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Crystal Bridges

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Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, which is scheduled to open next year, has added two works by contemporary artists to its collection.
The museum has commissioned a Skyspace by James Turrell and has purchased Mark di Suvero’s Lowell’s Ocean 2005-2008. The two acquisitions will grace the grounds of the 100-acre wooded site in downtown Bentonville. The two works are extremely different. Turrell’s installation will address light and space while, di Suvero’s piece makes a bold statement standing 20 feet high and weighing more than 13 tons.
“From the rough purity of physics and mathematics to perceptual psychology, they facilitate our own unexpected encounters with everyday experience with gravity and light,” said Crystal Bridges Chief Curator Chris Crosman. “And for the viewer, these complementary experiences become as physically engaging as they are intellectually vivid.”
Turrell, an installation artist who was born in Los Angeles in 1943, will create an original Skyspace, a structure that will allow the viewer to experience the ever-changing aspects of light and space. The structure will be designed specifically for the Crystal Bridges site. According to a museum spokesman, Turrell will use native stone in the construction, which is envisioned as a circular structure with a 16-feet diameter that features a viewing room with benches and a 10-foot-wide ceiling oculus revealing a partial view of the sky and a computer-driven LED lighting display. Turrell, a recipient of the Wolf Prize in Arts, may be best known for his earthworks project, Roden Crater near Flagstaff, Ariz. Other Skyspace locations include the de Young Museum in San Francisco and the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis.
Completed in 2008, di Suvero’s Lowell’s Ocean 2005-2008, is constructed of welded steel I-beams with a curled spiral in the middle, cut from a single plate of steel. It stands more than 20 feet tall and weighs more than 13 tons. Di Suvero was born in China in 1933 and immigrated to San Francisco in 1941. He graduated from the University of California-Berkeley and currently lives in New York. He is the recipient of numerous awards and his work is held in collections around the world including the Museum of Modern Art, the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Gallery, Cranbrook Art Museum, Whitney Museum of American Art and the Menil Collection.
Although Crystal Bridges is not scheduled to open until next year, the west bike trail is slated to open this spring. The 10-foot-wide multipurpose trail runs north through the property and crosses a scenic bridge. When completed, the trail will run three-quarters of a mile and will be complimented by sculptures and native plants. The trail will have a viewing platform that will offer a view of the museum.

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