ART:21 — Art in the Twenty-First Century”


Event details

From the museum: The Spencer Museum of Art, in partnership with Art:21, Inc. as part of its international Art:21 Access ’09 initiative, presents a special evening about and inspired by Art:21 — Art in the Twenty-First Century, the only prime time national television series focused exclusively on contemporary art, October 22 at 5:30 PM in the SMA Auditorium. The event, one of many across the nation and world, features a screening of selected artists from Season Five, as well as a gallery conversation and viewing of works by the selected artists in Spencer’s 20/21 gallery following the screening.

This event is free and open to the public.

Art21 Access ’09 is an international screening initiative created to increase knowledge of contemporary art, ignite dialogue, and inspire creative thinking through hundreds of public screenings and events that tailor the ideas presented in the series to the interests and concerns of local audiences. The season premiered on PBS October 7, with a new episode airing each Wednesday evening during the month (check local listings). Through in-depth profiles and interviews, the four-part series reveals the inspiration, vision and techniques behind the creative works of some of today’s most thought-provoking artists.

Art21 Access ’09 events are presented in partnership with Americans for the Arts as part of National Arts and Humanities Month, the largest annual celebration of the arts and humanities in the nation, held every October. An updated list of Art21 Access ’09 events and venues worldwide can be found at

CONTENT Experts from the following Season-Five episodes will be screened during the

October 22 event:


This episode features artists whose works explore the possibility of understanding and reconciling past and present, while exposing injustice and expressing tolerance for others. William Kentridge, Carrie Mae Weems and Doris Salcedo are featured.


Fantasy presents four artists whose works or personal stories transport viewers to imaginary worlds and altered states of consciousness. With works that seem at times hallucinatory, irreverent, and sublime, each of these artists pursues a vision first held in the mind’s eye. Jeff Koons, Mary Heilmann, Florian Maier-Aichen and Cao Fei are featured.


Artists invent new processes to convey the attitudes of today’s supercharged, information-based society, examining why we find comfort in some systems while rebelling against others. Systems features artists who realize complex projects through acts of appropriation or accumulation. In some instances, they create projects vast in scope, which almost elude comprehension. Julie Mehretu, John Baldessari, Kimsooja and Allan McCollum are featured.


Over the past ten years, Art21 has established itself as the preeminent chronicler of contemporary art and artists through its Peabody Award-winning biennial television series Art:21–Art in the Twenty-First Century. The organization has used the power of digital media to expose millions of people of all ages to contemporary art and artists and has created a new paradigm for teaching and learning about the creative process. New programs are also in the works, including a feature film as well as Art21 Educators, an ongoing professional development program for teachers.

Find Art21 on Facebook ( and Twitter (

ABOUT THE SPENCER MUSEUM OF ART The Spencer Museum of Art explores the capacity of art to spark curiosity, inspire creativity, and create connections among people. The Museum, located on the University of Kansas campus in Lawrence, houses an internationally-known collection that is deep and diverse, currently numbering nearly 36,000 artworks and artifacts in all media. The collection spans the history of European and American art from ancient to contemporary, and includes broad and significant holdings of East Asian art. Areas of special strength include medieval art; European and American paintings, sculpture and prints; photography; Japanese Edo-period painting and prints; 20th-century Chinese painting; and KU’s ethnographic collection, which includes about 10,000 Native American, African, Latin American and Australian works.


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