Peabody Award-winning series, and of the 100 artists who have participated in it during its six seasons."
The premiere episode, "Change," features Ai Weiwei, El Anatsui and Catherine Opie. These artists make work that explores transformation in the world - political, social and cultural - and the artists involve members of their respective communities in the process of creating art.
"Boundaries," airing April 20, features David Altmejd, Tabaimo and Lynda Benglis. The artists in this episode synthesize disparate aesthetic traditions, challenge categorization and explore the shape-shifting potential of the human figure.
"History," airing April 27, features Glenn Ligon, Mary Reid Kelley and Marina Abramovi?. History, both personal and collective, is a theme woven throughout these artists' work, which reveals connections between events past and the lived present.
"Balance," airing May 4, features Rackstraw Downes, Robert Mangold and Sarah Sze. The artists in this episode create ordered and precise works - whether abstract, pictorial or sculptural - that explore the gap between art and existence, challenge the distinction between seeing and knowing, and demonstrate that the pursuit of harmony can be a radical proposition.
The sixth season of ART IN THE TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY will be available on DVD from ShopPBS.org or 800-PLAY-PBS, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Funding for ART IN THE TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY is provided by the National Endowment for the Arts, Agnes Gund, Bloomberg, The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, The Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation, The Broad Art Foundation, The Japan Foundation, and Toby Devan Lewis.
ART IN THE TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY is a production of Art21. Executive Producer and Curator: Susan Sollins. Series Producer: Eve Moros Ortega. Consulting Directors: Charles Atlas and Catherine Tatge. Editors: Lizzie Donahue and Mark Sutton. Cinematography: Robert Elfstrom, Joel Shapiro and Jarred Alterman.
About Art 21
Over the past decade, Art21 has established itself as the preeminent chronicler of contemporary art and artists through its Peabody Award-winning biennial television series, ART IN THE TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY. The nonprofit organization has used the power of digital media to introduce millions of people of all ages to contemporary art and artists and has created a new paradigm for teaching and learning about the creative process. For more information, visit art21.org.
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