Crystal Bridges to Debut 'Art in the Age of Black Power' Exhibit

Crystal Bridges to Debut 'Art in the Age of Black Power' Exhibit
"Trane," from 1969 by William T. Williams. (Crystal Bridges)

Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville on Tuesday announced its exhibitions for 2018, including the U.S. debut of "Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power."

Also appearing next year will be the Crystal Bridges-organized exhibitions "Georgia O'Keeffe and Contemporary Art" and "Native North America."

"Our 2018 exhibitions complement the story of American art shared through our permanent collection," said Rod Bigelow, the museum's executive director and chief diversity and inclusion officer. 

The museum called "Soul of a Nation," organized by the Tate Modern in London and debuting in the United States at Crystal Bridges, "a look at how American culture was reshaped through the work of Black artists during the tumultuous 1960s, '70s, and early '80s."

Crystal Bridges is one of only two American venues to host this exhibition. Following its debut at Crystal Bridges, the exhibition travels to the Brooklyn Museum in New York.

The exhibit will feature artworks by more than 60 black artists, including Romare Bearden, Melvin Edwards, Betye Saar, Faith Ringgold, Charles White, Alvin Loving, Alma Thomas and Lorraine O'Grady.

And the art includes a wide range of styles and media, including painting, photography, fashion, sculpture and mixed media work, as well as street art in the form of murals and posters by artists of the AfriCOBRA collective, the graphic art created by Emory Douglas for The Black Panther newspaper and black feminist art.

"Soul of a Nation opens a window into the heart of the Black Power movement in all of its beauty, pride, power, and aspiration," the museum said.

Soul of a Nation runs Feb. 3 through April 23, 2018.

As for the Georgia O'Keeffe exhibit, Crystal Bridges is building on its collection of major works by O'Keeffe — including Jimson Weed/White Flower No. 1 and Radiator Building-Night, New York — and is bringing together a selection of O'Keeffe's most important works.

Alongside the works by O'Keeffe, the exhibition will display artworks by emerging contemporary artists "that evoke, investigate, and expand upon O'Keeffe's artistic legacy," the museum said. "This exhibition demonstrates the continuing power of O'Keeffe's work as a touchstone for contemporary art."

These contemporary artists include Sharona Eliassaf, Monica Kim Garza, Loie Hollowell, Molly Larkey and Matthew Ronay.

This exhibit will run May 26 through Sept. 3, 2018.

The exhibit "Native North America," which will be on display Oct. 6, 2018, through Jan. 7, 2019, is the first exhibition to chart the development of contemporary indigenous art from the United States and Canada from the 1960s to the present, the museum said.

The exhibition will present about 75 works of art by important native artists — such as Kay WalkingStick, Carl Beam, Fritz Scholder, Andrea Carlson and Kent Monkman — and features works in a variety of media, including painting, drawing, photography, videos, sculpture and sound, installation and performance art.