Crystal Bridges Blog

In Which “State of the Art” Becomes Very Real

It’s happening!  It’s really, really happening!  This week, Crystal Bridges sent out an official press release announcing the culmination of the selection process for artists to be included in State of the Art: Discovering American Art Now.  We simultaneously let the artists themselves know that we had formally announced the exhibition, giving them free rein to announce their participation.  They can now post it to their blogs and Facebook pages, notify their regional media, and shout it from the rooftops, if they so choose. Already we’ve seen several news stories about artists in various regions, and we expect there will be many more over the coming weeks, as news outlets begin to spread the word.

(Here are links to the LA Times story and the NY Times ArtsBeat Blog post.)


State of the Art artist Gabriel Dawe installinghis artwork at Crystal Bridges.

State of the Art artist Gabriel Dawe installinghis artwork at Crystal Bridges.

Here at the Museum itself, the exhibition is getting real in another, much more physical way.  This week, the first of the State of the Art artworks is being installed!  Gabriel Dawe, an artist based in Dallas, TX, is here at Crystal Bridges installing his large-scale work, Plexus No. 27, in the stairwell that links the upper and lower North Temporary Exhibition Galleries. The stairs are temporarily blocked to allow the artist full access to the area during installation.


Gabriel Dawe creates vibrant, dimensional installations out of multi-colored thread. The process is a painstaking one that results in fascinating works whose color and shape take on different aspects as the viewer moves around them.  Here at Crystal Bridges, guests will walk under Dawe’s installation as they move from one part of the gallery to another, and will also be able to view the work from the overlook in the upper gallery.  We are very pleased to have Gabriel’s work as an “ambassador” for the SoTA exhibition, providing guests with a teaser taste of many good things to come.


Dawes' colorful materials, lined up waiting for their turn to be installed.

Dawes’ colorful materials, lined up waiting for their turn to be installed.

Dawe’s thread sculpture is only the first in a schedule of several works that will be installed at the Museum prior to the opening of the entire exhibition on September 13.  Later this month, guests will be seeing the installation of another State of the Art work outdoors on the Museum’s South Lawn.  (More about that later.)



UPDATE:  As of Wednesday, July 23, Dawe’s stunning installation is complete!  Pending clean-up, labeling and touch-ups, our guests will soon be able to see the work for themselves as they descend the stairs between the upper and lower North Exhibition Galleries. This is just one small sample of the remarkable exhibition opening in September!

Gabriel Dawe Photo courtesy of the artist.

Gabriel Dawe
b. 1973 “Plexus No. 27” 2014 Installation: thread, wood, and hooks Photo courtesy of the artist.



Linda DeBerry is Crystal Bridges' Copy Editor.

Linda DeBerry is Crystal Bridges’ Copy Editor.




4 Responses to “In Which “State of the Art” Becomes Very Real”

  1. Cory Strupp

    Where can I get a list of the artists that were chosen for State of the Art?

    • Linda DeBerry

      Our website will contain a full list of all the artists and artworks in the exhibition, and will debut online shortly before the exhibition’s public opening. Many of the artists in our exhibition have not had work exhibited on a national scale before; in order to respect each artist’s preferences regarding publicity, we’re working with each of the artists to share their involvement in the formats with which they are most comfortable—for some, that involves a national stage, for others, it’s regional or local. Stay tuned!

    • Linda DeBerry

      Nice photos, Curtis! Thanks for sharing! By the way, this artwork is still on view at Crystal Bridges!


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