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May 2010 Visual Arts Calendar

Exhibitions and events at the Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art and Dittmar Gallery

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April 12, 2010 | by Judy Moore
"The Brilliant Line: Following the Early Modern Engraver, 1480-1650" is at the Mary and Leigh Block Museum through June 20. 

EVANSTON, Ill. --- The Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art, 40 Arts Circle Drive, is located on Northwestern University's Evanston campus. The museum is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday; 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Thursday and Friday; and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. The museum is closed on Monday.

Admission to the museum and to all programs is free, unless noted. 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.

BLOCK MUSEUM MAY 2010 EXHIBITIONS

"The Brilliant Line: Following the Early Modern Engraver, 1480-1650" exhibition, April 9 through June 20, Main Gallery. Composed entirely of lines, engravings are works of beauty and intricacy. "The Brilliant Line" traces the art form's development and proliferation in the print shops of Europe from 1480 to 1650. It showcases the technical virtuosity and inventiveness on display in rarely seen Renaissance and Baroque prints by master artists of the period, including Albrecht Durer and Hendrik Goltzius. An in-gallery and online interactive component allows viewers to see how engravings are made, examine the complex layers of incisions engravers made to their plates and appreciate the visual language artists developed to depict tone, texture and volume. "The Brilliant Line" is organized by the Museum of Art at the Rhode Island School of Design.

"Engraving the Ephemeral" exhibition, April 9 through June 20, Ellen Philips Katz and Howard C. Katz Gallery. "Engraving the Ephemeral" is a companion exhibition to the Main Gallery's "The Brilliant Line" drawn primarily from the Block Museum's print collection. It
examines the innovative techniques and rich visual vocabulary European engravers of the 16th and 17th centuries developed to represent atmospheric and transitory conditions such as fire, light, clouds and wind. An illustrated brochure accompanies the exhibition.

"MFA Thesis Exhibition from the Department of Art Theory & Practice," May 4 through June 20, Alsdorf Gallery. This annual exhibition represents the culmination of the course of study for the master of fine arts degree from Northwestern University. The works vary in style and conceptual approach, each manifesting the individual visions of artists Christine Negus, Daniel Bruttig, Eliza Myrie, Nada Shalaby, Tyler B. Myers and Eli Borrowman.

"Theo Leffmann: Weaving a Life into Art" exhibition, April 9 through June 20, Theo Leffmann Gallery. Leffmann is recognized as a 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 Paul Leffmann, these works are part of the Block Museum's permanent collection.

BLOCK MUSEUM SPRING 2010 EXHIBITION TOURS

Exhibition Tours, 1 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, April 9 through June 20.
Free docent-led tours of the Block's spring exhibitions will be held every Saturday and Sunday. E-mail blockeducation@northwestern.edu or visit the "Education" section on the Block Museum Web site for information on tours for groups of eight or more people and activity-based tours for school classes.

BLOCK MUSEUM MAY 2010 EVENTS

Educating the Eye Lecture, "The Brilliant Line: A Contemporary Printmaker's Perspective," 9:30 a.m. Wednesday, May 5, Block Museum. Andrew Raftery, consulting curator for the Block's Main Gallery exhibition "The Brilliant Line: Following the Early Modern Engraver, 1480-1650" and an associate professor of printmaking at the Rhode Island School of Design, is one of the few contemporary artists specializing in engraving. Raftery will explore the variety of engraving methods and subject matter displayed in "The Brilliant Line." Light refreshments will be served at 9 a.m. Admission is free for Block Museum members and $10 for nonmembers. Reservations suggested; call (847) 491-7540.

"The Corporeal Line: Thoughts on the Materiality of Early Modern Engraving," 5:30 p.m. Thursday, May 6, Block Museum.
Although museums classify prints as works on paper, some would argue that engraving is fundamentally a sculptural art. Michael Gaudio, associate professor of art history at the University of Minnesota, explores how the sculptural basis of the engraved line was an essential part of its meaning to early modern engravers and their audiences. Co-presented with support from the Northwestern University department of art history.

MFA Thesis Exhibition Opening Reception, 5 to 8 p.m. Friday, May 7, Block Museum. Join faculty and students from Northwestern's department of art theory and practice in celebration of this year's exhibition opening. A screening of video work by the artists will follow at 7 p.m.

Engraving Demonstrations, 2 p.m. Saturday, May 8, and 2 p.m. Saturday, June 5, Block Museum.
Artist and Evanston Art Center instructor Julian Cox presents methods of engraving for printing plates, uses of engraving tools, and intaglio printing using an etching/engraving press.

"The Knowledge of Nobody: Albrecht Durer's Melencolia I," 6 p.m. Thursday, May 13, Block Museum.
Contemporary art critics are often inclined to attribute some kind of technical determinism to art forms rooted in mechanical processes -- prints and photographs, for example. Peter Parshall, curator of old master prints at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., evaluates whether these assumptions have any historical foundations by examining Albrecht Durer's famous engraving. Support for this program is provided by the International Fine Print Dealers Association.

Playtime! Family Day, 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday, May 16, Block Museum. Family Day is presented in partnership with the Chicago Humanities Festival's Stages, Sights and Sounds. The public is invited to visit the Block Museum for an afternoon of art activities, theater workshops and more. Admission is free.

MFA Film Screenings, 7 p.m. Wednesday, May 19, and 7 p.m. Wednesday, June 2, Block Museum. The artists of this year's "MFA Thesis Exhibition" will present a diverse selection of films that have inspired their work.

Gallery Talk, 6 p.m. Thursday, May 27, Block Museum. Block Museum senior curator Debora Wood leads a special hourlong tour of the Block's Main Gallery exhibition, "The Brilliant Line: Following the Early Modern Engraver, 1480-1650."

BLOCK SCULPTURE GARDEN

The Sculpture Garden of the Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art constitutes one of the most significant groupings of modern sculpture in the Midwest region. The Block Museum opened the garden in 1989 with nine monumental bronzes donated by museum inaugural donor and preeminent modern art collector Leigh Block. Through donations and acquisitions the collection has grown to 17 pieces and includes works by some of the 20th century's best- known European and American sculptors, including Barbara Hepworth, Jacques Lipchitz and Henry Moore. 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.

DITTMAR MEMORIAL GALLERY

The Dittmar Memorial Gallery, Norris University Center, 1999 Campus Drive, Evanston campus. Open daily from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. with free admission, the gallery places emphasis on ethnic art, art by emerging artists, art by or about women, artwork by Northwestern art students and traveling art shows. For information, call the Dittmar 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.

MAY 2010 EXHIBITIONS

"Spring Cloud" exhibition, March 31 through May 6, Dittmar Memorial Gallery. In "Spring Cloud," Michigan-based artist and community activist Mark Rumsey's nearly room-size installation allows viewers to study the relationship between light and form. The work presents an imagined micro view of cloud structure -- crystalline droplets played upon by light and translated into macro scale. Light plays with the natural opacity of a matrix of velum droplets, creating layer upon layer of cast shadows. To fully experience the exhibition, viewers are invited to actively participate with the space by turning to see a certain angle, lying on the floor to gain a new vantage point and moving around the space to discover the continuously unfolding patterns. For more information, visit http://www.markrumsey.com.

Senior Art Majors Exhibition, May 14 through June 18, Dittmar Memorial Gallery. The annual exhibition features the work of the Class of 2010 senior undergraduate art majors enrolled in Northwestern University's department of art theory and practice. The show will primarily feature installation works, although two-dimensional media and other forms will be represented. The range of work in the exhibition reflects the varied approaches to contemporary art-making techniques. Nine students will have their work on display, including Matthew Alfonso, Laura Cohen, Margy LaFreniere, Jessica Palo, Allison Putnam, Lynn Stransky, Kyle Tidd, Jessica Wiener and Maxwell Wilson. The artists and several of their professors will be present at an opening reception from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Friday, May 14, which is free and open to the public.

(Nathalie Rayter, a junior in the School of Education and Social Policy, contributed to this story.)

Topics: Campus Life