April 2013 Visual Arts Calendar
Block Museum, Dittmar Gallery and University Library offer spring exhibitions
EVANSTON, Ill. --- An exhibition that examines Chicago’s role in early 20th century progressive architecture and another about a blacklisted artist in the 1950s run from April 19 to Aug. 11 at the Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art on Northwestern University’s Evanston campus.
“Drawing the Future: Chicago Architecture on the International Stage, 1900-1925,” in the Block’s Main Gallery, highlights the role Chicago architects played in the development of urban planning in the United States, Europe and Australia during the early 20th century.
“Blacklisted: William Gropper’s Capriccios,” in the Ellen Philips Katz and Howard C. Katz Gallery, showcases Gropper’s personal and artistic response to his experience as a blacklisted artist in 1950s America. Gropper’s “Capriccios” portfolio will be displayed in its entirety for the first time in nearly 60 years.
Block’s ongoing exhibition, “Theo Leffmann: Weaving a Life into Art,” in the Theo Leffmann Gallery, re-opens April 19 and runs through Aug. 11. For more information, visit the Block website at www.blockmuseum.northwestern.edu or call (847) 491-4000.
Northwestern’s Dittmar Memorial Gallery hosts “Plastic World,” April 1 to May 5. The exhibition is a commentary by Chicago artist Mary Ellen Croteau on the environmental impact of plastic bags, jar lids and bottle caps. For more information, call the Dittmar Gallery at (847) 491-2348 or Norris University Center at (847) 491-2300, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.dittmar.northwestern.edu.
Northwestern University Library, 1970 Campus Drive, Evanston campus, hosts a new exhibition that celebrates the life and accomplishments of Viola Spolin, an important innovator of 20th century American theater. Spolin’s contributions helped spark the improvisational theater movement in the United States. “Viola Spolin: Improvisation and Intuition” opens April 1 and runs through Aug. 16. For more information, visit www.library.northwestern.edu or call (847) 491-7658.
In conjunction with University Library’s Viola Spolin exhibit, a free and public lecture by Carol Bleackley Sills will take place at 7 p.m. Thursday, April 4, at McCormick Tribune Center Forum, 1870 Campus Drive, on Northwestern’s Evanston campus. Bleackley Sills was the long-time editor of Spolin’s highly influential books on improvisational theater techniques and theater games and was married to Paul Sills, Spolin’s son and co-founder of Chicago’s famed Second City theater.
MARY AND LEIGH BLOCK MUSEUM OF ART
Northwestern University’s Mary and Leigh Block Museum is located at 40 Arts Circle Drive, on the University’s Evanston campus. Admission to the Block Museum galleries and programs listed below is free. The galleries are open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday, Saturday and Sunday and from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. The museum is closed on Monday. For more information, visit http://www.blockmuseum.northwestern.edu or call (847) 491-4000.
A long-term construction project on Northwestern’s south campus has limited access to the Block Museum and Arts Circle Drive. Free parking is available in the lot directly south of the museum. For directions and parking information, visit www.blockmuseum.northwestern.edu/visit/directions-and-parking/index.html.
BLOCK MUSEUM SPRING 2013 EXHIBITIONS
“Drawing the Future: Chicago Architecture on the International Stage, 1900-1925,” April 19 to Aug. 11, Block Museum, Main Gallery. Early 20th century Chicago-based architects engaged in international conversations with their progressive European counterparts as urban planning evolved in practice and on paper. Curated by Northwestern’s David Van Zanten, Mary Jane Crowe Professor in Art and Art History, this exhibition explores the dialogue between architects and city planners in the United States, Europe and Australia through drawings, large-scale architectural renderings, sketches and rare books. An accompanying full-color publication provides original research exploring the international exchanges between architects Walter Burley Griffin, Marion Mahony Griffin, Frank Lloyd Wright, Tony Garnier, Rudolf Schindler and others. Support for this exhibition is provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art on behalf of William Osborn and David Kabiller; John K. Notz Jr.; Myers Foundations; Alumnae of Northwestern University; Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation; The Graduate School, Northwestern University; Illinois Arts Council, a state agency; Norton S. Walbridge Fund; Carlyle Anderson Endowment; Kessel Fund at the Block Museum; and Walter Burley Griffin Society of America. In addition to an April 20 opening reception and panel discussion, related events include a May 15 gallery talk featuring “Drawing the Future” curator David Van Zanten, Mary Jane Crowe Professor in Art and Art History; and catalogue contributors Ashley Dunn, doctoral candidate in art history at Northwestern University; and Leslie Coburn, doctoral candidate in art history at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Guided tours of the exhibition begin April 27 and run through June 23. For more information, visit www.blockmuseum.northwestern.edu.
“Blacklisted: William Gropper’s Capriccios,” April 19 to Aug. 11, Block Museum, Ellen Philips Katz and Howard C. Katz Gallery. This exhibition showcases artist William Gropper’s personal and visionary response to his experience as a blacklisted artist in 1950s America. His portfolio of 50 lithographs, created after his encounters with the House Committee on Un-American Activities, was inspired by Goya’s late 18th century series of etchings “Los Caprichos.” Gropper’s “Capriccios” will be displayed in their entirety for the first time in nearly 60 years. “Blacklisted” is curated by John Murphy, Block Museum Graduate Fellow 2012-13. Support is provided by the Ellen Philips Katz and Howard C. Katz Endowment, Norton S. Walbridge Fund, Louise E. Drangsholt Fund, and Illinois Arts Council, a state agency. The Block Museum is grateful to Evelyn Salk for her gift of the Gropper portfolio in memory of her husband, Erwin A. Salk.
BLOCK MUSEUM ONGOING EXHIBITION
“Theo Leffmann: Weaving a Life into Art,” April 19 through Aug. 11, Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art, Theo Leffman Gallery, 40 Arts Circle Drive, Northwestern University, Evanston campus. The fiber art of Chicago artist Theo Leffmann (1911-96) evokes the ancient and the exotic, echoing pre-Columbian and non-Western processes and forms with a distinct personal vision. Leffmann’s 40-year career coincided with a revolution in textile art as the division between “high art” and “craft” diminished. Her colorful, richly textured and playful weavings, wall hangings and sculptural objects are drawn from the Block Museum’s permanent collection. They are generous gifts from her husband Paul Leffmann.
BLOCK EXHIBITION TOURS
Free guided weekend tours of the Block Museum’s spring exhibitions, 1 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, from April 27 to June 23. Tours for classes and groups of eight or more are also available with advance notice. To arrange a group tour, email email@example.com, or visit http://www.blockmuseum.northwestern.edu/visit/gallery-tours.html for more information.
BLOCK MUSEUM APRIL 2013 EVENTS
The following programs are free and open to the public:
Visiting Artist Lecture, Laurel Nakadate, 6 p.m. Thursday, April 4, Block Museum. Photographer, video artist and filmmaker Laurel Nakadate will talk about the last 12 years of her photo, video and film work, including her most recent project opening in May 2013 in New York. For more, visit www.nakadate.net. The lecture is co-sponsored by Northwestern’s department of art theory and practice and is made possible by support from the Myers Foundations.
Alice Kaplan Institute for the Humanities Artist-in-Residence Talk, Melika Bass, “Midwestern Gothic,” 5:15 p.m. Wednesday, April 17, Block Museum. Chicago-based filmmaker Melika Bass creates atmospheric tales set in American gothic landscapes inhabited by mysterious, archetypal figures. Bass is the recipient of an Artadia Award, a Media Arts Fellowship from the Illinois Arts Council and awards from the Athens International and Ann Arbor film festivals. Her recent 16mm films “Waking Things” and “Shoals” premiered at Italy’s Torino Film Festival and at the Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art, in a solo exhibition. Bass' latest film, “Vardeldur” premiered at the BFI London Film Festival and is featured in the “Valtari Mystery Film Experiment,” a commissioned project from the Icelandic band Sigur Ros. For more information on Bass, visit www.tenderarchive.com. The event is co-sponsored by the Kaplan Institute and Northwestern’s department of radio, television and film.
The Modern Capital: City, Utopia, or Spectacle?” 2 to 5 p.m. Saturday, April 20, Block Museum. Following a 2 p.m. opening reception, the Block will host a 3 p.m. panel discussion that will examine the grand utopic visions that inspired the design of cities from Chicago to Panama City to Marrakesh. Speakers will include Marshall Brown, architect and professor at the Illinois Institute of Technology; Aziza Chaouni, architect and assistant professor at the University of Toronto; panel moderator Alison Fisher, assistant curator, department of architecture and design, The Art Institute of Chicago; Thomas Hussey, associate director, Skidmore Owings & Merrill; and David Van Zanten, “Drawing the Future” curator and professor of art history, Northwestern University.
UPCOMING BLOCK MUSEUM SPRING 2013 EVENTS
Gallery Talk, 5:15 p.m. Wednesday, May 15, Block Museum. Join “Drawing the Future” curator David Van Zanten, Mary Jane Crowe Professor in Art and Art History, and catalogue contributors Ashley Dunn, doctoral candidate in art history, Northwestern University, and Leslie Coburn, doctoral candidate in art history at the University of Illinois at Chicago, for a close-up discussion of the exhibition.
Department of Art History, Elizabeth and Todd Warnock Lecture by Tim Griffin, 5 to 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 22, Block Museum. Griffin is the executive director and chief curator of The Kitchen, a non-profit, interdisciplinary organization that provides innovative artists working in the media, literary and performing arts with exhibitions and performances opportunities to create and present new work. For more information, visit www.blockmuseum.northwestern.edu or call (847) 491-4000.
One Book, One Northwestern, “Never a City So Real” stage adaptation, 7 p.m. Saturday, June 8; and 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Sunday, June 9, Block Museum. D. Soyini Madison, chair of Northwestern’s department of performance studies, will direct the stage adaptation of “Never a City so Real” by Alex Kotlowitz that will bring the people in Kotlowitz’s book to life. Admission is free, but since space is limited an advance response is required by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information, visit the One Book website at northwestern.edu/onebook.
DITTMAR MEMORIAL GALLERY
The Dittmar Memorial Gallery, Norris University Center, 1999 Campus Drive, Northwestern University, Evanston campus, is open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. Admission is free. The gallery focuses on ethnic cultural art, art by emerging artists, art by or about women, artwork by Northwestern art students and traveling art shows. For more information, visit www.dittmar.northwestern.edu.
DITTMAR GALLERY WINTER 2013 EXHIBITION
“Plastic World” by Mary Croteau, April 1 to May 5, Dittmar Memorial Gallery. For the past 12 years, Chicago artist Mary Ellen Croteau has been making art that addresses environmental issues. By integrating plastic bags, jar lids and bottle caps in her art, Croteau comments on environmental degradation. The exhibition features Croteau’s installations, wall hangings, sculpture and an 8-by-7-foot self-portrait made of bottle caps. The opening reception from 6 to 8 p.m. Monday, April 8 at 8 p.m Wednesday, April 17 Artist Talk; and the exhibition, are free and open to the public. For more information, visit www.dittmar.northwestern.edu.
Exhibitions at Northwestern University Library at 1970 Campus Drive, Evanston campus, are open to the public daily from 8:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, from April 1 through Aug. 16. Members of the Northwestern community with a valid WildCARD can visit during all open library hours. Admission is free. For more information, visit www.library.northwestern.edu or call (847) 491-7658.
UNIVERSITY LIBRARY SPRING 2013 EXHIBITION AND RELATED EVENT
“Viola Spolin: Improvisation and Intuition,” through Aug. 16, University Library, Northwestern University. University Library’s spring exhibition celebrates Spolin’s contribution to the world of theater. Known as the “High Priestess of Improv,” Viola Spolin (1906-1994) shaped a generation of performers whose careers shaped today’s entertainment landscape. Drawing from the collection of Spolin’s papers at Northwestern’s McCormick Library of Special Collections, curators Dan Zellner, Charlotte Cubbage and Benn Joseph use Spolin’s writings, games, production photos, scripts, video and audio to engage viewers in the improvisational theater games she created. The exhibit is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Clare Roccaforte at email@example.com or (847) 467-5918.
“The Theatre of Viola Spolin and Paul Sills,” a lecture by Carol Bleackley Sills, 7 p.m. Thursday, April 4, McCormick Tribune Center, 1870 Campus Drive, Northwestern University, Evanston campus. Bleackley Sills worked alongside her husband and Spolin’s son, Second City co-founder Paul Sills, in the creation of The Game Theater, Story Theater, The Body Politic and other theater companies. She also served as Spolin’s editor. The lecture is presented in conjunction with University Library’s exhibit and is co-sponsored by Northwestern University Library, The Alice Kaplan Institute for the Humanities and The Chicago Improv Festival. The lecture is free and open to the public.