Bentonville, Arkansas – On November 11, 2013, the second anniversary of the museum’s opening, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art announced a major new initiative to discover and exhibit recently created artwork from across the United States. As part of the initiative, museum president Don Bacigalupi and assistant curator Chad Alligood traveled to all regions of the country to visit nearly 1,000 artists in studios and conduct hundreds of hours of one-on-one conversations. Now, planning and research is complete and the museum has selected 102 artists for the resulting exhibition, State of the Art: Discovering American Art Now, debuting at Crystal Bridges on September 13.
Baker will have a series of eight recent paintings included in the exhibition.
During 2013 and early 2014, the Crystal Bridges curatorial team logged more than 100,000 travel miles, crisscrossing the country to visit artists, all in search of the most compelling American art being created today. Traveling to communities large and small, the museum sought to discover artists whose work has not yet been fully recognized on a national level.
The result of this unprecedented journey is a one-of-a-kind exhibition that draws from every region of the U.S., offering an unusually diverse and nuanced look at American art. The 102 artists selected range in age from 24 – 87, including 54 male and 48 female artists from across the country.
From works on canvas and paper to photography, video to installation, sculpture to ceramics and more, the diverse range of styles and voices from across the U.S. reflects what’s happening in American art right now.
“The exhibition is a glimpse into the state of art in our nation at this moment,” said Crystal Bridges president Don Bacigalupi. “Presenting the exhibition at Crystal Bridges provides us an opportunity to see contemporary art in the broader historical context of the five centuries of American art in our collection, as well as connect us to what’s happening in American art at this moment. By examining a wide range of works by artists from across the country, we can gain insight into our nation as a whole: our collective passions, challenges, and concerns.”
The curatorial process for State of the Art has been cover by major news outlets:
You can view more of Jimmy Baker’s work on his website