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Fall Focus Exhibitions at Crystal Bridges

Throughout the year, Crystal Bridges hosts three major temporary exhibitions that rotate, expand on unique themes, and complement the museum’s permanent collection. But did you know that Crystal Bridges also features 4-5 focus exhibitions in the galleries each year as well, many of which we curate? 

A focus exhibition is an opportunity to rotate out new works from our own collection as well as loans from other institutions. These shows often complement the larger temporary exhibitions and dive further into the work of an artist, practice, or theme. Focus shows are smaller than a temporary exhibition and therefore able to highlight one major theme instead of several.

Here are the three focus exhibitions on view at Crystal Bridges this fall/winter: 

 

A Walk in the Woods
August 31, 2019 to March 9, 2020

Patrick Jacobs, Pink Forest with Stump, 2016, box: 20 5/8 × 28 5/8 × 20 1/2 in. (52.4 × 72.7 × 52.1 cm), diorama window: 7 3/8 in. (18.7 cm), Styrene, acrylic, cast neoprene, paper, hair, polyurethane foam, ash, talc, starch, acrylite, vinyl film, copper, wood, steel, lighting, and BK7 glass, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, Arkansas, 2016.22.

When was the last time you stepped into a forest? Often pitched as a silent, near-mythic retreat from the bustle of modern life, to walk in the woods is to realize you’ve entered a space brimming with life. In A Walk in the Woods, the artists reveal various ways to interact with the forest, based on season or purpose for entering.

From minuscule artworks to giant works on canvas, A Walk in the Woods provides just that: a guided walk through an ever-changing, seasonal forest, complete with moments of wonder and surprise.

According to the exhibition’s curator Alejo Benedetti, assistant curator, “this show weaves two narratives. The first, more apparent one, is about the passage of time. Guests will move through space as if transitioning between seasons. The other narrative arc deals with the concept of desire: the woods as a beautiful retreat to be pined after (no pun intended) and the very human urge to possess that beauty through different means.”

This free, focus exhibition is located in the Early American Art Gallery.

Learn more about the exhibition from its curator, Alejo Benedetti, here.

 

Small Talk
October 26, 2019 to March 2, 2020

Small Talk considers how contemporary artists employ language and text through themes of pop culture and wordplay, and techniques of assemblage and collage.

Whether text is the image itself or is assembled from different sources, it can reveal more than the letters themselves. Similarly, words used in popular culture to describe music, sports, and other categories can take on new meanings when seen from a different perspective. See how artists such as Kay Rosen, Robert Rauschenberg, Jeffrey Gibson, Cheryl Pope, Jaune Quick-to-See Smith, and more play with text and image to reveal hidden meaning and consider the power of language.

According to the exhibition’s curator Allison Glenn, associate curator of contemporary art, “these artworks together create an insightful examination of text usage in art, and how artists use it to make a profound statement that speaks to something larger than the letters we see.”

This free, focus exhibition can be found in the North Exhibition Gallery, between the Early American and Modern Art Galleries.

 

Portraits of Courage: A Commander-in-Chief’s Tribute to America’s Warriors
December 21, 2019 to January 20, 2020

George W. Bush, born 1946, Sergeant Daniel Casara, U.S. Army, 1994-2008, Oil on gesso board, 14 × 18 in.; George W. Bush, born 1946, Sergeant First Class Ramon Padilla, U.S. Army, 2000-2009, Oil on gesso board, 14 × 16 in., Portraits of Courage: A Commander in Chief’s Tribute to America’s Warriors is a collection of portraits by President George W. Bush on loan from the Ambassador and Mrs. George L. Arygros Collection of Presidential Art at the George W. Bush Presidential Center, a non-profit organization whose Military Service Initiative is focused on helping veterans and their families.

This December, Crystal Bridges will feature Portraits of Courage: A Commander in Chief’s Tribute to America’s Warriors, an exhibition which brings together full-color portraits painted by former President George W. Bush that honor the sacrifice and courage of America’s military veterans since 9/11. 

The exhibition rises from President Bush’s outreach and ongoing work through the Bush Center’s Military Service Initiative. It seeks to examine the invisible wounds veterans experience and the realities they face after returning home and beginning their transition from military service to civilian life. 

This free exhibition will be on view at Crystal Bridges in the Modern Art Gallery for a limited time this December and January.

 

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