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Michael Pfleghaar Exhibition.jpg

Michael Pfleghaar

A Mid-Career Showcase
On View
October 27 - December 15, 2023

Exhibition Details

This exhibition is a showcase featuring the evolution of forty year's Michael’s work and practice. It brings together a range of Pfleghaar's works—spanning paintings, sculpture, and drawings—that highlight his nuanced approach to form, color, and texture. From his early beginnings to recent works, the exhibition offers an in-depth look at Pfleghaar's evolving artistry and his lasting impact on contemporary art.


Press Release

Exhibition Statement 


With a meticulous interplay of form, color, and space, Grand Rapids-based artist Michael Pfleghaar offers a profound exploration into the essence of life’s moments and memories. Originally displayed in this  
Mid-Career showcase presents a vibrant, representational, and abstract collection, capturing life as observed and lived. The central premise of his work suggests that just as objects and spaces form the fabric of our existence, the way they are presented and juxtaposed reveals a landscape of memory, the stories they house, and the emotions they evoke. 

Pfleghaar’s eloquent compositions, often inspired by the Japanese concept of ‘ma’ resonate with the influential New Topographics movement’s ethos, drawing attention to the often-overlooked spaces in our lives. His work echoes the thematic and compositional brilliance of photographers like Lewis Baltz and Robert Adams while integrating the modernist thought that art can be both a representation and an entity in its own right. 

Born in Ohio, and growing up in Northern Michigan, Michael Pfleghaar pursued his passion for art, culminating in a rich academic foundation from the Lesley University College of Art and Design in Boston. Over the years, his pieces, a harmonious blend of sleek modern materials and vivid palettes, have graced both group and solo exhibitions nationally.  His accolades are numerous, with his work being integral to renowned institutions’ collections such as the Grand Rapids Art Museum, Frederik  Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park, and the State of Michigan and Grand Valley State University. 

Cultivate is thrilled to highlight Michael Pfleghaar’s significant contributions to the contemporary art landscape and takes pride in featuring his exceptional work in this solo exhibition. 


On view from Oct 27 - Dec 15, 2023

Opening Reception Photos 

About Michael Pfleghaar

pfleghaar headshot.jpg

Image courtesy of the artist.  Photograph by Tim Motley.

Michael Pfleghaar is an artist living and working in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He received his MFA in visual arts from Lesley University College of Art and Design, in
Cambridge, Massachusetts in 2011. Michael often depicts botanicals and still lives, imbuing them with abstract elements and flattened space to create new perspectives.
An influence of mid-century modern design can be seen in the clean lines, balance, and organic materials he returns to within his compositions.

In 2023, Pfleghaar was one of four artists chosen to have their work permanently installed as terrazzo floor designs at the Gerald R Ford International Airport. Michael was voted Best Visual Artist by Grand Rapids Magazine’s 2022 Readers Poll. He was also awarded The Best of Show in the 2021 Festival of the Arts and in the West Michigan Area Show at the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts in Kalamazoo in 2020.

His artwork has been featured in Arcadia Magazine, Studio Visit, Metropolitan Home, Solace, and American Craft. Apple, HBO, CBS, ForeSee, Hayworth, and Urban Institute
for Contemporary Arts are a few of the organizations that have utilized Pfleghaar's artwork as illustrations.

In 2016, Pfleghaar attended the Spread Art Artists Residency in Detroit, MI and in 2013 was awarded the Joan Mitchell Foundation’s Ox-Bow School and Artists Residency in
Saugatuck, MI. His work was included in the 2012 LGBTQ exhibition ReMix: Revisiting Appropriation, curated by Jonathan Katz in San Francisco, CA. His original artworks are
in permanent collections including the Grand Rapids Art Museum, Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park, Steelcase Inc., Herman Miller, the State of Michigan and
Grand Valley State University.

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