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Visual Arts in April

Block Museum, Dittmar Gallery and University Library exhibitions are open to public

  • Final weeks of Block Museum’s “Collecting Paradise” and Toulouse-Lautrec exhibitions
  • Dittmar’s “Surface Tension” focuses on three politically/geographically separated borders  
  • Deering Library exhibit highlights books printed in English language between 1473 and 1800

EVANSTON, Ill. --- Only a few weeks remain to visit three compelling winter exhibitions at the Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art on Northwestern University’s Evanston campus.

Two of the exhibits offer an innovative look at Buddhist art from the region of Kashmir and the Western Himalayas and the ways it has been “collected” throughout history. The third explores the scope of Toulouse-Lautrec’s work in print media in the final decade of his life.

“Collecting Paradise: Buddhist Art of Kashmir and Its Legacies” in the Block’s Main Gallery and “Toulouse-Lautrec Prints: Art at the Edges of Modernity” in the Katz Gallery close on April 19. And “Collecting Culture: Himalaya through the Lens” in the Alsdorf Gallery concludes on April 12.  

Block Museum also will co-host the MFA Thesis Exhibition, “Age of Consent,” April 30-May 22. The annual show of student works is the culmination of the course of study leading to the Master of Fine Arts (MFA) degree at Northwestern.

To view Block Cinema’s complete fall screening schedule online, visit www.blockmuseum.northwestern.edu/view/cinema/.

“Surface Tension,” April 2 -May 8, the Dittmar Gallery’s first spring 2015 exhibit features color photographs by guest artist Terri Warpinski, focusing on the politically and geographically separated border zones of Israel-Palestine, U.S.-Mexico and the Berlin Wall.

University Library is hosting three exhibitions this spring. “Farm to Table: Government Information and Food” on display in the entry corridor of University Library remains open to the public through May 1. “Beyond the Book: The Changing Nature of Library Collections” in the Charles Deering Library lobby runs through May 8. And “Midwest Renaissance: Printed Books at Northwestern from Shakespeare’s Time” on the third floor of Deering Library runs through June 21. 

University Library also will celebrate National Library Week, April 12-18, with a public book lecture and a wandering campus bookmobile (on two wheels). Information on these Evanston events will soon be available online on the Library home page, library.northwestern.edu. This year's American Library Association theme is "Unlimited possibilities @ your library."

Free and open to the general public, all of the following Northwestern events will take place on the Evanston campus.

BLOCK MUSEUM APRIL 2015 EXHIBITIONS

• “Collecting Paradise: Buddhist Art of Kashmir and Its Legacies” through April 19 in the Block’s Main Gallery was conceived and curated by Northwestern University professor Robert Linrothe in collaboration with Christian Lucanzits, the David L. Snellgrove Senior Lecturer in Tibetan and Buddhist Art at The School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London. The exhibition features metalwork, paintings, ivories and woodwork from Kashmir and the Western Himalayas from the 7th to 17th centuries. “Collecting Paradise” presents an original and innovative look at Buddhist art from the region of Kashmir and the Western Himalayas, as well as the ways it has been “collected” throughout history. In bringing together 44 works from major collections across the U.S., this exhibition examines how Buddhist art from Kashmir and the Western Himalayas has traveled across centuries and borders -- first within the region and later to the U.S. and Europe -- raising questions about cultural impact and the varying motivations behind modes of collecting. For information on upcoming Block Museum related events, visit http://www.blockmuseum.northwestern.edu/visit/come-to-an-event.html.

• “Collecting Culture: Himalaya through the Lens” through April 12 in the Alsdorf Gallery is a companion exhibit to the Block’s Main Gallery exhibition. It takes a critical look at U.S. and European engagement in the Himalayas, beginning in the mid-19th century. Through lenses, including photography, cartography, natural science and ethnography, it reflects on the ways Westerners have perceived, defined and acquired the Himalayas over time. It raises questions about what is gained and what is lost when one culture collects another.

“Collecting Paradise: Buddhist Art of Kashmir and Its Legacies” and “Collecting Culture: Himalaya through the Lens” were organized by the Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art, Northwestern University and the Rubin Museum of Art, New York.

Additional funding and support was provided by the National Endowment for the Arts; Myers Foundations; Alumnae of Northwestern; Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation; Illinois Arts Council Agency; Illinois Humanities Council, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Illinois General Assembly; and Northwestern’s Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences and department of art history.

•  “Toulouse-Lautrec Prints: Art at the Edges of Modernity” exhibition through April 19 in the Katz Gallery. Curated by Northwestern students in Professor S. Hollis Clayson’s undergraduate art history course, “Museums: The Fin de Siécle Poster,” the exhibition explores the scope of Lautrec’s work in print media in the final decade of his life. Items on display range from public works such as posters, illustrated books and theater programs to privately circulated portfolios. The selection of works reveal a wide range of lithographs by one of the best known artists of the modern era. The Block Museum thanks Andra and Irwin Press for graciously lending from their collection, a significant group of which is bequeathed to the Block.

• MFA Thesis Exhibition, “Age of Consent,” April 30 through June 21, Alsdorf Gallery.

In a majority of contemporary societies, “the age of consent” is the legally mandated age at which a person can autonomously participate in consensual sexual activity. Arriving at the age of consent generally coincides with arriving at “the age of criminal responsibility” as well as “the age of majority,” at which time an individual is held fully accountable for their actions and decisions. The student artists featured in “Age of Consent” take full responsibility for their actions and decisions. The exhibition presents the work of Angela Lopez, Laura McGinn, Emily Cruz Nowell and William Schweigert in the culmination of their MFA studies in Northwestern’s department of art theory and practice. The exhibition is co-organized by Northwestern University’s department of art theory and practice and the Block Museum. Support was provided by The Myers Foundations; The Cary Lane Art Supply Fund, courtesy of Dr. Madeleine Wing Adler; Norton S. Walbridge Fund; the Mary and Leigh Block Endowment Fund; and The Aldsorf Endowment.

For more information on Block’s winter exhibitions, visit www.blockmuseum.northwestern.edu/view/exhibitions/upcoming.html - sthash.doEPz2lx.dpuf.

MARY AND LEIGH BLOCK MUSEUM OF ART

Northwestern’s Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art is located at 40 Arts Circle Drive on the University’s Evanston campus. For more information, visit http://www.blockmuseum.northwestern.edu or call 847-491-4000.

DOCENT-LED APRIL 2015 BLOCK EXHIBITION TOURS 

• Free guided tours of the Block Museum’s exhibitions are held every Saturday and Sunday at 1 p.m. No reservation is necessary.

• Free tours for groups of five or more people can be pre-arranged. Requests should be made at least four weeks in advance. For more information, email blockeducation@northwestern.edu or visit www.blockmuseum.northwestern.edu/visit/gallery-tours.html - sthash.jLP1QlHj.dpuf.

• Gallery tours for higher education groups and kindergarten through high school classes also are available. For more information, visit www.blockmuseum.northwestern.edu/visit/gallery-tours.html - sthash.PsE49nv7.dpuf.

APRIL 2015 EVENTS AT THE BLOCK

The following programs will take place at the Block Museum, 40 Arts Circle Drive, Evanston campus, unless otherwise noted. Block programs are free and open to all. For more information, visit www.blockmuseum.northwestern.edu/visit/come-to-an-event.html - sthash.tjO67K3g.dpuf.

• Artist’s Talk by Larry Snider, “Photography and the State of Kashmir,” 6 p.m. Wednesday, April 1, Block Museum. Chicago-based photographer Larry Snider has traveled to regions across Asia, including Ladakh, part of the Indian province of Jammu and Kashmir, immersing himself in the landscape and culture and photographing individuals from diverse communities. In conversation with “Collecting Paradise” curator Robert Linrothe, Snider will share his work and observations of the region, with Linrothe reflecting on the ways in which Ladakh’s environment and religious heritage connect to the present. The event is supported by the department of Asian languages and cultures and Asian Studies Graduate Cluster at Northwestern University.

• Block Cinema, Buster on the Run, “The Navigator” 7 p.m. Thursday, April 2 (Buster Keaton and Donald Crisp, 1924, United States, 35mm, 59 minutes). After an unsuccessful marriage proposal, Rollo Treadway (Buster Keaton) decides to sail away from his sorrows by going on his honeymoon cruise alone. In his rush to get away, he leaves for the dock at night, accidentally boarding a ship that his would-be fiancé’s father has just sold to a small country at war. The intricate set-up comments on the absurdity of war and provides a brilliant excuse for a slew of gags about everything from the wealthy learning to take care of themselves to the ingenuity required to retrofit a giant cruise ship to the needs of two guests. The film will be screened to live piano accompaniment by David DrazinTo view Block Cinema’s complete fall screening schedule online, visit www.blockmuseum.northwestern.edu/view/cinema/.

• Block Cinema, Special Programs, “Moulin Rouge” 7 p.m. Friday, April 3 (John Huston, 1952, United Kingdom, 35mm/digital, 119 minutes). With the student-curated exhibition “Toulouse-Lautrec Prints: Art at the Edges of Modernity” on view in the Katz Gallery through April 19, escape to 19th-century Paris with the 1952 Lautrec biopic “Moulin Rouge.” Director John Huston followed up his hit “The African Queen with this Technicolor adaptation of a fictionalized biography of the French artist. The film uses complicated narrative storytelling to depict Lautrec’s life story and transports the audience to turn-of-the-century France. Huston’s own painting background is on display in the intricate design of the film, which won Oscars for set decoration and art direction.

• Gallery Talk by Carla Sinopoli, “Collecting Kashmir: The Expeditions of Walter N. Koelz,” 6 p.m. Wednesday, April 8, Block Museum. The collection of Walter Koelz, an American zoologist who undertook collecting expeditions in the Western Himalayas during the 1930s, has contributed significantly to our understanding of Himalayan art. In a gallery talk focused on “Collecting Culture,” which includes many objects from Koelz’ collection, Carla Sinopoli, University of Michigan anthropology faculty member and curator of Asian archaeology at the Museum of Anthropological Archaeology, will address Koelz’ collecting practices. The event is supported by the department of Asian languages and cultures and Asian Studies Graduate Cluster at Northwestern University.

• Block Cinema, Art on Screen, “National Gallery,” 7 p.m. Thursday, April 9 (Frederick Wiseman, 2014, United States and France, DCP, 181 minutes.) Wiseman’s most recent documentary, “National Gallery,” places viewers within the cacophonous bustle of one of the world’s great museums, the National Gallery, London. Wiseman has been making movies for nearly 50 years, challenging the understanding of subjectivity and documentation. Since the debut of “Titicut Follies” in 1967, his distinctive voice never includes voiceovers or talking heads, letting the sounds of a place rise up to meet the audience. Often mistaken as cinema verité, Wiseman breaks the rules, editing his films non-sequentially -- culling and collaging a portrait of an institution as striking and unforgiving as the works on the walls. The film will be introduced by Lisa Corrin, director of Northwestern’s Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art.

• Block Cinema, Buster on the Run, “College,” 7 p.m. Friday, April 10 (Buster Keaton and James W. Horne, 1927, United States, 35mm, 65 minutes). The movie begins with high school valedictorian Ronald (Buster Keaton) giving a graduation speech on “The Curse of the Athlete.” But then, in the century-old practice of reinventing oneself at college, Ronald gives up books to try out for the baseball team. It’s all for the love of Mary (Anne Cornwall) and not for the love of baseball. The tryout ends disastrously. Next Ronald walks on to the track team, but no one runs quite like him. Will he ever have a chance to show Mary his devotion? Keaton’s virtuosic performance of failure reaches a feverish height in this lovely send up of middle-class values.

• The Kaplan Institute for the Humanities' Distinguished Harris Lecture, “Heritage and Debt,” 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 14. David Joselit, Distinguished Professor of Art History at the City University of New York, will explore debt as a financial and moral force in global relations which has its analogue in the visual. Arising when the migration of western art practices outside metropolitan centers is condemned as derivative, or indebted to their inventors, one means of “paying” this debt is by accessing and reinvigorating local traditions -- or heritage. A reception to follow. The Distinguished Harris Lecture, free and open to the public, and is made possible by the generous support of the Harris Lecture Fund. 

• Block Cinema, Special Programs, Hiss! Dokhtarha faryad nemizanand! (Hush! Girls Don’t Scream!) 7 p.m. Thursday, April 16 (Pouran Derakhshandeh, 2013, Iran, DVD, 104 minutes) FREE. On her wedding night, Shirin, who seems to be psychologically distressed, murders her building’s doorman. As she is interrogated by the police and the case gradually unravels, it becomes clear that she suffered sexual abuse in her childhood and her act of homicide was to save another child from being abused. In a society that highly favors family “honor” above anything else, the victim of abuse is not supposed to be heard. Her life is at the mercy of the court and the judicial system. The film won widespread national and international acclaim for daring not only to speak about a taboo subject but also to address issues such as capital punishment in Iran. Derakhshandeh spent three years researching the problem and interviewing hundreds of the victims of pedophilia. The film will be introduced by Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences’ Brian T. Edwards, Crown Professor in Middle East Studies, associate professor of English, comparative Literary studies and American studies, and program director of the Middle East and North African Studies (MENA). A Q&A with director Pouran Derakhshandeh and Hamid NaficyWeinberg College of Arts and Sciences film studies professor, will follow the screening. The screening will be preceded by a 6 p.m. reception at Block Cinema.

• Block Cinema, Special Programs, “Bist” (“Twenty”) 7 p.m. Friday, April 17. FREE (Abdolreza Kahani, 2009, Iran, DVD, 90 minutes). “Twenty,” produced by Pouran Derakhshandeh, is the story of the abusive relationship between Soleimani, the owner of a reception hall, and his employees. Suffering from psychological problems, Soleimani decides to close down the hall in 20 days. The film narrates the personal and collective suffering of the employees facing the abuse of their employer and the uncertainty of the future. Shot mostly in closed spaces and directed with attention to details, “Twenty” is a humanist allegory of contemporary Iran. It won several international and national awards, including the Special Jury Prize at Karlovy Vary International Film Festival (2009). The film will be introduced by Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences’ Brian T. Edwards, Crown Professor in Middle East Studies, associate professor of English, comparative Literary studies and American studies, and program director of the Middle East and North African Studies (MENA). A Q&A with producer Pouran Derakhshandeh and Professor Hamid Naficy will follow the screening.

• Block Cinema, Special Programs, 7 p.m. Thursday, April 23, FREE, Poetry on Public Television: the 1960s.” “Concrete Poetry” (Michael Warshaw, Pyramid Film and Video, 1968, United States, 16mm, 12 minutes); “Robert Duncan and John Wieners” (Richard O. Moore, WNET US: Poetry Series, 1966, United States, 16mm, 30 minutes); “Gwendolyn Brooks” (Aida Aronoff, WNET Creative Persons Series, 1966, United States, 16mm, 29 minutes); and “David Rubadiri, Léopold Sédar Senghor, Bernard Fonlon, Wole Soyinka” (Lewis Nkosi, WNET African Writers of Today Series, 1964, United States, 16mm, 29 minutes). The Northwestern University Poetry and Poetics Colloquium presents an evening of rare documentary films on American and African poets, all produced for National Educational Television in the mid-1960s. Writers include Robert Duncan, John Wieners, Gwendolyn Brooks, Leopold Sédar Senghor, David Rubadiri and a variety of concrete poets. (Editor’s note: “concrete or shape poetry is poetry in which the typographical arrangement of words is as important in conveying the intended effect as the conventional elements of the poem, such as the meaning of words, rhythm and rhyme.” The program opens the symposium “Radical Poetics: Archives, Forms, Social Movements” (http://poetry.northwestern.edu/). It will be introduced by Northwestern’s Harris Feinsod, assistant professor of English and comparative literary studies, Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences. It will be preceded by a 6 p.m. reception at Block Cinema.

• Block Cinema, New Documentaries, “Waiting for August” 7 p.m. Friday, April 24, FREE for Northwestern University students (Teodora Ana Mihai, 2014, Belgium and Romania, DCP, 88 minutes.) Georgiana Halmac turns 15 this winter. She lives with her six younger brothers and sisters on the outskirts of Bacau, Romania, where employment is scarce. Their mother, Liliana, found work in Turin, Italy, over a thousand miles away. She won’t be back before summer. Georgiana has been catapulted into the role of head of the family, caring for her siblings. Caught between puberty and responsibility, Georgiana moves ahead, improvising as she goes. Phone conversations with her mom are her only guidelines. Intimate scenes from their daily life show the seven siblings interpreting their experiences with great imagination. Film description was adapted from the online distributor’s notes: http://waitingforaugust.be/It will be preceded by Half-Life of War” (Kyle Henry, 2014, United States, digital, 7 minutes). More than 30 wars and 1.5 million dead soldiers are memorialized at sites across the United States. How many of us see the radioactive trace of these past conflicts? What is the best way to remember the trauma of war? The screening will be introduced by director Kyle Henry, assistant professor of radio, television and film in Northwestern’s School of Communication. 

DEPARTMENT OF ART THEORY AND PRACTICE

Northwestern University’s department of art theory and practice has both an undergraduate program and a graduate program. The department sponsors student exhibitions in the Dittmar Memorial Gallery in Norris University Center, the student activities hub, the Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art and other campus venues, including the department’s new home at 640 Lincoln St. The department’s Visiting Artists Program brings contemporary artists from around the world to campus to speak, visit classes and have one-on-one critiques with advanced students. For information on upcoming events, visit http://www.art.northwestern.edu/.

• MFA Thesis Exhibition, “Age of Consent,” April 30 through June 21, Block Museum, Alsdorf Gallery, 40 Arts Circle Drive, Northwestern’s Evanston campus. The student artists featured in “Age of Consent” take full responsibility for their actions and decisions. The exhibition presents the work of Angela Lopez, Laura McGinn, Emily Cruz Nowell and William Schweigert in the culmination of their MFA studies in Northwestern’s department of art theory and practice. The exhibition is co-organized by Northwestern University’s department of art theory and practice and the Block Museum. Support was provided by The Myers Foundations; The Cary Lane Art Supply Fund, courtesy of Dr. Madeleine Wing Adler; Norton S. Walbridge Fund; the Mary and Leigh Block Endowment Fund; and The Aldsorf Endowment.

DITTMAR MEMORIAL GALLERY

The Dittmar Memorial Gallery, first floor, Norris University Center, 1999 Campus Drive, Northwestern University, Evanston campus. The Dittmar Gallery 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, contact the Dittmar Gallery at 847-491-2348 or Norris University Center at 847-491-2300, email dittmargallery@northwestern.edu or visit www.dittmar.northwestern.edu.

DITTMAR GALLERY APRIL/MAY 2015 EXHIBITION

“Surface Tension,” Terri Warpinski exhibition, April 2 through May 8, Dittmar Memorial Gallery, Norris University Center, first floor, 1999 Campus Drive, Evanston campus. Warpinski’s exhibit explores the multiple and conflicted perspectives that complicate three well-known zones that have -- or had -- special restrictions to movement: the Israel-Palestine border, the U.S.-Mexico border and the former Berlin Wall, which once separated communist East Berlin from the free city of West Berlin. The exhibition features more than 50 color photographs that reflect Warpinski’s deep respect for the natural environment and her interest in the traces of human connections embedded in the landscape. It also incorporates various methods of digital photography and juxtaposes diptychs, triptychs and sequential configurations of singular images. The exhibit and an opening reception from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Thursday, April 2, are free and open to the public. For more on Warpinski, visit www.terriwarpinski.com/Text_page.cfm?pID=45.

UNIVERSITY LIBRARY

Northwestern’s University Library is located at 1970 Campus Drive. The following  exhibitions are free and open to the public. For more information, visit http://www.library.northwestern.edu/news-events/exhibits/current-exhibits.

• “Farm to Table: Government Information and Food” through May 1. During the last century, the way our country harvests, transports and consumes food has been influenced strongly by U.S. government agencies and policies. Using materials drawn from the Library’s Government Information Collection, the University Library exhibition will highlight a few of the myriad ways in which the U.S. government has directly encouraged healthy eating, promoted safe food production and educated the country about food science. Seven cases of educational posters, wartime pamphlets, production documentation and other government-produced materials are on display.

• “Beyond the Book:” The Changing Nature of Library Collections” in the Charles Deering Library lobby through May 8. As a steward of our cultural heritage, University Library holds far more than just books. Whether art or textiles or even food, the Library’s more unique holdings require a team of conservators who employ their highly specialized skills to safely house and preserve these items for future scholarship. This exhibit features some of these objects, including items that range from ancient Mesopotamian tablets to Obama-themed lollipops. It also includes information on how the Library’s team of experts solves the preservation challenges posed by each.

 • “Midwest Renaissance: Printed Books at Northwestern from Shakespeare’s Time” through June 21 on the third floor of Deering Library. Tens of thousands of Renaissance-era books can be found in Midwestern libraries, arriving from half a world away via circuitous paths and the untraceable efforts of collectors and scholars. This exhibit displays more than two dozen such books held by the University’s Charles Deering McCormick Library of Special Collections. It includes volumes of poetry and prose by eminent Renaissance writers, “used books” bearing traces of their owners, as well as educational treatises, Continental literature in translation and travel guides. These books are part of a 2014 effort begun at Northwestern entitled "Renaissance Books, Midwestern Libraries" (RBML) to boost awareness of books printed between 1473 and 1800 in the English language (or in England and its territories) that now reside much closer than libraries in Europe.

ONE BOOK ONE NORTHWESTERN

One Book One Northwestern is the University’s community-wide reading program hosted by the Office of the President. The selection for the 2014-15 academic year is Claude Steele’s book “Whistling Vivaldi” (W.W. Norton, 2010). One Book also has scheduled film screenings, lectures, themed dinner/panel discussions and more throughout the current academic year. All events are free and many are open to the public. For information, visit www.northwestern.edu/onebook/ or email onebook@northwestern.edu.

“We Are Northwestern” photo contest exhibition,” April 6 through April 19, Galleria at Norris University Center, 1999 Campus Drive, Northwestern University’s Evanston campus. Northwestern students show their purple pride everyday by doing the things that make the Northwestern campus great. The photographs in the exhibit were submitted for the We Are Northwestern Contest, co-sponsored by One Book One Northwestern and the Dittmar Gallery, with a $100 prize to the PEOPLE'S CHOICE winner and a $100 prize to the BEST IN SHOW. Each photo contains at least one person wearing Northwestern apparel or anything else that clearly demonstrates their purple pride while participating in a campus activity. The winners will be chosen on April 7.

ARTS CIRCLE DRIVE

Northwestern’s Arts Circle Drive has reopened for vehicular and pedestrian traffic. The road, drive-up handicap access to Arts Circle Drive venues, the pedestrian path at the lakefront and all sidewalks are now open for public use. New improvements to the South Beach Garage have also eliminated the need to use the stairways since both levels of the two-story parking structure are now accessible to persons with disabilities for easy access to the Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art. Free parking is available after 4 p.m. in the two-level lakeside lot directly south of the museum. Additional parking is also available in the new Segal Visitors Center at 1841 Sheridan Road. For directions and additional parking information, visit www.blockmuseum.northwestern.edu/visit/directions-and-parking/index.html.

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