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State of the Art 2020: Constructs

This exhibition features groupings that explore the human impact on the environment, the ways place informs identity, and how people build their own personas and sense of self.

Available Touring Summer 2020 - Winter/Spring 2022/2023

Exhibition Images

  • Su Su, Darwin, 2018, oil on canvas, 34 × 50 × 2 in. Courtesy of the artist.

  • Kris Pierce, Free Food, 2018, 2 Channel HD video, TRT: 04:35. Courtesy of the artist.

  • Hannah McBroom, Woodpile, 2019, oil on canvas, 24 × 24 in. Courtesy of Hannah McBroom.

  • Lori Kella, Euclid’s Mirror, 2019, archival pigment print, 31 x 46 in. Courtesy of the artist

  • L. Kasimu Harris, Come Tuesday (Sportsman’s Corner), 2018, archival pigment print, 25 ¼ x 37 in. Courtesy of L. Kasimu Harris.

  • Amy Casey, Highground, 2019, acrylic on cradled ampersand clayboard panel, 30 in. × 30 in. Courtesy: Private collection, Dallas, TX and Zg Gallery, Chicago, IL.

About the Exhibition

State of the Art is an exploration into how contemporary art – produced all across the country including regions outside traditional art centers – reflects the present moment. It began in 2014, when Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art presented State of the Art: Discovering American Art Now, which was seen by 175,000 visitors in Bentonville, Arkansas before traveling to five additional museums. State of the Art 2020 – featuring a fresh new group of artists selected by a new curatorial team – opened at the Momentary and at Crystal Bridges in February 2020 and is now ready to be experienced across the country.

In its original presentation,State of the Art 2020 displayed more than 100 recent works, by 61 artists working in paintings, sculpture, photography, video, performance, and mixed media. The artists represent a cross-section of makers working in the United States today. To travel to Art Bridges partners, the show has been divided into three different exhibitions of approximately 5,000-8,000 square feet each, called Locate, Record, and Constructs.

State of the Art 2020: Constructs is organized into three thematic sections which explore the human impact on the environment, the ways place informs identity, and how people build their own personas and senses of self. The notion of these constructs extends from the built environment to include the identities that people build for themselves through place, tradition, and relationships.

Section 1: Monuments of the Anthropocene
The Anthropocene is a term some scientists use to denote the current geological period – one in which humans are making the largest impact on the environment. The artists grouped into the “Monuments of the Anthropocene” section emphasize our outsized impact on the world.

Section 2: Site
Locations often carry threads of memory and tradition with them. This links people and objects to specific places and frequently aids in the creation of identity. The artists in the “Site” section re-contextualize objects, highlight particular details, and explore changing histories, but always with a connection to specific locations.

Section 3: Constructing Self
Artists explore the construction of personal identities in this section. In some ways, this activity seems linked to a particularly American affirmation that we have endless opportunities to invent and reinvent ourselves. “Constructing Self” explores a range of different ways in which personas are created, as well as the factors that affect and influence this construction.


The national tour of State of the Art 2020 is sponsored by Bank of America with additional support from Art Bridges.




Availability & Touring

  • November 2022-February 2023