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The Momentary and Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art unveil the 60 artists to be featured in State of the Art 2020
Su Su, Darwin, 2018. Oil on canvas, 34 x 50 in. Courtesy of the artist.



BENTONVILLE, ARK.- The Momentary and Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art announced today that 60 artists have been selected for State of the Art 2020. As part of opening the new contemporary art space, the Momentary, the exhibition will be on view at the Momentary and Crystal Bridges from February 22 through May 24, 2020, free for all visitors.

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, assistant 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 60 artists, from varied backgrounds and at different points in their careers.

More than 100 artworks will be featured in State of the Art 2020-- most created in the last three years. A number of artists are making site specific works in response to the interior architecture of both spaces as well as the histories of this region. At both the Momentary and Crystal Bridges, artwork will include paintings, sculpture, photography, video, performance, and mixed media.

“State of the Art 2020 fits our vision for the Momentary and builds on some of what we’ve already done at Crystal Bridges--presenting contemporary artists who are making work that raise topics and important questions about this moment in time,” said Haynes. “As we traveled the US talking with artists, connections between their work and ideas began to emerge, which drove the selection of themes.”

The 60 individuals in State of the Art 2020 represent a cross-section of artists working today and their artwork will be organized into thematic sections including world-building: creating real and fictional spaces; sense of place: investigating ideas of home, family, immigration, and more; mapping: connections to and relationships with landscapes and power, and temporality: the concept of time and how we perceive it.

State of the Art 2020 is the continuation of an exploration into contemporary art that began in 2014, when Crystal Bridges presented State of the Art: Discovering American Art Now. The exhibition sought to showcase art being created across the US and develop the understanding that contemporary art is approachable and relevant to topics of the day. More than 175,000 visitors experienced the exhibition and engaged in meaningful discussions and events surrounding the show. PBS created a documentary released in April 2019 called State of the Art, which follows the journeys of seven artists featured in that exhibition. After its opening at Crystal Bridges, State of the Art then traveled to the Minneapolis Institute of Art; Telfair Museums, Savannah, GA; Dixon Gallery and Gardens, Memphis, TN; The Mint Museum, Charlotte, NC; and the Frist Art Museum, formerly known as the Frist Center for the Visual Arts, Nashville, TN.

Haynes adds, “Similar to the first State of the Art, we will bring artists to Northwest Arkansas to engage with the community. The exhibition will travel and we are currently building the national tour, with dates and venues to be announced at a later time. In addition, we’re excited to commit to the next State of the Art in 2025, and plan to create a new exhibition every five years.”










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