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Exhibits Focus on Photography

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November 6, 2006

The Block Museum of Art will expose its visitors to photography this fall, offering four exhibitions and a series of programs.

“Keeping Shadows: Photography at the Worcester Art Museum” (through Dec. 10) in the museum’s Main Gallery surveys the history of photography as both an art form and documentary medium. Organized by the Worcester Art Museum, Worcester, Mass., the exhibition contains images spanning more than 150 years, from 19th century daguerreotypes to digital images from NASA space probes and features work by such master photographers as Ansel Adams, Robert Mapplethorpe, Man Ray, Cindy Sherman and Alfred Stieglitz.

Organized by the Block Museum to complement “Keeping Shadows,” the exhibition “Torkel Korling: Bridging Commercial and Art Photography” (through Dec. 10) offers a selection of work from the 1920s to the 1940s by the Swedish American commercial photographer whose skill in controlling focus, composition and lighting made him one of the top professionals of his day.

Korling, who worked out of Chicago, was responsible for the first photographic image used for an automobile advertisement and took landmark photographs for Life magazine, which will be on display in this exhibition.

The principles of photography inform a site-specific installation by Chicago-area artist Matthew Girson, a professor of art at DePaul University who has exhibited at the Chicago Cultural Center and Zolla/Lieberman Gallery in Chicago. “. . . even in a room full of darkness” in the Ellen Philips Katz and Howard C. Katz Gallery (through Dec.10) invites viewers to step inside a room-size pinhole camera and experience the physical and symbolic properties of light and shadow.

The “realism” of photography inspires the artists represented in “Realist Tendencies on Paper” (through Dec. 17), an exhibition of watercolors, drawings and prints in the Alsdorf Gallery drawn primarily from the Block’s collection. This survey of photorealist work explores the artists’ technical prowess, their use of the camera as a tool and guide, and their frequent depictions of everyday scenes. John Baeder, Robert Cottingham, Ralph Goings, John Salt and Kathryn Siegler are just a few of the artists represented in this exhibition.

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For more information on the Block’s fall exhibitions and programs, go to www.blockmuseum.northwestern.edu. or call (847) 491-4000.

Topics: Campus Life