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June 2010 Visual Arts Calendar

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

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June 1, 2010 | by Judy Moore
Modern Groceries," the Dittmar Gallery's summer exhibition, features common foodstuffs in a series of still photographs by Chicago-based photographer Stephanie Dean.
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 JUNE 2010 EXHIBITIONS

"The Brilliant Line: Following the Early Modern Engraver, 1480-1650" exhibition, 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 workshops 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, 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," 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 student artists Christine Negus, Daniel Bruttig, Eliza Myrie, Nada Shalaby, Tyler B. Myers and Eli Borrowman. Graduate student Shalaby is exhibiting projects inspired by her interaction with Chicago's diverse West Ridge/West Rogers Park community at Studio Haret el Yahoud at 7002 N. California Ave. (at Lunt) through June 20. For studio hours, check the website at www.7002california.com.

"Theo Leffmann: Weaving a Life into Art" ongoing exhibition, 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, 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 JUNE 2010 EVENTS

MFA Film Screening, 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. The films include: "Porzellan Isoschizo Kuchentat des neurodermitischen Brockenfalls im Kaffeestrudel und das alles ganz teuer" (John Bock, 2001, Germany, 1 minute, 47 seconds), Bock's energetic video shows the German artist struggling with food run amok in a kitchen; "Birthday Suite - with scars and defect," (Lisa Steele, 1974, Canada, 134 minutes), Canadian artist Lisa Steel marks her 27th birthday by revealing the scars on her body and explaining how they happened. "The Horse" (Charles Burnett, 1973, United States, 14 minutes) is a tale about a group of men and a young boy waiting for the boy's father to put down a horse. "a/k/a Mrs. George Gilbert" (Coco Fusco, 2004, United States, 31 minutes) is a film that combines fictional and documentary materials. Artist Coco Fusco's  (also known as "Mrs. George Gilbert") focuses on an FBI agent confessing his involvement in the nation-wide search for Angela Davis, the black activist who went underground after being fired from University of California in Los Angeles in 1969 at the order of then governor Ronald Reagan and being placed on the FBI's "Ten Most Wanted List." "Trapped in the Closet, Chapters 1-12" (R. Kelly and Jim Swaffield, 2005, 43 minutes) is the first part in a story set of 22 chapters featuring one melodic theme with varying lyrics released by rhythm and blues singer R. Kelly. The video and music tell the story of a one-night stand that sets off a chain of events, gradually revealing a greater web of lies, sex and deceit.

Elizabeth and Todd Warnock Lecture Series, "Masonry Matters: Meaning in Inka Stonework," 5 p.m. Thursday, June 3, Block Museum. A lecture by Carolyn Dean, professor of history of art and visual culture at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Co-presented with the Northwestern University Department of Art History.

Engraving Demonstration, 2 to 3:30 p.m. Saturday, June 5, Block Museum. Artist and Evanston Art Center instructor Julian Cox will present methods of engraving for printing plates, uses of engraving tools and intaglio printing using an etching/engraving press.

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. Through June 18, the Dittmar Gallery is open daily from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. with free admission. Starting June 24, the Dittmar's summer gallery hours will be from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday and from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday through Sunday. 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.

JUNE 2010 EXHIBITIONS

Senior Art Majors Exhibition, 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 Laura Cohen, Margy LaFreniere, Jessica Palo, Allison Putnam, Lynn Stransky, Kyle Tidd, Jessica Wiener and Maxwell Wilson.

"Modern Groceries," June 24 through Aug. 11, Dittmar Memorial Gallery. "Modern Groceries," the Dittmar Gallery's summer exhibition, features common foodstuffs and relies on a visual vocabulary that is not only meaningful but also accessible. Chicago-based photographer Stephanie Dean presents a series of still life photographs focusing on the way food is packaged and consumed. Unlike the Dutch still life paintings they are modeled after, which depicted exotic and expensive luxuries, Dean's photographs show items that are far less expensive to purchase than the final work of art itself. An opening reception from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, June 25, is free and open to the public.

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