This story is one in a series of four profiles on unknown American artists, selected for an exhibit at the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art (click here to explore the full series). Crystal Bridges president Don Bacigalupi and curator Chad Alligood split a map of the U.S. into four regions before setting off on a journey to find the best artists currently working in America. Each artist profiled here hails from one of the following regions:
Andy DuCett, 35
Growing up, Andy DuCett liked to rearrange his furniture so much, his parents placed a limit on how many times he could do it in a week. His obsession with disorientation lives on today in installations that use familiar objects, like chairs, in unusual ways.
DuCett, a Minnesota-based artist, is one of the subjects we picked from State of the Art, an unprecedented exhibit featuring contemporary art from across the country. For nearly a year, two staffers of the Crystal Bridges museum in Bentonville, Arkansas — president Don Bacigalupi and curator Chad Alligood — traveled thousands of miles in search of great American artists based outside of New York City’s art-world epicenter. It was a curatorial adventure unlike any that’s come before, and DuCett was one of 102 people to make the final cut.
Below, DuCett examines the roots of his Crystal Bridges contribution, the “Mom Booth” — a deceptively simple piece of performance art that turns the typical museum information booth on its head. Staffed by museum volunteers who are also mothers, the booth is a detergent-scented twilight zone where a presiding mom might ask visitors to help fold her fresh laundry (which she’s brought in), or cluck at a fallen Lego piece (which she covertly dropped). The idea is to invite contemplation of a truly Midwestern sentiment: Mothers guide us all.