Sixty artists, including at least two with ties to Arkansas and a third whose works are on exhibit now in Little Rock, have been selected for “State of the Art 2020,” the opening exhibition of the Momentary contemporary art space in Bentonville on Feb. 22. The more than 100 works of art will find homes in both the Momentary and Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art.
“SOTA 2020” follows 2014’s “State of the Art: Discovering American Art Now,” an exhibition of emerging artists from across the nation selected by Don Bacigalupi and Chad Alligood, the former director and curator. Crystal Bridges’ curatorial team of Lauren Haynes, Alejo Benedetti and Allison Glenn visited studios across the nation to choose the artists for “SOTA 2020.”
In its press release, Crystal Bridges quoted Haynes, who is curator of visual arts for the Momentary as well as curator of contemporary art at Crystal Bridges, as saying the exhibition “fits our vision for the Momentary and builds on some of what we’ve already done at Crystal Bridges — presenting contemporary artists who are making work that raise topics and important questions about this moment in time. As we traveled the U.S. talking with artists, connections between their work and ideas began to emerge, which drove the selection of themes.” Those themes are “world-building” (the creation of spaces both real and fictional); “sense of place” (ideas of home, family and immigration); “mapping” (relationships with landscape and power); and “temporality” (concepts of time).
“SOTA 2020” artist Anthony Sonnenberg, a ceramist/sculptor/performance artist, is a visiting assistant professor in ceramics at the University of Arkansas and a native of Texas. Hannah McBroom, who is identified as a Kansas City, Mo., artist in the SOTA list, received a master of fine arts degree from the UA this year; her work, which deals with transgender issues, was on exhibit at the Gallery at Midtown Associates in Bentonville this fall. Cory Imig, also of Kansas City, has an installation this month at The New Gallery in SOMA.
The image below is a digital documentation of Sonnenberg’s live performance, “Captain Dirty Bear Asks a Question,” at the Seattle Art Museum in 2011, from his website.
The exhibition will run through May 24.