Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art announces new exhibitions in an ongoing focus exhibition series: Animal Meet Human and Not to Scale will be on view this summer in the permanent collection galleries, concurrently withthe temporary exhibition, Chihuly: In the Gallery and In the Forest.
“We strive to create dynamic exhibitions that reflect the diverse interests of our visitors,” said Rod Bigelow, Crystal Bridges Executive Director, Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer. “Focused exhibitions allow us to do that by showcasing never-before-seen works as well as creating a new context for familiar artworks. These two shows explore contemporary issues, peer into the past, and make the unique story of American art and innovation accessible to all.”
Animal Meet Human, June 23 – October 30, 2017
Animal Meet Human features 16 works that explore the ways contemporary artists address human issues by depicting an animal presence. In the exhibition, several works will be on view for the first time at Crystal Bridges, including Adonna Khare’s massive 40-foot-long pencil drawing, Elephants (2012).
“This exhibition investigates the relationship between humans and animals in an artwork and the unique approach,” said Alejo Benedetti, Assistant Curator, Crystal Bridges. “The works in this show range broadly in style, media, and scale with unexpected pairings. We’re thrilled to welcome back old favorites such as Jamie Wyeth’s Cornflakes (1985), and introduce Elephants and other new works to our visitors in ways that are exciting and fresh.”
Khare was one of the artists featured in Crystal Bridges’ 2014 State of the Art: Discovering American Art Now exhibition. In 2012, Khare’s Elephants won the ArtPrize Public Vote Grand Prize. ArtPrize is an international art competition in Grand Rapids, Michigan open to any artist and decided equally by public vote and expert jury. ArtPrize recently donated Elephants to Crystal Bridges’ permanent collection. Artist Adonnna Khare will be at Crystal Bridges on August 11 for a gallery conversation about her work. More information here.
“We’re delighted that this renowned museum has included Elephants in the new Animal Meet Human exhibition,” said Christian Gaines, ArtPrize Executive Director. “This remarkable piece is now at home in a setting that unites the power of art with the beauty of nature. We’re ecstatic that this ArtPrize public vote winner — such a memorable milestone in our young history — has been recognized in this way.”
In addition to Elephants, there will be other works on view for the first time at Crystal Bridges including Andy Warhol’s colorful Endangered Species (1983), a print series that includes 10 images of various animals, and a rare collection of sketches by modern dance choreographer and innovator Merce Cunningham,Untitled Assorted Animals (1980), as well as Helen Frankenthaler‘s The Bullfight (1958).
Not to Scale: Highlights from the Fly’s Eye Dome Archive, June 30, 2017 – March 2018
Not to Scale features several drawings, models, and concept sketches that form part of Buckminster Fullers’ Fly’s Eye Dome Archive, recently acquired by Crystal Bridges. An American architect, visionary, and inventor, Fuller [1895-1983], had revolutionary ideas focusing on improving the quality of life for the human race. Among other things, Fuller is known for promoting the use of the geodesic dome as a lightweight, affordable housing option. In 1966, Fuller began working with John Warren, a young engineer and surf board manufacturer specializing in fiberglass, and Norman Foster, famed and knighted British architect, to further develop the geodesic dome concept.
Their goal was to incorporate circular openings—called “oculi”—to the dome in a pattern similar to that of the lenses of a fly’s eye. The openings would allow light and air to enter without compromising the integrity of the structure. The materials in this exhibition illuminate the collaborative, creative process that guided Fuller, Warren, and Foster as they developed and perfected the Fly’s Eye Dome. The exhibition introduces Fuller’s work and principles, while celebrating his passion for innovation and illuminating the creative partnerships that contributed to this unique project.
“Crystal Bridges visitors will be among the first to view the selection of the archives,” said Dylan Turk, Curatorial Assistant, Crystal Bridges. “Not to Scale places the recently installed dome into context and celebrates the beautiful and complicated creative process seen in the notes, models, sketches, and drawings.”
This exhibition accompanies Fuller’s 50-foot Fly’s Eye Dome, one of three prototypes he created for efficient, inexpensive housing. The dome was acquired by Crystal Bridges in 2016 and was recently installed on the museum’s north lawn. This first phase of installation ensures the iconic structure is viewable from the Early Twentieth Century Gallery Bridge, though the north lawn will remain closed until later this summer while the landscaping, lighting, and interpretation panels are being installed.
This exhibition is sponsored by Ken and Liz Allen, Chip and Susan Chambers, The Harrison and Rhonda French Family, and Tartaglino Richards Family Foundation in memory of Maurice Jennings. The Fly’s Eye Dome is sponsored by Ken and Liz Allen, Chip and Susan Chambers, and the Harrison and Rhonda French Family.