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Sam Gilliam

Dogon I – V

July 29, 2021 - August 31, 2021

The Ruth and Seymour Landfield Atrium

As a pillar of modernist painting, Sam Gilliam has had a profound influence as an innovative contemporary artist. To this day, his work continues to inspire younger generations. Beginning in the 1960s in Washington D.C., the legendary artist pursued the development of a new Abstract Expressionism that celebrated the cultivation of the individual voice that helped to transcend cultural and political boundaries.

Recently acquired into the collection, Sam Gilliam’s 2005 Dogon suite of lithographic, intaglio, and relief prints present a nebula of color and form using rich tones and sinuous lines. Dogon I – V draws its title from the Dogon, a West African culture who possessed a remarkable knowledge of astronomy, centuries ahead of the invention of telescopes and other advanced technologies. While ultimately a unique suite of works, the overlapping rhythm and coloration of Dogon I – V connects these works to the artist’s Drape paintings, which paved the way for immersive installation art beginning in the 1960s and 70s.

Born in Tupelo, MS, in 1933 and graduated from University of Louisville with a BFA in 1955, Sam Gilliam first taught at Washington public schools and later at the Maryland Institute College of Art, University of Maryland, and Carnegie Mellon. In 2005, a major retrospective of his work was held at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. His works are also held in The Museum of Modern Art in New York, Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, and Tate Modern in London. He continues to live and work in Washington, D.C.

Plains Art Museum thanks our generous PlainsArt4All members and donors, and our Organizational Partners fornb their support. Additional support provided by The McKnight Foundation, Bush Foundation, The Arts Partnership, The FUNd at Plains Art Museum, and the North Dakota Council on the Arts, which receives funds from the North Dakota Legislature and the National Endowment for the Arts.
left to right: Sam Gilliam, Dogon I, 2005, Intaglio lithograph 8/21, 30.0 x 22.5 in. • Sam Gilliam, Dogon IV, 2005 Intaglio lithograph 8/24, 30 x 22.5 in

Ongoing Exhibitions

No Time For Despair

Ongoing
No Time For Despair

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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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Bee in Flight

Ongoing
Bee in Flight

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The North Dakota Mural

Ongoing
The North Dakota Mural

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Fragile Preservation

Ongoing
Fragile Preservation
A Tallgrass Community

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