Gina Phillips, Fort Dirt Hole, 2013, fabric, thread, ink and paint, 156" x 324"
September 13, 2014 - January 19, 2015
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
New Orleans, LA - Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Ark. recently announced that the exhibition State of the Art: Discovering American Art Now will feature 102 artists from all over the country. New Orleans-based artist, Gina Phillips’ work will be included in State of the Art, which debuts at Crystal Bridges on September 13.
Crystal Bridges President Don Bacigalupi and Assistant Curator Chad Alligood traveled to New Orleans in January 2014 to conduct an interview with Gina Phillips as part of the search for the most compelling American art being created today.
This studio visit was one of nearly 1,000 stops made by the curatorial team during a year-long, 100,000 mile journey across the country to discover artists whose work has not yet been fully recognized. The result is a one-of-a-kind exhibition that draws from every region of the U.S., offering an unusually diverse and nuanced look at American art. The 102 artists selected range in age from 24 – 87, including 54 male and 48 female artists from across the country.
Phillips’ 13 feet high and 27 feet wide fabric painting “Fort Dirt Hole” will be included in State of the Art. She begins a piece with a simple underpainting in acrylic paint on canvas or muslin...then finishes the piece by appliquéing fabric and thread on top. Phillips uses a communal gathering process to source her fabrics, as neighbors, friends, family often donate to her artistic process. Her sewn work hover between two and three dimensionality and often the backs of her pieces are as interesting as the front sides.
“The complexity of themes in the work mirrors the diversity and individuality of the makers. Each artist represents meaningful conversations happening in rural communities, small towns, and more densely populated urban centers all across the country,” said Crystal Bridges assistant curator Chad Alligood. “The artists are responding to the same things we’re all responding to in our daily lives. We hope that
this exhibition will inspire new ways to experience contemporary art and the evolving narratives that make up our cultural fabric.”
From works on canvas and paper to photography, video to installation, sculpture to ceramics and more, the diverse range of styles and voices from across the U.S. reflects what’s happening in American art right now.
“The exhibition is a glimpse into the state of art in our nation at this moment,” said Crystal Bridges president Don Bacigalupi. “Presenting the exhibition at Crystal Bridges provides us an opportunity to see contemporary art in the broader historical context. By examining a wide range of works by artists from across the country, we can gain insight into our nation as a whole: our collective passions, challenges, and concerns.”
The State of the Art exhibition, featuring more than 200 works by the 102 artists, will
reach beyond the museum’s temporary exhibition spaces, extending into the permanent collection galleries and activating community areas indoors and out. Visitors to the exhibition will traverse through the museum’s permanent collection galleries, featuring masterworks such as Asher Brown Durand’s Kindred Spirits and Georgia O’Keeffe’s Radiator Building—Night, New York, before arriving at the museum’s 20th century gallery and the beginning of the State of the Art exhibition. The exhibition continues in the temporary exhibition galleries, occupying a total of approximately 19,000 square feet of gallery space.
For additional information on State of the Art, please contact:
Beth Bobbitt at Beth.Bobbitt@crystalbridges.org or (479) 418.5700
About the Artist
Gina Phillips is a mixed-media, narrative artist who grew up in Kentucky and has lived in New Orleans since 1995. Her work is influenced by the imagery, stories and characters of both regions. She started her career as a painter, but over the years, has increasingly incorporated fabric and thread into her work. The most common narrative characteristic that runs through her work is tragicomedy. The people and/or animals that tell the story often embody a magical realism.
Gina Phillips has a BFA from University of Kentucky and an MFA from Tulane University’s Newcomb College. Her work has been exhibited in galleries and museums across the country including at Pepperdine University, Tulane University and most recently at Ballroom Marfa. In addition, her work has been presented at numerous art fairs including PULSE LA, PULSE Miami, Texas Contemporary and VOLTA Basel. Phillips’ work has been featured in Art in America, The Times-Picayune and ARTNews, among others. She was selected as one of twenty-seven international artists featured in the Prospect.2 Biennial of Contemporary Art curated by Dan Cameron and her collection of fabric portraits, “Friends and Neighbors” was exhibited at Volta8 as part of Art Basel in Switzerland. Phillips' work was most recently featured in a mid-career retrospective at the Ogden Museum of Southern Art entitled, “I Was Trying Hard to Think About Sweet Thing,” October 2013 - January 2014. She is scheduled for solo exhibitions at the 21c Museum in Louisvulle, opening September 2014, and at the Birmingham Museum of Art in late-2015.
Her work is in numerous collections including University of Kentucky, Lexington; NASA; New Orleans Museum of Art; Ogden Museum of Southern Art; 21c Museum, KY; the Drake Hotel, Toronto; The Frederick R. Weisman Art Foundation; Tulane University and House of Blues (various locations across US.); Josh Rechnitz, Thomas Coleman, Ellen and Cooper Manning, and the collection of Marilyn Oshman.
Gina Phillips lives and works in New Orleans, LA and is represented by Jonathan Ferrara Gallery.
About Crystal Bridges
The mission of Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art is to welcome all to celebrate the American spirit in a setting that unites the power of art with the beauty of nature. Opened to the public on 11-11-11, Crystal Bridges was founded in 2005 by the Walton Family Foundation as a nonprofit charitable organization for all to enjoy. Philanthropist and arts patron Alice Walton chairs the museum’s board of directors. Since its opening, the Museum has welcomed more than 1.4 million visitors, and garnered nearly 8,000 households in its membership. Some 55,000 school children have participated in the Museum’s Willard and Pat Walker School Visit program, which provides educational experiences for school groups at no cost to the schools. More than 220,000 visitors a year utilize the Museum’s 3.5 miles of walking trails.
Crystal Bridges takes its name from a nearby natural spring and the bridge construction incorporated in the building, designed by world-renowned architect Moshe Safdie. A series of pavilions nestled around two spring-fed ponds house galleries, meeting and classroom spaces, and a large, glass-enclosed gathering hall. Guest amenities include a restaurant on a glass-enclosed bridge overlooking the ponds, a Museum Store designed by architect Marlon Blackwell, and a library featuring more than 50,000 volumes of art reference material. Sculpture and walking trails link the Museum's 120- acre park to downtown Bentonville, Arkansas.
Crystal Bridges’ permanent collection spans five centuries of American masterworks ranging from the Colonial era to the current day. Included within the collection are iconic images such as Asher B. Durand’s Kindred Spirits, Norman Rockwell’s Rosie the Riveter, and Andy Warhol’s Coca-Cola — each reflecting a distinct moment in American artistic evolution—as well as major works by modern and contemporary American artists, including Georgia O’Keeffe, John Baldessari, and James Turrell. The permanent collection, which continues to grow through a strategic acquisition plan, is on view year-round and is enhanced by an array of temporary exhibitions, which were viewed by some 216,000 visitors in 2013.
For information about Crystal Bridges, visit CrystalBridges.org. To learn more about State of the Art, visit the Huffington Post blog and Crystal Bridges website. For news updates, follow Crystal Bridges on Facebook or Twitter #StateoftheArt.