About Art21

Art21 is a celebrated global leader in presenting thought-provoking and sophisticated content about contemporary art, and the go-to place to learn first-hand from the artists of our time. A nonprofit organization, Art21’s mission is to inspire a more creative world through the works and words of contemporary artists.

Gallagher's work often appears abstract and minimal, but upon closer inspection details reveal complex narratives that borrow from maritime history, science fiction, popular culture, and the experiences of African Americans.

Ellen Gallagher: Cutting

mel chin
Mel Chin describes the origins and motivations behind the nationwide art project Paydirt in a keynote address to the 2008 National Art Education Association Convention, and visits multiple sites in New Orleans adversely affected by both Hurricane Katrina and lead contamination in the soil.

Mel Chin, Paydirt

In her Bogotá studio, artist Doris Salcedo discusses the stereotypes she faces as a citizen of a Third World country and how she embraces these first-hand experiences of discrimination to inform her art.

Doris Salcedo: Third World Identity

ppropriating curatorial methods and strategies, Fred Wilson creates new contexts for the display of art and artifacts found in museum collections, along with wall labels, sound, lighting, and non-traditional pairings of objects.

Fred Wilson: Beauty & Ugliness

In her Beijing studio, Cao Fei discusses the inspirations, process, and challenges behind developing and building a virtual urban environment within the digital realm of Second Life for her project, "RMB City" (2007).

Cao Fei, Building “RMB City”

danh vo
By using objects from his upbringing in a strict Catholic household and presenting them in a white cube gallery he wishes to alienate people and make them question what they know: “Everybody is born under systems."

Danh Vo Interview: Art Should Estrange

Sikander grid
Sikander describes how beginning to create animations was a natural evolution in her studio process because she had already been working with narrative and layering in her paintings and large-scale installations.

Shahzia Sikander, The Last Post

An-My Lê's photographs and films examine the impact, consequences, and representation of war, framing a tension between the natural landscape and its violent transformation into battlefields.

An-My Lê, 29 Palms

American-prairie style and Civil War Antebellum style dresses made out of green screen material conjure images of specific time periods in American history, as well as the tropes of womanhood, Western expansion, and Puritanism

Stephanie Syjuco, The Visible Invisible

With gaffers tape, paper, and color gels, de Nieves creates a stained-glass narrative that begins with personal struggle and self-doubt, but ends with "a celebration of life."

Raúl de Nieves, Beginning & the end ...

Ortega explains the process of translating, recontextualizing, and appropriating as an opportunity to reexamine knowledge and ways of thinking from different perspectives

Damián Ortega, Alias

Hurtado celebrates her first solo exhibition and discusses how her experience of motherhood and her commitment to environmental activism merge in her most recent body of work

Luchita Hurtado’s body of work

“Soundsuits” serve as an alien second skin that obscures race, gender, and class, allowing viewers to look without bias towards the wearer’s identity

Nick Cave’s “Soundsuits”

Theaster Gates reflects on the various collections he has acquired and created artworks with, including the Jet magazine archives and the inventory of an entire hardware store

Theaster Gates on collecting