Now You See Me . . .

Reflections on Portraits and Abstractions from the Collection

May 24, 2018 - March 23, 2019

If one looks closely and listens carefully, works of art can ask important questions that elicit understanding of our world. For example, what societal factors influence how an artist depicts another person? What role does photography play in transforming individuals into icons? Or, what does it mean when people talk about being a “real” man? Sometimes, artworks ask the viewer self-referential questions. For example, can a “painting” be made on a computer? When you remove craftsmanship, in what other ways can we determine if a work of art is “good”? This year’s permanent collection exhibition looks at portraits and abstractions – their “human-ness” or mechanical nature – and more importantly, the spectrum of questions that one can derive from the work. What questions or responses do you have? We invite you to join the conversation through this exhibition curated by Plains Art Museum Director Andrew Maus and Associate Curator Tasha Kubesh, with assistance from the Museum’s Curatorial Team members and installation staff.   

Plains Art Museum is home to over 4,000 diverse national, regional, and local works of art. Since the Museum’s incorporation in 1975, it has focused primarily on collecting American modern and contemporary art in a variety of styles with special emphasis in regional artwork, Native American work, and Modern Masters. This current exhibition also acknowledges donations to the collection from private collectors and businesses that are making Fargo-Moorhead the cultural center of the Upper Midwest.

  • Martin Wanserski, First Born, 1981, Mixed media, 13 x 3 x 7 in. Museum Purchase: 23th Midwestern Invitational Exhibition Purchase
  • Andy Warhol, Jacqueline Kennedy II, 1965, Screenprint, Gift Donald D. Powell, © 2018 Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
  • Fritz Scholder, Kiva Rest, 1977, Oil on canvas, Museum purchase

Other Exhibitions

Mike Marth

June 21, 2018 - October 7, 2018
This is Not a Still Life

This is Not a Still Life explores the multiple dimensions of Moorhead (MN)-based artist Mike Marth’s artwork and its remarkable evolution. Exhibiting a mastery of materials, Marth’s work is often formal in nature, emphasizing its inherent qualities of form, style, symbolism, and texture.

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Flatlander

June 7, 2018 - September 15, 2018
Belonging to the Land 

Flatlander: Belonging to The Land is a series by artist John Hitchcock that views and comments on the Great Plains as the epicenter for Plains tribal culture. In the series, Hitchcock utilizes drawing and printmaking processes to convey and layer thoughts about removal, displacement, and belonging.

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John Hitchcock: Protectors

June 7, 2018 - September 15, 2018

Protectors, a screenprint installation by artist John Hitchcock, uses multiple screenprinted images of bison skulls mounted on a background of Naugahyde pelts. The pelt forms suggest landmasses, and each element connects to the environment through form, placement, and symbol.

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Lakota Emergence

May 31, 2018 - September 1, 2018

Curated by Dr. Craig Howe from the Center for American Indian Research and Native Studies (CAIRNS) in Martin, South Dakota, Lakota Emergence focuses entirely on the Lakota emergence narrative as recorded in “How the Lakota Came Upon the World,” published in 1917. The place of Lakota emergence is centered at Wind Cave in what is now known as the Black Hills in South Dakota.

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Now You See Me . . .

May 24, 2018 - March 23, 2019
Reflections on Portraits and Abstractions from the Collection

If one looks closely and listens carefully, works of art can ask important questions that elicit understanding of our world. For example, what societal factors influence how an artist depicts another person?

View Exhibition