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January 2009 Visual Arts Calendar

December 5, 2008 | by Judy Moore
EVANSTON, Ill. --- The Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art, 40 Arts Circle Drive, is located on Northwestern University's Evanston campus. The museum's hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday; 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Thursday and Friday; and noon to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Closed Mondays.

The museum also will be closed Dec. 15 to Jan. 12, for winter break. Admission to the museum is free; unless noted, admission to all programs also is free. For more information regarding Block Museum exhibitions, programs or location, phone (847) 491-4000 or go to the Block Museum Web site at www.blockmuseum.northwestern.edu.


"Polaroids: Mapplethorpe" exhibition, Jan. 13 through April 5, Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art, Alsdorf Gallery. This exhibition traces Robert Mapplethorpe's creative development through his use of instant photography from 1970 to 1975. Mapplethorpe (1946 to 1989) emerged in the late 1970s as one of the most celebrated and controversial photographers of his time. The artist had not shown an interest in photography prior to 1970, when he began to take Polaroids for use in collages. Enthralled by the medium, Mapplethorpe took some 1,500 Polaroids during the next six years. The show features more than 90 photographs, including self-portraits, figure studies, still lifes and portraits of friends and lovers such as Patti Smith and Sam Wagstaff. Unlike Mapplethorpe's well-known highly-crafted and staged photographs of his later career, his early Polaroids are marked by spontaneity and invention. To see images of works in the exhibition, visit http://www.blockmuseum.northwestern.edu/exhibitions.future/Mapplethorpe.html.
Some of the works in this exhibition may not be suitable for younger or more sensitive audiences. "Polaroids: Mapplethorpe" is organized by the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, in collaboration with the Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation, New York. Its presentation at the Block Museum is generously supported by the Alice Kaplan Institute for the Humanities, Northwestern University; Alsdorf Endowment; the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency; Myers Foundations; and Terra Foundation for American Art.

"From Michelangelo to Annibale Carracci: A Century of Italian Drawings from the Prado" exhibition, Jan. 23 through April 5, Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art, Main Gallery. This exhibition of 70 original drawings explores the working methods of the most important artists active in Italy during a time of unprecedented artistic patronage. Focusing on the period from 1520 to 1620, the exhibition features detailed studies for commissioned work as well as intimate "primi pensieri" -- quick sketches that captured the "heat" of a creative moment. This exhibit marks the first time that many of these extraordinary drawings have traveled outside of Spain's Prado Museum and includes works by artists Giulio Romano, Paolo Veronese, Giorgio Vasari and Andrea del Sarto, as well as two recently discovered figural studies for Michelangelo's "Last Judgment." "From Michelangelo to Annibale Carracci" is organized and circulated by Art Services International, Alexandria, Va., in association with The Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid. Support for the exhibition has been provided by The Samuel H. Kress Foundation, The Chisholm Foundation, and an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and Humanities. Support for its presentation at the Block Museum is provided by the Alumnae of Northwestern University; Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation, Embassy of Spain in Washington, D.C.; Illinois Arts Council, a state agency; Istituto Italiano di Cultura; and Myers Foundations.

Theo Leffmann, "Weaving a Life into Art" ongoing exhibition, Jan. 23 through April 5, Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art, Theo Leffmann Gallery. Theo Leffmann is recognized as a rich contributor to the American fiber art movement in the late 20th century. For more than 30 years, Leffmann liberated textiles from practical and decorative applications by using them as a means of personal expression. Through the generous gift of the late Paul Leffmann, these works are part of the Block Museum's permanent collection.


Free Guided Adult Tours of the Winter 2009 exhibitions, Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art, 2 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, from Jan. 24 through April 5. Block Museum docents will lead free guided tours of the two Winter 2009 exhibitions: "Polaroids: Mapplethorpe" and "From Michelangelo to Annibale Carracci: A Century of Italian Drawings from the Prado." Gallery tours begin in the museum lobby. Reservations are not necessary.

Group and School Tours by Appointment only, Jan. 24 through April 5.
The Block Museum offers free guided tours to groups or schools. Group or school tours may be arranged by contacting blockeducation@northwestern.edu. For more information, visit www.block museum.northwestern.edu/visit/guided-tours.html.


"Principles of Drawing," 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesdays, Jan. 28 to March 4, ARTica Studios, Norris University Center, 1999 Campus Drive. The Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art and Northwestern University's ARTica Studios will present this six-session weekly art course, which will include visits to the Block Museum to view the exhibition "From Michelangelo to Annibale Carracci: A Century of Italian Drawings from the Prado." The cost in $107 for the general public and $97 for Block Museum members and Northwestern faculty, staff and students, all materials included. Reservations are required; call (847) 476-7112.


The Sculpture Garden of Northwestern's Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art constitutes one of the most significant groupings of modern sculpture in the region. In 1987, Leigh Block, one of the museum's inaugural donors and a preeminent collector of modern art, bequeathed a large group of outdoor bronze sculptures to the museum. These pieces formed the core of the collection, which now features monumental sculptures by some of the 20th century's most renowned European and American sculptors, including Barbara Hepworth, Jacques Lipchitz and Henry Moore.

In 1989, the Block Museum opened its Sculpture Garden with nine of the monumental bronzes donated by Leigh Block. The Sculpture Garden was designed by Chicago architect John Vinci and through donations and acquisitions has grown to 22 pieces. Located on the Evanston campus, it is open year-round. For more information about the Sculpture Garden, visit www.blockmuseum.northwestern.edu/collections/sculpture.html/.


The Dittmar Memorial Gallery, Norris University Center, 1999 Campus Drive, Evanston
campus. The gallery is open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. Admission is free. The gallery places emphasis on ethnic cultural art, art by emerging artists, art by or about women, artwork by Northwestern undergraduate and graduate art students and traveling art shows. For information, call the Dittmar Gallery at (847) 491-2348 or Norris University Center at (847) 491-2300, e-mail dittmargallery@northwestern.edu or visit the Dittmar Web site at www.norris.northwestern.edu/dittmar.php.


Petra Kralickova, "Silent Longing," Jan. 5 through Feb. 8, Dittmar Memorial Gallery. Silent Longing" is a site-specific installation by artist Petra Kralickova. Kralickova's works focus on the reactions and emotions that people try to hold back, yet are unable to conceal entirely. In the exhibition, "Silent Longing," Kralickova interprets longing as she understands it through abstracted monochromatic forms, constructing uninhabited cages, idle archways and slumped cord lines. Kralickova, who was born in Czechoslovakia and now lives and works in Athens, Ohio, is the recipient of the Artist Fast Track Grant from the Ohio River Border Initiative Arts Network. For more information on the artist and her other projects and awards, and a slideshow of some of her works, visit http://www.petrakralickova.com. An opening reception from 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 8, is free and open to the public.
Topics: Campus Life