Unscripted television has an awesome power of being able to capture and preserve a moment in time. The acclaimed series Art in the Twenty-First Century from the nonprofit Art21 does just that with each of its seasons, specifically from the lens of art and design. Years from now, when people cast their minds back to recall what dominated the creative zeitgeist at this point in history, they can turn to season 11 of Art in the Twenty-First Century.
Set for release on PBS on April 7, season 11 of Art in the Twenty-First Century features 12 boundary-pushing contemporary artists from around the world. The season is split up into three one-hour episodes, each with a different theme: “Everyday Icons,” “Bodies of Knowledge,” and “Friends & Strangers.”
The first episode, “Everyday Icons,” highlights Amy Sherald, Rose B. Simpson, Alex Da Corte, and Daniel Lind-Ramos, who are each creating visual worlds that interrogate historic monuments and icons. Throughout the course of the year, the season’s second and third episodes will chronicle the work of Cannupa Hanska Luger, Linda Goode Bryant, Miranda July, Christine Sun Kim, Anicka Yi, Guerrilla Girls, Tauba Auerbach, and Hank Willis Thomas.
“When we began thinking about how to frame this latest season of Art in the Twenty-First Century, we considered our current historical moment and decided to turn the lens inward and focus on the United States,” said Tina Kukielski, Susan Sollins Executive Director and Chief Curator of Art21 in a press release. “We see artists as leaders of change, and in this first episode, we wanted to highlight artists who challenge and question American monuments and iconography.”
As part of the build-up to season 11, Art21 will post each of the show’s past seasons on their YouTube channel. In other notable news, the organization’s site will launch their first-ever dual media player for the “Everyday Icons” episode, featuring a descriptive audio option to improve accessibility for viewers with vision impairments.
Mark your calendars for the season 11 premier on April 7, and learn more about the important work of Art21 at Art21.org.