BLOCK MUSEUM'S WINTER OPENING Review – Art, History, Ideas and Politics Intertwined

If you like your art exhibits to be mindlessly decorative, this one will change your mind—in more ways than one. You will be exposed to two separate shows which, over time become intertwined, not because because you have become confused, but because the lines which separate them become more and more blurred and, not coincidentally, their timelines overlap and intersect. The overarching connection? Artistic expression and interpretation of the human experience as viewed through the prisms of some very antithetical artists.


To quote Block's Ellen Phillips Katz Director Lisa Corrin, “the new exhibitions and related programs that will be featured at the re-opening of the Block in mid-January will set the tone for the museum’s expanded vision. Emphasizing interdisciplinary connections between art, history and ideas, the Block is growing partnerships on and off campus and expanding its leadership, exhibitions and programs.”




Offers a first-time-ever opportunity to see Steichen and Warhol's work side-by-side. Compare point-of-view, technique, technology: Dark rooms. Chemicals. No Photoshop. Just stunning results.


Related “Steichen I Warhol” events:

 Interdisciplinary gallery talk, 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 30. Northwestern University’s Nick Davis, associate professor of English; Mary Poole, Charles Deering McCormick Distinguished Senior Lecturer in the department of theatre; and Beth Corzo-Duchardt, adjunct lecturer in the department of radio/television/film, will discuss the “Steichen | Warhol” exhibition.



Block Cinema film series. A series of classic Hollywood films featuring Paul Robeson, Greta Garbo, Clara Bow and other stars Steichen photographed in their heyday, will include the following screenings: Feb. 7, “The Emperor Jones; Feb. 14, “Grand Hotel”; and Feb. 21, “King Kong.” General admission is $6 for the general public or $4 for Block Museum members, Northwestern faculty, staff and students, students from other schools with valid IDs and individuals 65 and older. For more information, call the Block Cinema hotline at (847) 491-4000 or visit the Block Cinema website at Northwestern University Block Cinema


Gallery talk by Elliot Reichert and Michal Raz-Russo, 6 p.m. Wednesday, April 2. Exhibition curator Elliot Reichert and Michal Raz-Russo, assistant curator in the department of photography at the Art Institute of Chicago, will discuss the Block Museum’s “Steichen|Warhol” exhibition.


Art Theory and Practice Visiting Artist Lecture with Candice Breitz, 6 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 6. The Berlin-based video artist, who has written about Andy Warhol, will discuss his influence on her work in the context of “Steichen | Warhol.”


Support for “Steichen | Warhol: Picturing Fame” is provided by the Alsdorf Endowment, the Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation, the Terra Foundation for American Art on behalf of David Kabiller, and the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency.




Brings to our attention American artists with a connection to Chicago who pursued social revolution with the Great Depression as their backdrop.Pop-up performances make artistic connections and underscores the role of artists as agents of social change. See below for details.


Related “The Left Front” Events:


• “WORK PRINT PROTEST REPEAT” exhibition, Ellen Philips Katz and Howard C. Katz Gallery, Jan. 17 to March 16. This companion exhibition was organized by undergraduate students in Northwestern art history professor Christina Kiaer’s “Radical Art in the 1930s” course.

Lecture by Julia Bryan-Wilson, 6 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 5. Bryan-Wilson is a professor of modern and contemporary art the University of California, Berkeley. Her research interests include art, labor and the politics of art as practice.

Poetry reading by Mark Nowak, 6 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 26. Nowak, a 2010 Guggenheim Fellow, is a poet and labor activist who has led workshops with autoworkers (Saint Paul and South Africa), domestic workers (NYC and London), and taxi workers. Along with a reading on campus he will conduct a workshop with workers in Evanston/Chicago.

Talk by Vasif Kortun, 2 p.m. Saturday, March 15. Kortun is curator and director of research and programs at SALT, Istanbul -- Turkey's leading contemporary art center.

Living Newspaper performances by Jackalope Theatre, 6 p.m. Thursday, April 3, and 5 p.m. Saturday, April 5. The Chicago-based theatre company and Northwestern students will enact four new short plays that reflect the themes raised by the Block Museum’s “The Left Front” exhibition.

Lecture by Andrew Hemingway, 6 p.m. Wednesday, April 16. An emeritus professor in art history at University College London, Hemingway is the preeminent scholar on American artists and the communist movement.


Additional programming will be announced throughout the course of the exhibition.



The Block is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays; 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays; and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Free parking is available on weekends and after 4 p.m. Tuesday through Friday. For more information, visit or call (847) 491-4000. 

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