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Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art focuses on intersection of art and nature with new exhibitions and sculptures

This spring, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art highlights the intersection of art and nature in the galleries and on the grounds with two new exhibitions, The Garden and The Beyond: Georgia O’Keeffe and Contemporary Art, and with new sculptures in the North Forest.

 The Garden, April 21 through October 15
This collection focused exhibition recreates the experience of a garden and blurs boundaries between the galleries and the museum’s grounds. Through the work of artists in the permanent collection such as Martin Johnson Heade and Andy Warhol, as well as loans by contemporary artists such as Jessica Pezalla and Kendell Carter, the exhibition gives visitors new ways of relating to flowers through relationships to the human figure, scientific study, and moments when the floral form becomes ornamentation.

Jessica Pezalla, artist and designer at Bramble Workshop in Portland, will be the featured #ArtistatCB in April, installing a large-scale paper floral work, April 17- 20. There will also be a free Gallery Conversation and Demonstration with Pezalla on Thursday, April 19, 6:30- 7:30 pm for visitors to learn about her inspiration and process.

The Beyond: Georgia O’Keeffe and Contemporary Art, May 26 through September 3
Enormous flowers, luscious colors, landscapes, feminine forms, and still lifes. The art of Georgia O’Keeffe has intrigued viewers and artists alike for generations. Now, Crystal Bridges has brought together important O’Keeffe’s works alongside works by 20 contemporary artists working in similar themes. Tickets are available here, $10 or free for members and youth ages 18 and younger.

The exhibition builds on the museum’s own collection of O’Keeffe work and features 35 O’Keeffe works that span her career including iconic works, Jimson Weed/White Flower No. 1 and Radiator Building—Night, New York, as well as lesser known works such as the 1972 painting, The Beyond, which was one of the last works she was able to complete unassisted as her eyesight began to fail.

“We’re excited to explore O’Keeffe as a key figure in 20th century American art and introduce visitors to artists they may be less familiar with, who are tackling similar themes in new and innovative ways,” said Lauren Haynes, Curator, Contemporary Art. “The pairing of historic and current works allow for a fresh look at O’Keeffe and demonstrates the continuing power of O’Keeffe’s work as a touchstone for contemporary art.”

The exhibition introduces viewers to a group of contemporary artists with 53 paintings, sculptures, photographs, collages, murals, and more that evoke, investigate, and expand upon O’Keeffe’s artistic legacy. Artists featured in The Beyond include:

  • Negar Ahkami
  • Milano Chow
  • Cynthia Daignault
  • Sharona Eliassaf
  • Monica Kim Garza
  • Loie Hollowell
  • Pearl C. Hsiung
  • Louise Jones
  • Kim Keever
  • Molly Larkey
  • Caroline Larsen
  • Mark Lewis
  • Wardell Milan
  • Jennifer Packer
  • Dylan Gebbia-Richards
  • Andy Robert
  • Matthew Ronay
  • Tschabalala Self
  • Anna Valdez
  • Britny Wainwright

After the debut at Crystal Bridges, The Beyond will travel to the North Carolina Museum of Art, October 13 to January 20, 2019, and to the New Britain Museum of American Art, February 22 to May 19, 2019. This exhibition is organized by Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, and was curated by Lauren Haynes, Curator, Contemporary Art, Crystal Bridges; and Chad Alligood, independent curator.

Sponsored by Helen Porter, Coca-Cola (logo), Stout Executive Search (logo), Terri and Chuck Erwin, Harriet and Warren Stephens, Stephens Inc., David and Cathy Evans, Blakeman’s Fine Jewelry, The Harrison and Rhonda French Family, Charles and Shannon Holley, Morris Foundation, Inc., JT and Imelda Rose, and Jim and Susan von Gremp.

North Forest Sculptures
Outdoors, the trails and grounds crew have been developing, designing, and planting new gardens. In addition, Crystal Bridges will unveil new outdoor sculptures in the North Forest by artists Melvin Edwards, Yayoi Kusama, Nancy Rubins, Alyson Shotz, and Brian Tolle.

Installations include a recently acquired work titled Dancing in Nigeria, by Melvin Edwards, an artists whose work is featured in Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power, along with Scattering Screen by artist Alyson Shotz, a work made of 18,000 mirrored circles. In addition, the museum has acquired Flowers that Bloom Now, a work by artist, Yayoi Kusama, who was inspired by American Abstract Impressionism and best known for her Infinity Room installations. In June, the largest new sculpture will be installed in the forest: Monochrome II is composed of recycled aluminum canoes and small boats, branching off a central column. Rubins’s work primarily consists of found objects delicately bound into large-scale formations, creating an illusion that the canoes are frozen in time and space. Illuminated with blue LED lights embedded in the tops of the walls, Brian Tolle’s Tempest brings the experience of dynamic ocean water into the North Forest. While Nancy Rubins’s work may look as though the canoes have been tossed by a hurricane, Tempest takes on the simplified form of the weather phenomena itself, inviting visitors to wander through the rippled, maze-like formation.

“With these new acquisitions, we’re excited to add to the ever-changing environment of the North Forest,” said Allison Glenn, Associate Curator of Contemporary Art. “We hope visitors can slow down and enjoy exploring these works and the forest itself.”

The sculptures will add to the beautiful surroundings of the Ozark woods in time for the Summer Forest Concert Series, happening each Saturday from June 16 to August 11.  Following on the success of last year’s Chihuly Saturday Nights, the museum presents a full summer of musical performances by local and national acts along with artmaking activities and local artist demos. Visitors are invited to bring their own lawn chair or a blanket and enjoy music and dancing under the trees. Concerts begin at 7 p.m. Free for museum members and $10 for non-members 16 and older.  A cash bar and Eleven’s food truck, High South on a Roll, will be available throughout the night. (The Fall series will be announced soon.)

 

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