The arrival of 2018 means three new major exhibitions coming soon to the world-renowned Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, and we know you don’t want to miss them!
The first is a rare exhibition that shines light on the contributions of black artists in the tumultuous ‘60s and beyond, then a collection anchored by the works of the “Mother of American modernism,” and finally an exhibition portraying Native Americans in American art – inspiration awaits at every turn!
Feb. 3 through April 23, 2018
The first major exhibition of 2018 demonstrates how activism in the ‘60s, ‘70s and ‘80s helped shape American art as we have come to know it. Soul of a Nation features the work of 60 black artists, including vibrant paintings, powerful sculptures, street photography and murals. With only two venues in the U.S. hosting it, this landmark exhibition offers a rare opportunity to see era-defining American art.
Soul of a Nation begins with pieces from the Spiral Group, a New York collective that opened up questions about the role of artists during the Civil Rights movement. The exhibition explores the impact of the Black Power movement and defines the many ways artists spoke through art to protest discrimination, rally people to their cause and celebrate black culture.
Developed by Tate Modern in London, artists represented include Romare Bearden, Noah Purifoy, Martin Puryear, Faith Ringgold, Betye Saar, Alma Thomas, Charles White and William T. Williams.
Following its U.S. debut at Crystal Bridges, Soul of a Nation will travel to the Brooklyn Museum in New York.
May 26 through Sept. 3, 2018
Building on the museum’s own collection of significant works by Georgia O’Keeffe — including Jimson Weed/White Flower No. 1 and Radiator Building–Night, New York — Crystal Bridges has brought together more than three dozen of O’Keeffe’s most important works as the centerpiece of this exhibition.
It also introduces a new generation of American artists who expand upon O’Keeffe’s artistic legacy, giving viewers a chance to see her iconic style through a lens shaped by contemporary art.
Featuring works by numerous artists, O’keeffe’s style remains an undeniable touchstone for the art presented in this exhibition, with signature themes such as flowers, feminine form, city and desert landscape, and interplay between abstraction and realism.
Oct. 6 through Jan. 7, 2019
For generations, Native American artists have been considered outside the “mainstream” contemporary art world. This new exhibition organized by Crystal Bridges will begin to remedy that division.
Native North America is the first exhibition to chart a history of contemporary Indigenous art from the United States and Canada. It presents some 75 works spanning the 1950s to today by several important Native American artists: Kay WalkingStick, Carl Beam, Fritz Scholder, Edgar Heap of Birds and Kent Monkman.
This unprecedented exhibition offers Indigenous perspectives on land and history – and takes on the politics surrounding the way Native peoples have been represented, challenging historical assumptions and biases about Indigenous art.
Ultimately, Native North America unveils the power and influence of Native American artists, upends what has — until now — been the dominant story about contemporary art, and enriches our understanding of American art.
For more information about these major exhibitions and more, visit crystalbridges.org.
While you’re at Crystal Bridges, don’t forget to visit the Museum Store, and enjoy modern American comfort food at the museum restaurant, Eleven.
A membership to Crystal Bridges provides complementary access to temporary exhibitions like the above, plus other benefits such as free guest tickets, invitations to exclusive previews, special member-only events, discounts at the museum store and more. Admission to see the museum’s permanent collections is free.
Photo credits: Soul of a Nation: Carolyn Lawrence, Black Children Keep Your Spirits Free, 1972, acrylic on canvas; Elizabeth Catlett, Black Unity, 1968, Cedar; Dawoud Bey, A Boy in front of the Loew’s 125th Street Movie Theater, 1976, gelatin silver print. The Beyond: Georgia O’Keeffe & Contemporary Art: Georgia O’ Keeffe, Jimson Weed/ White Flower No. 1, 1932, oil on canvas; Loie Hollowell, Yellow Mountains, 2016, oil on acrylic medium mixed with sawdust on linen over panel; Georgia O’Keeffe, Radiator Building – Night, New York, 1927, oil on canvas; Native North America: Shan Goshorn, Removal (Ancestral Homeland and Oklahoma Indian Territory), 2012, arches watercolor paper splints, first printed with archival inks; Fritz Scholder, Monster Indian, 1968, oil on canvas; James Lavadour, (one panel from) Shake, 2014, oil on panel.