Crystal Bridges begins the new decade with the opening of the Momentary, a new space for contemporary visual and performing arts, and the debut of State of the Art 2020 at both locations with free admissions. Lauren Haynes, curator of visual arts at the Momentary and curator of contemporary art at Crystal Bridges, is leading State of the Art 2020, along with Alejo Benedetti, associate curator of contemporary art, Crystal Bridges and Allison Glenn, associate curator of contemporary art, Crystal Bridges. The team visited studios across the country, resulting in the selection of a diverse group of 61 artists, from varied backgrounds and at different points in their careers.
The hotly anticipated group show shines a spotlight beyond the usual art-world centers.
by Caroline Elbaor November 13, 2019
In February of 2020, the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas will publicly unveil the Momentary—a new, 63,000 square foot satellite space focusing solely on contemporary art. The Momentary will open its doors with “State of the Art 2020,” a highly anticipated, 60-artist exhibition with a roster reflective of the various artists and issues at the forefront of contemporary art.
Overseen by Lauren Haynes, curator of visual arts at the Momentary and curator of contemporary art at Crystal Bridges, “State of the Art 2020” promises to be sprawling in nature. More than 100 works—spanning painting, sculpture, photography, video, performance, and mixed media—will be on view across both the Momentary and Crystal Bridges venues, with a number of these being site-specific.
The 2020 exhibition is the second iteration (following 2014’s successful “State of the Art: Discovering American Art Now”) in what the institution has announced will be a series of exhibitions staged every five years. But unlike many other recurring art world events, ”State of the Art” privileges inclusion and geographic diversity, with artists hailing from across the United States, including cities and towns like Madison, Wisconsin; Albuquerque, New Mexico; and even Spotsylvania, Virginia.
Here, Artnet News highlights six artists to watch in “State of the Art 2020.”
Entanglements is an exhibition of recent work by three Savannah-based and three Atlanta-based artists whose formal and conceptual considerations are rooted in exploring complex social structures, relationships, and ecosystems. Working in a variety of media—painting, drawing, installation, and sculpture, including fibers and ceramics—each artist’s creative practice tracks, teases out, intuits, or otherwise systematizes observations about order and disorder, and perhaps all of the entanglements in between. Their formal decisions serve as conceptual metaphors for the tensions that can be found embedded, or deeply layered, within ourselves, our habits and practices, our cultural assumptions and interactions with others, and our interconnected relationship with the natural environment. The artists’ abstract mapping—in sinuous line work, dense and knotty gestural marks, and expansive and murky spaces—draw numerous connections to urgent and socio-political concerns, such as the impact of environmentalism and the power of personal narrative, while evoking notions of internal conflict and harmony. Many pieces are experimentations in materiality and range from the highly synthetic to the purely organic, sometimes merging both. As such, some works serve to question material dependencies and entire ecosystems, while others engender questions about cultural expectations. And all address the dynamism, associations, and energy of materials and process.
Suzanne Jackson’s layered, assembled or structured dimensional surfaces interweave nature and body, real experience with material significance. Sonya Yong James’ and Liz Sargent’s fibers-based practices connect to haptic, sculptural traditions, calling attention to the energy and entropy of materials as active and experimental, intertwined with nature. Sharon Norwood plays on tropes of historic and domestic narratives, and challenges what is considered decorative in her thought-provoking and playful use of ceramic. Jiha Moon’s pop-gestural layers swirl and wend, questioning cultural assumptions of authenticity and confronting misunderstanding. The work of Pam Longobardi, inspired by and created from found plastic detritus, calls immediate attention to a critical stewardship of our environment on a worldwide scale. Entanglements approaches an idea Longobardi often explores, that “not only is no person an island, no island is an island,” and emphasizes the strength of the bonds that can tie us together in this realization.
June 26–July 29 | Opening Reception: Wednesday, June 26, 3–5 p.m.
First Floor Galleries and the Angela Fowler Memorial Gallery, Chautauqua Institution,
Chautauqua , NY
Curated by Erika Diamond, assistant director of VACI Galleries, this exhibition features work by contemporary artists Sonya Clark, April D. Felipe, Roberto Lugo, Jiha Moon and Wendy Red Star. These artists who work in photography, sculpture and painting, reconfigure symbols and archetypes related to their cultural heritage. Their works rely on the reconstruction of familiar objects and tropes to simultaneously deconstruct assumptions around historical narratives, complicating not only their personal and cultural identity, but the idea of representation in art.
April 20 – May 25, 2019
Super Future Kid, Jennifer Lefort, Jiha Moon, Kiyoshi Kaneshiro
There is something really great about bright color. It reminds me of candy. Delicious sugary tart confections; the kind with no expiration date, each chew something decadent. Deeply ground into your molars. You just know it’s wreaking havoc in so many different ways but nothing is as satisfying as that moment. The repercussions don’t exist. After the bag is empty, the box unshakeable…then it counts. That big undeniably gargantuan ah oh. I took the first bite and the last bite, and everything in between. I get it now. It’s going to hurt. Call it my chunk of the rock. The American dream presented in high fructose corn syrup. The one I can afford. After all, it only counts if you take a big piece.