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A Piece of Work is everything you want to know about modern and contemporary art but were afraid to ask. Hosted by Broad City’s Abbi Jacobson, this 10-episode series explores everything from Pop Art to performance in lively conversations with curators, artists and Abbi’s friends, including Hannibal Buress, Tavi Gevinson, RuPaul and Questlove. WNYC Studios is a listener-supported producer of other leading podcasts including Radiolab, Snap Judgment, Death, Sex & Money, On the Media, Nancy and ...
 
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show series
 
There are new paintings and drawings by Sol LeWitt being made all the time -- even though the artist died in 2007. That’s possible because LeWitt’s wrote instructions for creating his works art, for other people to make. Abbi and writer Samantha Irby consider a piece by Glenn Ligon that takes a line by Zora Neale Hurston and repeats it over and ove…
 
Emojis, video games, even the humble “@” symbol -- all these staples of digital life have been as carefully designed as the most sleek furniture or fancy architecture. But do they belong in a museum? Hell yes, says Abbi’s friend Ahmir Thompson (a.k.a. Questlove, and emoji obsessive). If you find yourself wondering if it’s allowed, “then it's pretty…
 
Andy Warhol’s “Campbell’s Soup Cans” has got to be one of the most famous images of the 20th century. But at the time, Warhol’s use of advertising and imagery from consumer culture was super controversial. So was his unabashed desire to become famous. Abbi and Rookie editor Tavi Gevinson wonder what Warhol might do in an age of social media. Then, …
 
Way before viral videos, since the invention of the medium in the 1960s, artists have made video to critique the culture around them. Howardena Pindell delivers a direct-to-camera account of the racism she experienced coming of age as a black woman in America; Martine Syms tells her characters’ stories across several screens -- from flatscreens to …
 
A dozen dancers rolling around in their underwear, rubbing raw chickens and fish on each other. No, it’s not some weird ‘60s porn, it’s a performance -- Abbi talks with the feminist artist behind the piece, Carolee Schneemann. Performance art like this can be a bit funny, a bit confusing, and definitely weird. Who better to get to the bottom of it …
 
Some artworks seem crazy simple -- like a stack of metal boxes or a group of white paintings. Minimalism rejected the idea that art should express the artist’s feelings or depict the visible world, or even be made from traditional art materials. Jo Baer and Donald Judd made art that explores the relationship between colors or objects and space -- a…
 
Abbi brings her friend the hilarious essayist Samantha Irby to MoMA PS1 to see one of the trippiest works they’ve ever experienced: “Meeting” by James Turrell. Turrell’s work is immersive, mind-blowing, deeply moving -- and made entirely of light. Turns out, light can really mess with your eyes! And that’s what artists like Turrell and Dan Flavin, …
 
Ahmir Thompson (a.k.a. Questlove of The Roots) is a very busy dude. He was feeling stretched thin, until he discovered the power of silence to let his creativity cut through the noise. To help him find that silence, he’s got one of Yves Klein’s Blue Monochrome prints on his wall at home. Abbi gets up close to one of Klein’s blue paintings and Kazim…
 
When you look at abstract art, what are you supposed to see among all those splatters and blobs? Abbi sorts out her feelings about Jackson Pollock’s monumental action paintings with a little help from the dancer and choreographer Mark Morris, and she puzzles over the scratchy surfaces of Cy Twombly’s paintings with Rookie editor, Broadway actor, an…
 
Does art have to be beautiful, or can everyday stuff be made into art too? Abbi Jacobson brings her friend comedian Hannibal Buress to look at sculptures by Dada and Surrealist artists, who upended the definition of what art could be. Marcel Duchamp and Meret Oppenheim were basically trolling the art world — and the work they made is really funny. …
 
Yes, she’s the hilarious co-creator of Comedy Central’s “Broad City.” But before discovering her gift for comedy, Abbi Jacobson went to art school. Now she’s getting a refresher on everything from Jackson Pollock to Marcel Duchamp, from Pop art to performance. Abbi goes behind the scenes at The Museum of Modern Art with some of her smartest and fun…
 
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