Art Galleries
Arts & Culture

A Divided Landscape

Saturday, May 14, 2022 to Sunday, September 25, 2022
Rates/Admission Prices

Admission is free for all

The Momentary
507 SE E Street
Bentonville, AR 72712
Hours of Operation

Sun + Tue-Wed | 10am to 7pm
Thu-Sat | 10am to 10pm
Mon | Closed

From the founding of the United States to the present day, artists have employed mythic imagery — towering mountains, placid rivers, and sunlit plains — to illustrate the vast expanses and striking scenery of the American West. In the nineteenth century, painters and sculptors presented the frontier region as a new Eden: a blank canvas largely devoid of inhabitants and unspoiled by encroaching industrialization. But these romantic, mythologized, canonized visions have contributed to the erasure of Native peoples and the realities of settler colonialism. European American artists painted a version of the world they wanted others to see. What has been left out – the footprints, fences, military trenches, deeds, handshakes, broken treaties, and blood – tells a darker, more accurate story. 

In A Divided Landscape, seven contemporary artists confront the historical and cultural narratives of the American West. Through paintings, drawings, sculpture, and mixed-media installations, this sweeping exhibition reclaims space throughout the Momentary galleries and outdoor spaces. Themes encompass ideas of wilderness and indigeneity, interactions between humans and animals, and humans’ conquest of nature. 

A Divided Landscape includes original work from Matthew Barney, Andrea Carlson, Nicholas Galanin, Brian Jungen, Lucy Raven, Xaviera Simmons, and Kara Walker, as well as historical drawings and paintings from the collection at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art by Arthur Fitzwilliam Tait, George Catlin, Jasper Francis Cropsey, and others that speak to the preservation of the dominant frontier narrative. Together, the artists in this exhibition will examine landscape paintings that promoted westward expansion and then present a post-colonial version of those landscapes to share the full story of the American West.

A Divided Landscape is a group exhibition that will be on view in three galleries and outdoor spaces on the grounds presently occupied by the Momentary. 

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

A Divided Landscape is sponsored by Deborah Wright.

Photo Credit: Xaviera Simmons, Composition One for Score A, 2010, color photograph, 40 x 50 in. Courtesy of the artist and David Castillo Gallery.5