Salvador Dalí’s

Stairway to Heaven

December 19, 2019 - May 20, 2020

William and Anna Jane Schlossman Gallery

Your art museum is excited to present Salvador Dalí’s Stairway to Heaven—the first major Salvador Dalí exhibition in North Dakota. Known as one of 20th Century’s foremost masters of Surrealism, Salvador Dalí (1904-1989) has ignited the imagination of international viewers and artists for decades. Salvador Dalí’s Stairway to Heaven portrays 143 works on paper in a comparative study of two of Dalí’s most celebrated portfolios: his book illustrations for the Comte de Lautréamont’s Les Chants de Maldoror (The Songs of Maldoror, originally published in 1868-69) and Dante Alighieri’s The Divine Comedy (originally published 1320). Together, they express a progression in Dalí’s personal life in which he ultimately returns to order, reason and tradition, and presents his un-paralleled grandiose creativity.

This traveling exhibition is curated by David S. Rubin and organized by the Carole Sorell Inc. with generous support from the Park West Foundation. David S. Rubin is a Los Angeles-based curator, art critic, author and artist who has been in the contemporary art field for more than forty years. Rubin served in curatorial roles at Antonio Museum of Art, New Orleans’ Contemporary Arts Center, Phoenix Art Museum, MOCA Cleveland, San Francisco Art Institute and San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and holds a B.A. in Philosophy from the University of California, Los Angeles and an M.A. in Art History from Harvard University. Rubin is currently listed in Who’s Who in the World, Who’s Who in America and Who’s Who in American Art, and his curatorial archives are housed in the Smithsonian Institution’s Archives of American Art.

A fully illustrated catalog with an essay by David S. Rubin accompanies the exhibition, as well as “Dalí–Illustrator,” a 407-page hardcover book by Eduard Fornés. Salvador Dali’s Stairway to Heaven also visits Hilliard Museum, Lafayette, LA; the Bradbury Art Museum, Jonesboro, Arkansas; Oglethorpe University Museum of Art, Atlanta, Georgia; University of Texas at San Antonio Main Art Gallery, San Antonio, Texas; Fort Wayne Museum of Art, Fort Wayne, Indiana; Mabee-Gerrer Museum of Art, Shawnee, Oklahoma; and Biggs Museum of American Art, Dover, Delaware.

This traveling exhibition is curated by David S. Rubin and organized by the Carole Sorell Inc. with generous support from the Park West Foundation. David S. Rubin is a Los Angeles-based curator, art critic, and artist who has been in the contemporary art field for more than forty years and is the former Curator of Visual Arts at the Contemporary Arts Center, New Orleans. A fully illustrated catalog with an essay by David S. Rubin accompanies the exhibition, as well as “Dalí–Illustrator,” a 407-page hardcover book by Eduard Fornés.

Guided Tour: Salvador Dalí: Stairway to Heaven at the Winter Party
Thursday, January 16, 7:30 PM • $10 / Members Free

During the Winter Party, join Museum curatorial staff for an introduction and guided tour of the exhibition Salvador Dalí’s: Stairway to Heaven. Also at the Winter Party, experience a surreal dessert presentation, live Flamenco guitar, and an endless Paella Party featuring local chefs.

Film and Surrealism
Thursday, January 23, 7 PM • Free

Surrealism is a part of what Horkheimer and Adorno call “the Dialectic of Enlightenment.” The Enlightenment was a movement that began in the 17th and 18th centuries as a response to the increasing power of science to explain things in the world. A consequence of this power, which included all sorts of new technologies, was a great optimism about curing all of the ills that beleaguered human kind. The actual results, however, were not unmixed. From nerve gases and new military technologies deployed in WWI to concentration camps and atomic bombs in WWII, human use of the fruits of science were not always to the good. The Dialectic of Enlightenment identifies and explores the dark side of the Enlightenment and scientific “advancements.” One form that the reaction to the Enlightenment, as a privileging of the rational over the irrational, took was a celebration of irrationality. If rationality might get us all killed, maybe irrationality will save us. Salvador Dalí is a premier purveyor of the irrational.

This presentation by Professor Richard Gilmore in conjunction with Philosophy For All. Richard Gilmore teaches philosophy at Concordia College. One of his specialties is philosophy and film and he has published two books in that area: Doing Philosophy at the Movies and Searching for Wisdom in the Movies.

Exquisite Corpse
Thursday, April 16, 6 – 8 PM • Free

Stop by Plains Art Museum to try your hand (mind) at a variety of “games” developed by Surrealists in the early 20th Century. From Exquisite Corpse to automatic drawing to collage, we invite you to drop in and reassemble reality with us. Artistic skills are not necessary to participate – all you need is your creativity. All art and writing utensils will be provided and a cash bar will be open.

  • Salvador Dalí, Illustration from The Divine Comedy, Inferno, Dante Purified, 1960, Wood engraving on wove after a watercolor, 9 3/4 x 7 in., Collection of the Park West Museum
  • Salvador Dalí, Illustration from The Divine Comedy, Inferno, The Mystical Ladder, 1960, Wood engraving on wove after a watercolor, 9 3/4 x 7 in., Collection of the Park West Museum
  • Salvador Dalí, Illustration from The Divine Comedy, Inferno, Cerberus, 1960, Wood engraving on wove after a watercolor, 9 3/4 x 7 in., Collection of the Park West Museum
  • Salvador Dalí illustration from Les Chants de Maldoror: Plate 15, 1934, intaglio print, 13 x 11 in., Collection of the Park West Museum

Ongoing Exhibitions

City Geode

Ongoing
City Geode
S.P.A.C.E. Sculpture

City Geode, created and installed in May 2019 by students and Professor Josh Zeis from NDSU is the latest creation. In response to the work, the lead artists said, “What is a city? This City Geode incorporates many of the things that we thought a city needs; buildings, streets, electricity, drainage, and above all else, the human spirit.

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Athena LaTocha

Ongoing
Athena LaTocha
Buffalo Prairie (Slow Burn)

Athena LaTocha (b. Anchorage, Alaska) is a Hunkpapa Lakota/Keweenaw Bay Ojibwe artist, currently living in New York. Buffalo Prairie (Slow Burn) is monumental ink wash drawing created by Athena LaTocha during her residency inside the Katherine Kilbourne Burgum Center for Creativity at Plains Art Museum May 2-June 4, 2019.

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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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