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September/October 2010 Visual Arts Calendar

September 29, 2010 | by Judy Moore
Chicago-born artist Leon Golub (1922–2004) is known for his provocative large-scale paintings addressing issues of power and violence and for a figurative style inspired by everything from classical sculpture to journalism and mass media photography.

EVANSTON, Ill. --- “Leon Golub: Live & Die Like a Lion?”, an exhibition of drawings that the late internationally renowned artist Leon Golub created during the last five years of his life, and “Rapture,” an award-winning video installation by Iranian-born visual artist Shirin Neshat, have launched the Block Museum’s 2010-11 visual arts season. Both will be open to the public through Dec. 12.

The Dittmar Memorial Gallery will host Patricia Otto’s two-part exhibition, “Caged Dresses, Floating Kimono’s” (Oct. 1 to Nov. 1).


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 website at



“Leon Golub: Live & Die Like a Lion?” through Dec. 12, Main Gallery. Chicago-born artist Leon Golub (1922–2004) is known for his provocative large-scale paintings addressing issues of power and violence and for a figurative style inspired by everything from classical sculpture to journalism and mass media photography. “Live & Die Like a Lion?” is the first major museum exhibition to focus on drawings from the last five years of Golub’s life, when declining health prevented him from working on large canvases. With bold text, erotic imagery and depictions of human figures, lions, dogs and mythic creatures, the exhibition features small but dramatic and colorful works. It also includes the only existing unfinished Golub painting as well as examples of the artist’s source materials. Curated by Brett Littman, executive director of The Drawing Center, New York, the exhibit is made possible by the National Endowment for the Arts and The Dedalus Foundation.

“Shirin Neshat: Rapture,” through Dec. 12, Alsdorf Gallery. Iranian-born Shirin Neshat has played a pivotal role in discourse about identity and gender in her native country and Islam. Neshat’s “Rapture,” a 1999 video work that brought the artist international acclaim, and won the Golden Lion at the 48th Venice Biennale, focuses on dynamics between males and females in relation to Muslim social structures and taboos. The dual-projection installation presents parallel yet separate events unfolding on two opposing screens. “Rapture” is from the collection of Pamela and Richard Kramlich.


Docent guided Adult Tours of the Fall 2010 exhibitions, Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art, 1 p.m. Saturdays from Sept. 25 through Dec. 12. Block Museum docents will lead free guided tours of “Leon Golub: Live & Die Like a Lion?” and “Shirin Neshat: Rapture” exhibitions at 1 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays through Dec. 12. Tours begin in the museum lobby. Reservations are not necessary.

Docent-led Group and School Tours by Appointment. The Block Museum offers free docent-led tours to groups of eight or more. The 45-minute-long tours are available each day the museum is open. The Block also provides hourlong interactive tours and activities for school groups. Arrangements for group or school tours should be made at least four weeks in advance by e-mailing blockeducation@northwestern.edu. Visit www.blockmuseum.northwestern.edu/education for more information.


Block Cinema, “Late Works Are the Catastrophes” 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 30 (Jerry Blumenthal and Gordon Quinn, 2005, USA, video, 80 minutes). This fascinating documentary examines how Leon Golub’s later works focused not only on images of violence and oppression but also on darker aspects of the human condition.

Visiting Artist Presentation, Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev lecture, noon, Monday, Oct. 4. A curator and writer, Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev is the artistic director of “dOCUMENTA (13),” 2012. She will discuss her curation of “dOCUMENTA 13,” one of the world’s foremost contemporary art exhibitions, scheduled to take place from June 9 through Sept. 16, 2012, in Kassel, Germany. Christov-Bakargiev was the chief curator at the Castello di Rivoli Museum for Contemporary Art from 2002-08, and its interim director in 2009. Her talk at the Block Museum is part of the Northwestern University department of art theory and practice 2010-11 Visiting Artists Program. For more information, phone (847) 491-7346 or visit http://www.art.northwestern.edu/calendar/visiting/index.html.

The Elizabeth and Todd Warnock Lecture Series, “Architectural Cross-Currents across the Mediterranean: Domed Sanctuaries in the Ottoman Empire and Renaissance Italy,” 4 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 7. Gulru Necipoglu, Aga Khan Professor of Islamic art, Harvard University, discusses parallels between domed churches and mosques in Italy and the Ottoman Empire during the 15th- and 16th-centuries. Cosponsored by the Northwestern department of art history.

Hamid Dabashi on Shirin Neshat, films and discussion, 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 16. Hamid Dabashi, Hagop Kevorkian Professor of Iranian studies and comparative literature at Columbia University, will introduce a screening of Neshat’s best short works, including “Turbulent” (1998) and “Fervor” (2000). A discussion will follow.

Lecture, “Three Thousand Four Hundred and Twenty Days with Leon Golub,” 6 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 20. Get an insider’s perspective on Leon Golub’s working methods from Samm Kunce, studio manager for the artist and his wife, Nancy Spero.


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, bequested 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 website at www.dittmar.northwestern.edu.

“Caged Dresses, Floating Kimono” exhibition, Patricia Otto, Oct. 1 through Nov. 1, Dittmar Memorial Gallery. Chicago-based guest artist Patricia Otto’s exhibition features two series of works. In both, Otto rehabilitated discarded and unwanted materials. She puts needle and thread to innovative use and “repurposes” materials and everyday objects in creative “green” and affirming ways. In “Caged Dresses,” she has sewed together pieces of unwanted, cut-up paintings on discarded wire tomato cages she re-fashioned into dress forms. Otto describes the result as her “creative attempt to reform, recycle or redress woman’s inherent condition.” Otto’s second series “Kimono,” is comprised of reconstructed paintings, drawings and fabric scraps, all stitched together in a new relationship -- a kimono that floats with arms outstretched in Otto’s effort to “manifest spirit into body.” Otto has exhibited worldwide for more than 30 years and has artwork in the Collection of the National Museum of Women in the Arts Archive in Washington, D.C. She teaches painting and drawing at Truman College and provides art therapy that focuses on women and their creative processes. For information on the artist, visit www.patottoart.com. An opening reception from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 1, at the gallery is free and open to the public.

(Source contacts: BLOCK MUSEUM/Burke Patten, communications manager, Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art, at (847) 467-4602 or b-patten@northwestern.edu. DITTMAR GALLERY/Debra Blade, assistant director of building services, marketing and promotion, Norris University Center, at (847) 491-2307 or d-blade@northwestern.edu. 
Topics: Campus Life