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Northwestern Visual Arts in January

Block Museum, Dittmar Gallery and University Library unveil winter exhibitions

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January 3, 2013 | by Judy Moore
Lanre Buraimoh’s work is inspired by the beading craft of Nigeria’s Yoruba people of West Africa.

EVANSTON, Ill. --- The Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art will launch the New Year with the Jan. 11 opening of “Terry Adkins Recital,” a retrospective exhibition showcasing selected works from the interdisciplinary artist and musician’s three-decade career. The Adkins show runs through March 24 in the main gallery. A Jan. 12 conversation with Adkins will be webcast live at 3 p.m. on the Block Museum website. 

The Block Museum’s other new Winter 2013 exhibition is “Eye Contact: Photographic Portraits from the Collection,” 
Jan. 11 through March 24, in the Ellen Philips Katz and Howard C. Katz Gallery
. Featuring Block collection works by Andy Warhol, W. Eugene Smith, Robert Mapplethorpe and others, this exhibition poses questions about the gaze in photographic portraiture.

“Shimon Attie: The Neighbor Next Door,” an installation by internationally renowned American artist Shimon Attie, which closed Dec. 9 for winter break, will re-open to the public in 2013 from Jan. 11 through March 24, in the Alsdorf Gallery. For more information, visit the Block website at www.blockmuseum.northwestern.edu or call (847) 491-4000.

Northwestern’s Dittmar Memorial Gallery will host “A Chicago Storybook,” a Jan. 10 dinner/discussion with artist Robert Guinan. The gallery’s first winter 2013 exhibition is “Cultural Collage,” Jan. 18 to Feb. 17, featuring the works of Lanre Buraimoh, Ning-Chiao Hsu and Annette Jackson. Both events are free and open to the public. For more information, call 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.

University Library, 1970 Campus Drive, Evanston campus, will host two exhibitions this winter. “Decorative Cloth: Publishers’ Trade Bindings, 1820-1920” continues through March 25; and “On Her Own Terms: Patricia Neal’s Life and Legacy” opens Jan. 10 and runs through March 22. Both are free and open to the public. For more information, visit www.library.northwestern.edu or call (847) 491-7658.

MARY AND LEIGH BLOCK MUSEUM OF ART

Northwestern University’s Mary and Leigh Block Museum is located at 40 Arts Circle Drive, on the University’s Evanston campus.

Admission to the Block Museum galleries and programs listed below is free. The galleries are open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday, Saturday and Sunday and from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. The museum is closed on Monday. For more information, visit www.blockmuseum.northwestern.edu or call (847) 491-4000.

CONSTRUCTION ALERT

A long-term construction project on Northwestern’s south campus has closed access to the Block Museum and Arts Circle Drive. Free parking is available in the lot directly south of the museum. For directions and parking information, visit www.blockmuseum.northwestern.edu/visit/directions-and-parking/index.html.

BLOCK MUSEUM WINTER 2013 EXHIBITIONS

“Terry Adkins Recital,” Jan. 11 through March 24, Block Museum, Main Gallery. “Recital” brings together works from the past 30 years by artist and musician Terry Adkins. Combining sculpture and live performance, Adkins has described his approach to art making as similar to that of a composer. His sculptures re-purpose and combine materials such as fiberglass propellers, wooden coat hangers, parachute fabric and musical instruments, in a process the artist calls “potential disclosure,” which aims to reveal the dormant life in inanimate objects. During performances with members of his Lone Wolf Recital Corps, Adkins activates these objects through improvisational playing and singing, spoken word, costumes and recorded sound. The events intend to uphold the legacies of immortal and enigmatic figures, including Bessie Smith, John Brown, Sam Lightin’ Hopkins, Matthew Henson and John Coltrane. Adkins not only resuscitates individuals from historical erasure. He also sheds light on willfully neglected or ignored aspects in the life of well-known figures, such as Jimi Hendrix’s military service as a paratrooper in the U.S. Army’s highly decorated 101st Airborne Division. Adkins, whose work has been exhibited in solo and group settings internationally, is a professor of fine arts at the University of Pennsylvania. “Terry Adkins Recital” is curated by Ian Berry, Dayton Director of The Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery at Skidmore College, in collaboration with the artist.

To view a video featuring Adkins and his work, visit www.blockmuseum.northwestern.edu/view/exhibitions/2013/terry-adkins-recital.html.

“Eye Contact: Photographic Portraits from the Collection, 
Jan. 11 through March 24, Block Museum, Ellen Philips Katz and Howard C. Katz Gallery
. Featuring works from the Block Museum’s collection by Andy Warhol, W. Eugene Smith, Robert Mapplethorpe, and others, this exhibition poses questions about the importance of the gaze in photographic portraiture. “Eye Contact” is curated by Northwestern University Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences undergraduate Sophie Jenkins.

“Shimon Attie: The Neighbor Next Door,” re-opening Jan. 11 through March 24, 2013, Block Museum, Alsdorf Gallery. For two decades, Shimon Attie has created immersive multimedia art -- from photographs and video installations in museums and galleries to site-specific works in public places -- that reflect on place, memory and identity. Attie has described some of his artwork, in part, as “a kind of peeling back of the wallpaper of today to reveal the histories buried underneath.” In this exhibition, the artist has re-envisioned a work that featured archival film footage taken clandestinely by people forced into seclusion by the Nazis. In 1995, Attie projected the films onto the sidewalks of Amsterdam from apartments where many individuals actually hid during World War II. In Winter 2013, visitors to the Block Museum will view the films in a gallery installation that evokes the experience of watching from a confined space. “Shimon Attie: The Neighbor Next Door” is co-curated by David Tolchinsky and Debra Tolchinsky, faculty members of the department of radio/television/film. Support for the exhibition is provided by the Rubens Family Foundation, Alsdorf Endowment, and Illinois Arts Council, a state agency.

BLOCK MUSEUM ONGOING EXHIBITION

“Theo Leffmann: Weaving a Life into Art,” Jan. 11 through March 24, Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art, Theo Leffman Gallery, 40 Arts Circle Drive, Northwestern University, Evanston campus. The fiber art of Chicago artist Theo Leffmann (1911-96) evokes the ancient and the exotic, echoing pre-Columbian and non-Western processes and forms with a distinct personal vision. Her 40-year career coincided with a revolution in textile art as the division between “high art” and “craft” diminished. The display of Leffmann’s colorful, richly textured and playful weavings, wall hangings and sculptural objects is drawn from the Block Museum’s permanent collection. The works are generous gifts from her husband Paul Leffmann. 

BLOCK JANUARY 2013 EVENTS

The following events will take place at the Mary and Leigh Block Museum Art, 40 Arts Circle Drive, Northwestern University, Evanston campus.

• A Conversation with Terry Adkins, 3 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 12, Block Museum of Art. Adkins will discuss his work with artists Theaster Gates and Dawoud Bey; Renaissance Society associate curator Hamza Walker; Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago curator Naomi Beckwith; Huey Copeland, associate professor of art history at Northwestern; and Ian Berry, Dayton Director of The Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery at Skidmore College. The conversation is preceded by a 2 p.m. opening reception. The program is free and open to the public. It will also be webcast live on the Block Museum website, beginning at 3 p.m. CST. Visit www.blockmuseum.northwestern.edu for more information.

Kira O’Reilly: Thresholding Bodies” lecture, 6 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 16, Block Museum, Pick-Laudati Auditorium. United Kingdom-based artist Kira O’Reilly’s employs performance, biotechnical practices and writing with which to consider speculative reconfiguations around “The Body.” Her work has been exhibited throughout the United Kingdom (U.K.), Australia, China and Mexico. She has presented at conferences on both live art and science and on art and technology interfaces. She is currently an Arts and Humanities Research Council-funded creative fellow at Queen Mary University of London’s department of drama. Her Jan. 16 program is presented by Northwestern’s department of art theory and practice and the In>Time Festival of Performance Art. It is free and open to the public.

• Potential Disclosure: An Interdisciplinary Gallery Talk on the Work of Terry Adkins, 5:15 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 23, Block Museum. Hear unique perspectives on Terry Adkins’ art from Jason LaFountain, Terra Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow in American Art; D. Soyini Madison, chair and professor of performance studies, Northwestern University, School of Communication; Dan Silverstein, manager of exhibitions and collections at the Block Museum; and Ivy Wilson, professor of English and director of Northwestern’s Program in American Studies. Admission is free and open to the public.

• “Educating the Eye, New Iconographies: Italian Drawings and Prints, 1500-1700,” 10 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 30, Block Museum. Block Museum student docent Joseph Semkiu, a sophomore in Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences, will discuss selected Old Master works from the Block Museum’s collection. A coffee reception precedes the talk at 9:30 a.m. Free for Block Museum members; $10 for nonmembers. Phone (847) 491-7540 to register.

BLOCK MUSEUM EXHIBITION TOURS

Block Museum docents lead guided tours of the winter exhibitions at 1 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, Jan. 26 to March 24. Tours for classes and groups of eight or more people are available with advance notice. Call (847) 491-4852, email blockeducation@northwestern.edu, or visit http://www.blockmuseum.northwestern.edu/visit/gallery-tours.html for more information.

DITTMAR MEMORIAL GALLERY

The Dittmar Memorial Gallery, Norris University Center, 1999 Campus Drive, Northwestern University, Evanston campus, 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 undergraduate and graduate art students, and traveling art shows

DITTMAR GALLERY WINTER 2013 EXHIBITION

“Cultural Collage,” Jan. 18 to Feb. 17, 2013, Dittmar Gallery, Norris University Center, 1999 Campus Drive, Northwestern University, Evanston campus. The group exhibition features the work of painter Lanre Buraimoh, mask maker Annette Jackson and sculptor Ning-Chiao Hsu. Though each artist works in a different medium and is from a different continent, exhibited together they represent a larger global context and celebrate culture and heritage through art. Nigerian-born and Texas-based artist Lanre Buraimoh’s work is inspired by the beading craft of Nigeria’s Yoruba people of West Africa. His innovative pieces adapt this tradition to the more contemporary art form of “bead painting.” His paintings are adorned with thousands of small, colorful glass beads that depict Yoruba objects and symbols and reflect traditional Yoruba beliefs related to love, entertainment and unity. New York-born artist Annette Jackson’s “edgy” masks are all about color, shape and composition. Her love for fire-created elements is evident in the components that make up these “Faces.” Using repurposed wood as the base for each mask, Jackson arranges elements she hand makes of lampwork glass (hand made beads) fused glass (glass on metal) and metals. Her Native American, African-American and East European roots provide the inspiration for these whimsical and dramatic masks. Chicago-based Ning-Chiao Hsu’s sculptures are a fusion of contemporary, nature and Native American influences. She is particularly influenced by the work of the Mesa and Southwest tribes and an appreciation of ancient and primitive styles. Made of clay, paper and metal, her handcrafted pieces include sculpted buildings and villages, vases, teapots, tribal motif decorated plates and Southwest style jars decorated with Native American patterns.  The exhibition and an opening reception from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, Jan. 18, are free and open to the public.

DITTMAR GALLERY EVENTS

“A Chicago Storybook,” dinner/discussion with artist Robert Guinan, 5:30 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 10, Dittmar Memorial Gallery, first floor, Norris University Center, 1999 Campus Drive, Northwestern University, Evanston campus. Robert Guinan is among the Chicagoans profiled in Alex Kotlowitz’s “Never a City So Real,” this year’s One Book One Northwestern selection. An artist who has gained greater recognition in Europe than at home and the subject of two documentary films, Guinan will talk about the city that has inspired his work for more than five decades. Space is limited and reservations are required. Free and open to the public. To register, visit http://www.northwestern.edu/onebook/.

“From Al Capone to the Latin Kings: Violent Crime in Chicago,” a dinner/discussion, 5:30 to 7 p.m., Monday, Jan. 14, Dittmar Memorial Gallery, first floor, Norris University Center, 1999 Campus Drive, Evanston campus. Northwestern School of Law faculty member Leigh Bienen will moderate a discussion about Chicago crime as it relates to two chapters (“26th Street” and “Inside Out”) of “Never a City So Real.” Bienen, author of “Crimes of the Century,” is the director of the online Chicago Historical Homicide Project that analyzes decades of Chicago crime data. Free and open to the public. Reservations are required. To register, visit http://www.northwestern.edu/onebook/

UNIVERSITY LIBRARY

Exhibitions at Northwestern University Library at 1970 Campus Drive, Evanston campus, are open to the public daily from 8:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, or as noted. Members of the Northwestern community with a valid WildCARD can visit during all open library hours. Admission is free. For more information, visit www.library.northwestern.edu or call (847) 491-7658.

UNIVERSITY LIBRARY WINTER 2013 EXHIBITION 

“Decorative Cloth: Publishers’ Trade Bindings, 1820,” through March 25, 2013, University Library, Charles Deering McCormick Library of Special Collections, Northwestern University, Evanston campus. In the early 19th century, the development of case binding, a technique conducive to mass production, made the manufacture of books with uniform binding possible. Publishers eventually began using this convenience to their further advantage, decorating the covers and spines as a form of commercial enticement and an expression of house pride. This trend continued into the early years of the 20th century. The Deering McCormick Library of Special Collections holds thousands of examples of publishers’ trade bindings, a selection of which are on display on the third floor of Deering Library. The exhibition is arranged chronologically by decade and showcases some of the typical designs found during those decades. It is open to the public during the Library’s regular public hours: 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 8:30 a.m. to noon, Saturday. For more on the Deering Library, visit www.library.northwestern.edu/libraries-collections/evanston-campus/special-collections.

New exhibition, “On Her Own Terms: Patricia Neal’s Life and Legacy,” Jan. 10 through March 22, 2013, Northwestern University Library, Evanston campus. The late Oscar-winning actress and Northwestern alumna Patricia Neal lit up the screen in films like “Hud,” “The Fountainhead” and “The Day the Earth Stood Still.” This exhibit -- drawn from her newly established archive at Northwestern University Library -- also explores the dramatic off-stage roles she undertook as wife and mother, glamorous celebrity and activist stroke survivor. Admission is free and open to the public during the library’s regular public hours: 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 8:30 a.m. to noon, Saturday.

Topics: Campus Life