Now You See Me . . .

Reflections on Portraits and Abstractions from the Collection

May 24, 2018 - March 7, 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

Ongoing Exhibitions

Bee in Flight

Ongoing
Bee in Flight

Community artist and school art teacher MeLissa Kossick, who guides youth classes at the Museum on art, gardens, and pollinators, has created an enchanting mosaic design in the Creativity Pathway in the Serkland Gallery called Bee in Flight.

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The North Dakota Mural

Ongoing
The North Dakota Mural

Drawing on his childhood memories of the Great Plains, he created a work that speaks to the wide open spaces, huge vistas, and ocean-like skies of the region.

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Fragile Preservation

Ongoing
Fragile Preservation
A Tallgrass Community

While the Tallgrass Prairie is a community made up of a great diversity of species, Fragile Preservation represents a selection of them.

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