Crystal Bridges’ State of the Art exhibition to travel in 2016-17

Danial Nord’s sculpture might be one of the most impactful works in the State of the Art exhibit. Made entirely of old television parts, the work depicts a giant Mickey Mouse figure laying on the floor in a dark room, illuminated only by slivers of light that occasionally escape from the structure. An audio loop made from fragments of the Mickey Mouse Club theme song blasts from the inside of the figure, adding to the unsettling nature of the work.

Danial Nord: state of the art / Photo: Gene Ogamistate

State of the Art, the most viewed exhibition in the four-year history of Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, will travel to museums in Minnesota, Georgia and Tennessee over the next two years, officials announced today.

The free exhibit, which ran from September 2014 to January 2015, was viewed by a museum record 175,000 visitors, and will become the first Crystal Bridges-curated exhibition to travel.

Museum curators logged more than 100,000 miles crisscrossing the country to visit nearly 1,000 potential artists when curating the collection. The idea was to provide exposure for some emerging artists that hadn’t been discovered on a national scale.

The exhibit captured the national spotlight with media coverage that included a CBS Sunday Morning story, a New York Times feature, and a Huffington Post list of the 15 best art exhibitions of 2014.

State of the Art occupied 19,000 square feet of museum space, including additional installations on the museum grounds and in downtown Bentonville. It will be split into two different shows for traveling. A majority of the works that appeared at Crystal Bridges will be included in the traveling exhibitions, alongside other works by the artists represented on the original checklist.

State of the Art will appear at the Minneapolis Institute of Art from Feb. 18 to May 29, 2016, Telfair Museums in Savannah, Ga. from Feb. 19 to Sept. 4, 2016, and Dixon Gallery and Gardens in Memphis, Tenn. from Jan. 29 to March 26, 2017.

“The success put State of the Art on the forefront of discussion about art in America and positioned the exhibition for a life beyond our walls,” said Rod Bigelow, Crystal Bridges Executive Director. “We’re delighted that the exhibition will be visiting other parts of the country and eager to see how the works will connect with new audiences in different ways.”

Another memorable piece in the exhibit was an installation by Brooklyn artist Jonathan Schipper called Slow Room. The work featured a living room with furniture, plants, lamps and pictures all tied to pieces of string that were slowly pulled into a hole in the wall. The items were pulled so slowly that their movement was imperceptible, but over time, everything in the room became intertwined, interlaced, and sometimes destroyed.

Slow Room / Photo: Dustin Bartholomew

State of the Art: Trailer