Works from ‘State of the Art’ exhibit return to first home; Crystal Bridges also announces new exhibit and acquisitions

Noted photographer Carrie Mae Weems will visit the museum for a discussion on Nov. 30. Her work “Untitled (Woman feeding bird)” from 1990, a gelatin silver print, has been acquired by Crystal Bridges and will be part of the new exhibit “All or Nothing” exploring black and white works.

Photo courtesy of the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York.

The “State of the Art” exhibit of contemporary artwork assembled by curators at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville never really went away. For instance, Gabrielle Dawes’ string work, “Plexus No. 27” has hung in the same spot since debuting with the exhibit in September 2014.

What: “All or Nothing”
When: Nov. 11 through May 28
Where: Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville
Cost: Free
Information: Visit

When “State of the Art” came down from the Crystal Bridges galleries, the exhibit went on a national tour. With the tour concluded, several of the pieces return to Crystal Bridges. Vanessa L. German’s power figures take up residence near Kerry James Marshall’s “Our Town.” Likewise, Jimmy Baker’s “Arrangements 1-4,” which merges traditional and digital media, comes back to Crystal Bridges. All of the pieces back on display are meant as a supplement to familiar works.

“In 2014, visitors saw these works as part of an isolated experiment – contained within their own exhibition as ‘State of the Art,’” says Crystal Bridges’ assistant curator Alejo Benedetti in a press release announcing the return. “What is most exciting about their return is the chance to put them into conversation with the rest of our permanent collection as powerful continuations of our unfolding American story.”

Along with their return, Crystal Bridges also announced a new focused exhibit that debuts on Nov. 11 – that’s the museum’s sixth birthday – called “All or Nothing.” It contains several black and white works. The art in “All or Nothing” spans a variety of mediums and years, with works from the 1860s to the present. “All or Nothing” is free to view.

Several of the works in “All or Nothing” are new, or newly displayed. Crystal Bridges recently acquired two of the works: Ellsworth Kelly’s “White and Dark Gray Panels” from 1977 and Willie Birch’s “Domino Players” from 2008. Also on display for the first time at Crystal Bridges is “Untitled (Woman Feeding Bird)” by Carrie Mae Weems. The photographer/social commenter will also visit Crystal Bridges for a gallery talk on Nov. 30. Weems was celebrated a solo exhibit at the Solomon Guggenheim Museum in New York City and was the recipient of a MacArthur Foundation “Genuis” grant.

“All or Nothing” can be found in the permanent collection galleries on the north side of the Crystal Bridges campus and is on display through May 28.

The mixed media work by artist Vanessa L. German called “White Naptha Soap, or Contemporary Lessons in Shapeshifting” from 2013 made its debut in the “State of the Art” exhibit at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. After a national tour, the work comes back to Bentonville starting Nov. 11.


In addition to announcing the return of many works from “State of the Art,” Crystal Bridges officials have also announced several new acquisitions, including Jimmy Baker’s “Arrangement 4” from 2013, which features oil and UV ink on canvas over panel.