SEP 13 2014 – JAN 19 2015



The Journey

The ultimate road trip, to a thousand destinations, for one unforgettable exhibition. In 2013, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art’s curatorial team hit the road to investigate what’s happening in American art today. Over the course of a year, the team logged more than 100,000 miles, crisscrossing the United States to visit nearly 1,000 artists.

Traveling to communities large and small, the Museum sought to discover artists whose work has not yet been fully recognized on a national level. On their travels, museum curators conducted hundreds of hours of one-on-one conversations with artists in their studios.

The Exhibition

The result of this unprecedented journey is a one-of-a-kind exhibition that draws from every region of the US, offering an unusually diverse look at American art. State of the Art brings together the artwork of more than 100 artists, ranging from works on canvas and paper to photography and video to installation and performance art, and more. The exhibition examines the ways in which today’s artists are informed by the past, innovating with materials old and new, and engaging deeply with issues relevant to our times.

Complimentary admission; no tickets or reservations required.


Dave Greber – Light and Color in Sinew-en-ciel

Dave Greber – Light and Color in Sinew-en-ciel Dave Greber discusses relationships between stained glass and video, and introduces Sinew-en-ciel.


David Adey

David Adey b. 1972       STUDIO IN SAN DIEGO, CA In an era ruled by mediated ways of disseminating information, how do we represent ourselves? David Adey’s work explores the fraught intersection between our physical bodies and the increasingly digitized world they inhabit.   The theme is elegantly addressed in Hide, a series of cut-paper works


David Esterly

David Esterly b. 1974      STUDIO IN BARNEVELD, NY Dumbstruck by the virtuosity of the seventeenth-century Dutch-British woodcarver Grinling Gibbons, the young David Esterly dedicated himself to learning the art of carving wood. His choice was validated when he was commissioned to create the replacement for a work by Gibbons destroyed in the 1986 fire at Hampton


Delita Martin

Delita Martin b. 1972       STUDIO IN LITTLE ROCK, AR Delita Martin’s colorful works combine printmaking, drawing, and painting to create images of African American women that serve as icons of strength and community. Combining strong line with a rich density of pattern and color, Martin’s portraits reflect not only the likeness of her subjects, but


Delita Martin – A Personal Vocabulary of Symbols

Delita Martin – A Personal Vocabulary of Symbols Martin talks about the symbols she uses in her work.


Delita Martin – Draw, Paint, Print: The Artist’s Process

Delita Martin – Draw, Paint, Print: The Artist’s Proces Delita Martin explains her process for printmaking.


Delita Martin – Honoring African American Women

Delita Martin – Draw, Paint, Print: The Artist’s Process Delita Martin explains her process for printmaking.


Dornith Doherty

Dornith Doherty b. 1957       STUDIO IN DENTON, TX For the past five years, Dornith Doherty has been creating X-ray photographs of the plants and seeds safeguarded in the major seed banks around the world, including the Svalbard Global Seed Vault in Norway. Despite the scientific nature of her subject matter, and the clinical associations of


Elisheva Biernoff

Elisheva Biernoff b. 1980      STUDIO IN SAN FRANCISCO, CA Elisheva Biernoff’s work ranges from monumental installations to tiny hyper-realist paintings. In each mode, the artist explores the “intersection of the spectacular and the everyday.” Often,her concerns relate to humans interacting with nature. In At Home, we are invited to contemplate two found—and carefully recreated—images together, noting


Elizabeth Alexander

Elizabeth Alexander b. 1982       STUDIO IN LOWELL, MA In everyday language, to be “decorative” is also to be feminine, flowery, or delicate. In her work across various media, Elizabeth Alexander probes that traditional understanding of decoration by adding or subtracting it from existing objects, producing familiar-yet-alien forms that defy expectation. In her sculptural series Tea,


Emily Erb

Emily Erb b. 1982      STUDIO IN PHILADELPHIA, PA Painting on silk allows artist Emily Erb to create fluttering works of uncanny beauty and detail, dense with images. The material has rich associations for the artist, both for its historical significance and its physical properties. Once used as currency in China, silk offers a tightly woven and


Eyakem Gulilat

Eyakem Gulilat b. 1976       STUDIO IN NORMAN, OK Growing up in Ethiopia, Eyakem Gulilat was unfamiliar with the way his home country and its people were represented in the West until he moved to the United States in 1996. Through his work, he has applied photography and his new perspective as an Ethiopian-American to investigate


Fahamu Pecou

Fahamu Pecou b. 1975       STUDIO IN ATLANTA, GA In this drawing from Fahamu Pecou’s Gravity series, a shirtless black male figure, arms raised as if hiding his face, barely fits within the frame. Three pairs of patterned underwear peek out from his sagging pants, a style worn by some young men. Though the shape of


Fahamu Pecou – An Expression of Gravity

Fahamu Pecou – An Expression of Gravity Fahama Pecou talks about his Gravity series, the weight of his responsibility as a father, and opening a space for dialogue regarding the expression of black masculinity.


Flora C. Mace

Flora C. Mace b. 1949      STUDIO IN SEATTLE, WA Plants are among the most delicate and ephemeral of living things. A flower may appear for mere days each year and then be gone. For centuries, scientists and artists have attempted to document the beauty and form of plants in many ways—pressing them into scrapbooks, drawing and


Gabriel Dawe

Gabriel Dawe b. 1973       STUDIO IN DALLAS, TX Read this interview’s transcript Gabriel Dawe’s installations of multicolored thread engage the eye and challenge our perception of space. At first, you may think you see a full spectrum of projected light: a rainbow of saturated hues shimmering on the walls and the floor. But as you


Gabriel Dawe – Hanging by a Thread: The Installation of Plexus No. 27

Gabriel Dawe – Hanging by a Thread: The Installation of Plexus No. 27 Gabriel Dawe installs his colorful work, Plexus No. 27, at Crystal Bridges.


Ghost of a Dream

Ghost of a Dream Adam Eckstrom and Lauren Was b. 1974 | 1977       STUDIO IN BROOKLYN, NY What do you want from life, and how do you hope to achieve it? Artists Adam Eckstrom and Lauren Was, working in collaboration as Ghost of a Dream, use lottery tickets, romance novels, and other collaged materials in


Video Interviews with the Artists

Bios • Work • Process


Drawing the Body with Monica Aissa Martinez


Last week Crystal Bridges hosted our first public Symposium, focused on State of the Art and the artist’s relationship to his or her environment. (Watch this space for upcoming posts about those interesting artist/audience discussions.) On the Saturday of the Symposium, the Museum also offered a teen drawing class directed by State of the Art


Capturing Nature in Clay: An Autumn Project


Cooler weather is upon us, and many of us, including me, treasure those last warm days of the year. As an Art Instructor for a museum that has over 3.5 miles of winding trails, the opportunity to incorporate the natural beauty into lessons is too good to resist. Some of the artists in our exhibition


State of the Art Museum Store Connection


We know there are quite a few works in State of the Art with connections to Crystal Bridges’ permanent collection. But did you know the Museum Store has a connection to a work in the State of the Art too?   Much like Emily Erb’s artwork World Map, regional artisan Susan Tinker’s work uses the