On November 11, which marks the museum’s six-year anniversary, additional State of the Art works will go on view as part of the collection-focused exhibition, All or Nothing. State of the Artartists represented in All or Nothing include Celestia Morgan, Peter Glenn Oakley, Angela Drakeford, Elizabeth Alexander, Jeff Whetstone, Watie White, and Hiromi Mizugai Moneyhun.
This new exhibition, which will be located in the museum’s gallery bridge, focuses on how artmaking often begins in the simplest way: a black mark on a white sheet of paper or canvas. All or Nothing features works from Crystal Bridges’ permanent collection, dating from 1860 to today, that play on the different concepts of these colors. The works utilize black and white in a variety of media to focus on elements such as process, composition, and spatial relationships. The limited color palette also eliminates our emotional associations with color, drawing our attention to the creative and technical processes and meaningful details in the narrative of the works.
“The reason we view black and white as clashing forces is that they really are opposites of one another, and yet linked by their duality as symbols of all or nothing,” says Crystal Bridges curatorial assistant Dylan Turk. “In pigment, black is the mixture of all colors, while in the light spectrum, black is the absence of all color. All or Nothing persuades us to look at the shared characteristics that connect the works and the artists. At a moment of extreme divisiveness, we want to celebrate the beauty that connects us.”
The showpieces of this exhibition are two new acquisitions: Ellsworth Kelly’s White and Dark Gray Panels, (1977), a generous gift from Agnes Gund, and Domino Players (2008), by Willie Birch.
Turk adds, “All or Nothing includes works from the collection that will be familiar to visitors, while introducing them to new artists. White and Dark Gray Panels and Domino Players represent unique moments in American art history and cultural identity—Kelly embraces Minimalism through line and form, while Birch uses storytelling elements inspired by life in post-Katrina New Orleans—both use black and white paint to communicate with us.”
Among the 55 works in the exhibition, there are many that have not previously been on view at Crystal Bridges, including Carrie Mae Weems’s Untitled (Woman Feeding Bird) (1990). Weems, considered one of the most influential contemporary American artists today, will visit Crystal Bridges in December as part of the Distinguished Speaker Series. The museum offers other exhibition-inspired programs, such as an All or Nothing Gallery Talk with curatorial assistant Dylan Turk on November 30, as a way to provide enriching art experiences.
*Airways Freight, the Official Shipper for State of the Art provided transportation support for each exhibition of the Art national tour.
The mission of Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art is to welcome all to celebrate the American spirit in a setting that unites the power of art with the beauty of nature. Since opening in 2011, the museum has welcomed 3 million visitors, with no cost for admission. The collection spans five centuries of American masterworks from Colonial to current day and is enhanced by temporary exhibitions. The museum is nestled on 120-acres of Ozark landscape and was designed by world-renowned architect Moshe Safdie. A rare Frank Lloyd Wright house was preserved and recently relocated to the museum grounds. Crystal Bridges offers public programs including lectures, performances, classes, and teacher development opportunities. Some 140,000 school children have participated in the Willard and Pat Walker School Visit program, which provides educational experiences for school groups at no cost to the schools. Additional museum amenities include a restaurant, gift store, library, and 4 miles of art and walking trails. For more information, visit CrystalBridges.org.