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February 2009 Visual Arts Calendar

January 22, 2009 | 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.

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 http://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 (1946-89) 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. The Polaroids in this exhibition anticipate the themes and subjects of Mapplethorpe's later work -- portraiture, sexuality and the classical beauty of the human body -- with spontaneity and immediacy that is inherent to instant photography. To see images of works in the exhibition, visit http://www.blockmuseum.northwestern.edu/exhibitions/current/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 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, this exhibition highlights the exceptional technical proficiency achieved by artists of the time while demonstrating the importance of drawing in the creation of multiple types of art, including ceramics, frescos, prints, tapestries and stained glass. Scholar Nicholas Turner's extensive research in identifying and documenting these drawings has led to the first exhibition of most of these works outside the Prado since the institution acquired them more than 75 years ago. Turner's work also revealed two of the drawings as Michelangelo figure studies for the Sistine Chapel'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 in Chicago; 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, Jan. 24 through April 5.
Block Museum docents will lead 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 http://www.blockmuseum.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 or go to http://www.nbo.northwestern.edu.


At 6 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 5, Suzanne Folds McCullagh, Anne Vogt Fuller and Marion Titus Searl Curator of Earlier Prints and Drawings at the Art Institute of Chicago, will present "Connoisseurship and Scholarship in Italian Drawings: Two Cogent Collections Compared," a discussion of the exhibitions "From Michelangelo to Annibale Carracci: A Century of Italian Drawings from the Prado" (at the Block Museum from Jan. 23 to April 5) and "Drawn to Drawings: The Goldman Collection" (at the Art Institute through Jan. 18, 2009). McCullagh will speak about the extraordinary collections these exhibitions come from and the scholarship of independent curator Nicholas Turner in cataloguing the holdings and selecting works from them for exhibition. Admission is free and open to the public.


Families are invited to "Drawing Triptychs" from 1 to 3 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 22. Recommended for children aged 8 to 12 and their parents, grandparents or caretakers, the program includes a close look at selected drawings from the exhibition "From Michelangelo to Annibale Carracci: A Century of Italian Drawings from the Prado" followed by a studio workshop focusing on three different drawing techniques. Cost is $5 per family of four (free for Block Museum members). Reservations are required; e-mail blockeducation@northwestern.edu.


Gallery talk, 6 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 26, Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art.
Block Museum senior curator Debora Wood will lead a gallery talk on the Block exhibition "Polaroids: Mapplethorpe." Admission is free and open to the public.


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 http://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 http://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 to view a slideshow of some of her works, visit http://www.petrakralickova.com.

Eduardo De Soignie, "Ex Vivo: Out of the Living," Feb. 12 through March 17, Dittmar Memorial Gallery. Eduardo De Soignie is a multidisciplinary artist who resides in Chicago. Ever since he left his homeland in Cuba, at the age of 18, the conflict between place and identity has been the central focus of his work. In science, "ex vivo" refers to the experimentation or measurements done in or on living tissue in an artificial environment outside the organism with the minimum alteration of the natural conditions. The pieces chosen for his winter 2009 Dittmar exhibition are a compilation of works done in the past three years of his career. The 14 paintings are examples of his own measurements and experimentations in trying to understand what life is like outside the walls of his studio. For more information on the artist and a slide show of some of his works, visit http://www.eduardodesoignie.com. A 7 p.m. reception Friday, Feb. 13, is free and open to the public.
Topics: Campus Life