Art21: Art in the Twenty-First Century 7 Seasons 2012

Amazon Instant Video

Available in HD
Season 6
(15)

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Artists Ai Weiwei, El Anatsui and Catherine Opie bear witness, through their work, to transformation -- cultural, material and aesthetic -- and actively engage communities as collaborators and subjects.

Runtime:
55 minutes
Original air date:
April 13, 2012

Available to watch on supported devices.

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Product Details

Genres Documentary
Season year 2012
Network PBS
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Instant Video (streaming online video and digital download)

Other Formats

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
5 star
67%
4 star
20%
3 star
13%
2 star
0%
1 star
0%
See all 15 customer reviews
I come to view this excellent artist documentary series as a reference resource as much as entertainment.
Steven Biller
My only complaint about Art 21 is that I wish the individual segments were longer for the artists I really like!
N. NATALE
I think that to understand an artist ones brain kinda has to be wired like one and some take it as arrogance.
Tatsuya

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

31 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Tim T on September 23, 2012
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I am a college professor for 18 years that teaches a class called "Contemporary Art." I have found the art:21 series a wealth of information to share with my students about what is going on in the world of art in the 21st century. The artists chosen for series six is for the most part the typical diverse panoply of artists getting time in the market now, which was fine.

What I will gripe about is the producer and editor's choice in how they present each artist. It seems they themselves were trying to be "artistic" rather than choosing to educate the public about contemporary art. We see Ai Weiwei pieces on the screen with no explanation as to what they are about or what he did, We are given no history of Mary Reid Kelly and her various projects and only follow one, and I understand the motivation to have Marina Abramovic gaze at us for over twenty minutes, but it isn't helpful when I'm trying to educate students about her projects and the significance of her work.

My fear is that the producers of art:21 season 6 have perpetrated the myth of "Oh those artists, they're just so opaque and odd," rather than to use this series as a venue to educate and include a wider audience into what is going on in the art world.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Pablo F. Rivera on December 17, 2012
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Each time another dvd from this series comes out I'm there. It's interesting to have the present day artist talk about their work process and to have incite into what makes them work and grow.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Steven Biller on December 4, 2012
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I come to view this excellent artist documentary series as a reference resource as much as entertainment. Can't wait for season 7!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By charles on November 27, 2012
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Enjoyed it.. Very good reflective views of artists lives and works. The whole Art 21 DVD series is worth the time and money.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Lee B. Berger on July 23, 2012
I Love this series, but there are SOOO many artists out there doing so many unique things and ideas. It is a pity so few very original ones are celebrated. I fear Art is going the way of Pop music.

I am diverging from the title of my review.

A lot of the words the artist use are the same. The Ideas for each artist are different, but the way each artist describes: so many of them use the same cliche explanations. 'the materials take on a life of there own' 'I am just a guide' 'I don't think about the viewer.'

Do not get me wrong.. there is goodness in what a lot of them say, and some of them, like Ai WeiWei, are just amazing.

2 cents
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Background: I own all the seasons and I think I have seen all of the artists except for a few (some things I just won't watch). I use these videos to help High School students see Art that is being made now and get a feel of the current "Art World" Philosophy.

Overall, I thought it was weak as far as the series goes. I have included a little information that may help explain my rating.

Change: Fairly strong and showcases Artist with deep Social cultural impact. Artists: Catherine Opie (personal), El Anatsui, Ai Weiwei

Boundaries: varied for me with mainly a thumbs down... Tabaimo (Good), Assume Vivid Astro Focus (interesting art, ok segment), David Altmejd (boring with 50/50 enjoyment of Art), Lynda Benglis (wanted to appreciate it, but couldn't)

History: completely hit an miss, mostly miss: Glenn Ligon (good art, extremely boring segment), Mary Reid Kelley (entertaining and great), Marina Abramović (may be good Art, but Bad, Bad, Bad Art 21 segment, there is a reason it was place at the end of the episode. If it was at the bringing you may turn it off)

Balance: Slow but thoughtful: Rackstraw Downes (great, one if not the only realistic painter shown in series) Robert Mangold (repetitive art but informative), Sarah Sze (nice public work, average)

Hopefully that explains why I think it was average for the series: Art was ok, the segments were just not interesting. I will still use it, but very little was enjoyable for me.
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My only complaint about Art 21 is that I wish the individual segments were longer for the artists I really like! When Art 21 brings us into artists studio and lets us see them in the process of making their work, this is invaluable to me, as an artist myself. I think that the series is a treat for artists and makes art more understandable to non-artists because it lets people get an inkling as to how artists think about the work they make and how much care goes into it. Art is misunderstood by so many and in this era of the erroneous belief that "everyone is an artist" we get to see that not everyone can or will devote the continued thought and effort required to make art. PBS should be praised (and emulated) for undertaking this series. It is well worth watching!
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By Julie P. Weeks on October 27, 2014
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Although I'm not a huge fan of what has become a 21st century obsession with Conceptual Art, I am thrilled to watch this intelligent and sophisticated look at art, creativity and culture. The documentary style and highly sophisticated filming technique make this show brilliant in every respect. It's fascinating to hear from the selected artists about what drives them to create. I especially found Kara Walker's words (and work) to be brilliant.
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