NEW YORK, NY.- ART21
, the preeminent nonprofit global leader in art education, announced today that the anticipated seventh season of its Peabody Award-winning television series ART21 Art in the Twenty-First Century will premiere on four consecutive Fridays, October 24 through November 14 at 10 p.m. ET on PBS (check local listings). Providing unique access to some of the most compelling artists of our time, the new season features a dozen artists from the United States , Europe, and Latin America , and transports viewers to artistic projects across the country and around the world. In locations as diverse as a Bronx public housing project, a military testing facility in the Nevada desert, a jazz festival in Sweden , and an activist neighborhood in Mexico , the artists reveal intimate and personal insights into their lives and creative processes.
"Providing access to the creative process is the hallmark of PBS's commitment to the arts," said Paula Kerger, President and CEO of PBS. "Art in the Twenty-First Century consistently deepens our understanding of contemporary art by taking it beyond galleries and museums and making the work of these remarkable artists available to all of us through the inspiring voices of the artists themselves."
"Whether engaging communities to effect social change, probing personal and cultural histories, exploring timely political issues, or experimenting with how things are made, the artists in Art in the Twenty-First Century demonstrate that the art of today is truly relevant to our everyday lives, incorporating age-old forms and processes to make contemporary art that challenges us to see our world in new ways," said Susan Sollins, Executive Producer and Curator of Art in the Twenty-First Century.
Socially and politically engaged art is particularly present in Season 7. Swiss artist Thomas Hirschhorn works with residents of the Forest Houses, a New York City Housing Authority development, to create his ambitious Gramsci Monument , an outdoor sculpture and participatory artwork featuring a library, radio station, stage, lounge, and workshop area. Cuban artist Tania Bruguera, whose work is informed by her deeply personal connection to both the promise and failings of Castro's revolution, is filmed at her Immigrant Movement International project, which takes the form of a community center in Queens , New York . Omer Fast's videos include interviews with a former US drone operator and adult film industry workers, while Trevor Paglen, photographing stealth drones at military bases in the Mojave Desert, explores the connections between seeing, technology, aesthetics, and politics.
Three artists from Latin America are featured. In addition to Bruguera, Season 7 includes Mexican photographer Graciela Iturbide, whose haunting images capture cultures at the crossroads between traditional life and contemporary existence, and Abraham Cruzvillegas, whose sculptures and installations are inspired by the improvisational construction of his childhood home, built by his parents and fellow community members on inhospitable land settled by squatters on the outskirts of Mexico City.
The influence of family and youthful experiences resonates throughout Season 7. Sculptor Leonardo Drew references the visual landscape of his childhood in a Bridgeport , Connecticut housing project, while Wolfgang Laib, whose installations bind together ephemeral substances such as beeswax and pollen with archetypal forms, discusses his initial desire to pursue a medical career and the strong relationship he had with his parents. Los Angeles-based artist Elliott Hundley connects the roots of his artistic practice to his Southern upbringing and making crafts with his mother, as he creates densely layered collages that defy traditional categorization.
Formal experimentation is a recurring topic in Season 7. Katharina Grosse's process straddles painting and sculpture in large-scale works that she makes using sprayed acrylic in electrifying colors. Joan Jonas, a pioneer of performance and video art who was recently chosen to represent the United States at the 2015 Venice Biennale, fluidly alternates between performance, sculpture, and drawing, and Arlene Shechet, the first ceramic artist ever featured in the series, creates unique clay-based ceramic vessels through which she explores the nature of how things are made.
As in past seasons, each one-hour episode in Season 7 is organized around a theme that connects the artists. Season 7 features episodes on Investigation, Secrets, Legacy, and Fiction.