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A Divided Landscape and Let Earth Breathe

The current exhibition at the Momentary, A Divided Landscape, explores themes that encompass ideas of wilderness, interactions between humans and animals, and humans’ conquest of nature. The works by seven contemporary artists confront the historical and cultural narratives of the American West. The art not only occupies interior gallery spaces but spills out into exterior spaces on the museum’s campus. A Divided Landscape features original works that includes paintings, drawings, sculptures, and mixed-media installations by artists Matthew Barney, Andrea Carlson, Nicholas Galanin, Brian Jungen, Lucy Raven, Xaviera Simmons, and Kara Walker.

One of the most striking pieces in the exhibition is a sculpture by Brian Jungen that is composed of white, plastic, Rubbermaid step stools that are cut up and reassembled into the shape of a turtle’s shell that rests atop 32 metal filing cabinets. The sculptor’s shape references “Turtle Island” a name for North America used by many indigenous communities. A partially stuffed polar bear by Nicholas Galanin depicts the melting ice in the polar regions. The large powerful piece is titled We Dreamt Deaf.

For the first time at the Momentary, there are pieces in the exhibition on loan from the collection of the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art that includes works by Arthur Fitzwilliam Tait, George Catlin, Jasper Francis Cropsey. The pieces from Crystal Bridges are enclosed in specially designed climate-controlled glass boxes that protect the art from excess humidity.

Also at the Momentary is a solo exhibition Let Earth Breathe by Esteban Cabeza de Baca that “interrogates the American landscape tradition by deconstructing its linear, colonial narratives with original works of painting, sculpture, and outdoor, site-specific installations conceived as collaborations with nature.” Utilizing indoor and outdoor spaces at the Momentary, Cabeza de Baca explores our relationship with the environment, the present climate crisis, and our national history. The exhibition includes a series of hanging live plants. Seeds from the plants are available for free for the public to take and plant in home gardens.

The Momentary is open from 10 a.m. until 7 p.m. on Sunday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, and from 10 a.m. until 10 p.m. Thursday, Friday, and Saturday at 507 SE E St, Bentonville, AR. The Momentary is closed Mondays. Both exhibitions will be on view through September 25. For more information click HERE.

A Divided Landscape is organized by the Momentary and curated by Neville Wakefield and Kaitlin Garcia-Maestas, associate curator, with Taylor Jasper, curatorial associate. The exhibition is sponsored by Deborah Wright.

Esteban Cabeza de Baca: Let Earth Breathe is organized by the Momentary and curated by Kaitlin Garcia-Maestas, associate curator, with Taylor Jasper, curatorial associate. The exhibition is sponsored by Tony Waller.


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