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Behind the Scenes of ART21 with Claire Danes.
Courtesy of Kelly Taub
Behind the Scenes of ART21 with Claire Danes.

Airs Mondays, Oct. 10 at 9:30 p.m. & Oct. 17 - 31, 2016 at 10 p.m. on KPBS TV

ART IN THE TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY provides unparalleled access to the most innovative artists of our time, revealing how artists engage the culture around them and how art allows viewers to see the world in new ways. For the first time in the show’s history, the episodes are not organized around an artistic theme. Instead the 16-featured artists are grouped by their unique and revealing relationships to the places where they live: Chicago, Los Angeles, Mexico City, and Vancouver. Golden Globe and Emmy Award-winning actress Claire Danes will host for the series’ eighth season.

Claire Danes hosts ART21 Season 8.
Courtesy of Kelly Taub
Claire Danes hosts ART21 Season 8.

“Growing up in a family where art was a part of everyday life, my parents taught me to question the world around me,” said Danes. “Artists today influence how we see the world, how we express ourselves, and how art can transform society.”


The new season showcases the geography, architecture, society, culture, and heritage of each location. Each episode highlights aspects of contemporary life that viewers everywhere experience.

“Using the sounds, colors, and energy of the city as a landscape that artists respond to and interact with, the films expand beyond the studio to explore each artist’s engagement with their communities and the world around them,” said ART21 Executive Producer Eve Moros Ortega.

Season 8 reveals how artists today simultaneously draw inspiration from and influence their immediate surroundings, while engaging far-flung communities from all over the world— Amsterdam, Aspen, Basel, Bloomfield Hills, Bregenz, Brussels, Chiapas, Cuernavaca, Denver, Detroit, Istanbul, La Porte, Lisbon, London, Milan, New York City, Okanagan, Paris, Pasadena, Philadelphia, Puebla, San Francisco, Sinaloa, and Toronto. Through their work, artists participate in global conversations about the pressing issues of our time: from terrorism to environmental crises to the struggle for civil rights.

TRAILER: Season 8 of Art in the Twenty-First Century (2016)


"Trailer for Season 8 (2016) of the Peabody Award-winning series


"Chicago" airs Monday, Oct. 10 at 9:30 p.m. - Featured artists are Nick Cave, who creates wearable objects blending fashion and movement; sculptor and urban planner Theaster Gates; Barbara Kasten, who makes photographs and video projections; and cartoonist Chris Ware, a pioneer of the graphic novel.

"Preview: "Chicago" from ART21 Season 8"

"View the creative processes of artists Nick Cave

"Mexico City" airs Monday, Oct. 17 at 10 p.m. - Featured artists are Natalia Almada, great-granddaughter of Mexico’s controversial 40th president Plutarco Elías Calles; Minerva Cuevas,a conceptual and socially-engaged artist who creates sculptural installations and paintings; Damián Ortega, who uses objects from his everyday life to make spectacular sculptures; Pedro Reyes, who designs projects that propose playful solutions to urgent social problems.

"Preview: "Mexico City" from ART21 Season 8"

"View the creative processes of artists Natalia Almada

"Los Angeles" airs Monday, Oct. 24 at 10 p.m. - Featured artists are Edgar Arceneaux, who investigates historical patterns through drawings, installations and multimedia events; Liz Larner experiments with abstract sculptural forms that evoke the tectonic geologic shifts of the western landscape; Tala Madani skewers stereotypes in her sharply satirical paintings; Diana Thater makes video installations that poetically grapple with threats to the natural world.

"Vancouver" airs Monday, Oct. 31 at 10 p.m. Featured artists are Stan Douglas, who reenacts historical moments of tension: Brian Jungen recombines consumer goods into whimsical sculptures; Liz Magor makes uncannily realistic casts of humble objects that speak to mortality; Jeff Wall recreates flashes of inspiration through by building sets and photography.

"Preview: "Vancouver" from ART21 Season 8"

"View the creative processes of artists Stan Douglas

Full episodes from Season 8 are available for online viewing for a limited time.

Explore all national, state and local returns now.