The fifth season of Art21, PBS' user-friendly series on contemporary art, premieres on October 7th with an episode on William Kentridge, Doris Salcedo, and Carrie Mae Weems called Compassion, followed by Fantasy (October 14, featuring Jeff Koons, Florian Maier-Aichen, Mary Heilmann, and Cao Fei); Transformation (October 21, Yinka Shonibare MBE, Cindy Sherman, and Paul McCarthy); and Systems (October 28, John Baldessari, Kimsooja, Allan McCollum and Julie Mehretu).
Favored by educators for its populist approach to a subject that students might not find easily accessible, the Art21 series proves an entertaining, yet uncompromising “behind-the-scenes” look at some of the bigger names in contemporary art. (In the upcoming season, for instance, Yinka Shonibare MBE characterizes his work as “post racial,” a statement that invokes Obama-era discourse while challenging the critical tendency to cast his work in purely race-based terms. Those who run on the inside track (whether it be on the social or academic route) might find themselves pleasantly engrossed by the artists’ takes on their own work. If anything, the conversations are much easier to follow without the overhead din of a benefit dinner or packed lecture hall.
Mixed Media, 212 x 66 inches, Courtesy the artist.
Artist Kirstine Roepstorff was born and trained in Denmark, but lives and works in Berli