Art21’s New Season Will Feature Olafur Eliasson, Zanele Muholi, Robin Rhode, and More

Art21 is celebrating its 21st anniversary.

Zanele Muholi, Katlego Mashiloane and Nosipho Lavuta, ext.2, Lakeside, Johannesburg Zanele Muholi, Katlego Mashiloane and Nosipho Lavuta, ext.2, Lakeside, Johannesburg (2007). Photo courtesy of the artist.

Art21’s Peabody Award-winning television series Art in the Twenty-First Century is coming back for its ninth season, which will span three cities and offer a look inside the studios—and minds—of artists including Olafur Eliasson and Zanele Muholi. The series will transport viewers to Berlin, Johannesburg, and San Francisco.

The lineup of featured artists was announced last night at Art21’s first-ever gala, which welcomed guests including Agnes Gund, Claire Danes, Mel Chin, and honoree Julie Mehretu. The nonprofit, which is celebrating its 21st anniversary, paid tribute to its late founder Susan Sollins, who died at age 75 in 2014.

“Artists learn from other artists, but the lineage of inspiration doesn’t end there,” Mehretu said in a statement. “Creativity exists in everyone—it’s empowering to have direct access to artists’ voices in the way that Art21 provides it.”

The upcoming season, which premieres on PBS September 21, will be broken up into three parts, each focusing on a major arts capital—Berlin, Johannesburg, and the San Francisco Bay Area—and how the local culture and concerns inform the work of the artists who live there. In Johannesburg, Muholi gives voice to the country’s black LGBTI community. In San Francisco, Art21 profiles its first nonprofit art center, the Creative Growth Art Center, which serves artists with physical and cognitive disabilities.

“Place is an enduring anchor, for artists and for each of us,” Art21 executive director and chief curator Tina Kukielski said in a statement. “Our relationships to our surroundings capture a reverence to the history ingrained in our culture and the creativity that fuels our livelihood.”

The longest-running television series on contemporary art will also be filmed in 4K resolution for the first time—all the better to see artwork as it comes into being.

See the full list of featured artists by city below. 

Nathalie Djurberg & Hans Berg
Olafur Eliasson
Hiwa K
Susan Philipsz

David Goldblatt
Nicholas Hlobo
Zanele Muholi
Robin Rhode

“San Francisco Bay Area”
Creative Growth Art Center
Katy Grannan
Lynn Hershman Leeson
Stephanie Syjuco

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