The Block Museum of Art at Northwestern University has announced a full summer season of exhibitions and programming. Located just steps from Evanston’s lakefront path, the Block Museum will remain open to the public throughout the summer with groundbreaking exhibitions and free events for art lovers, families and lifelong learners.
Summer offerings include two exhibitions of nationally recognized contemporary artists and related gallery talks, a summer learning series that delves into the mysteries of Picasso’s materials, timely cinema programming, lunchtime art walks and an all-ages story time program.
The museum’s main gallery exhibition, “Hank Willis Thomas: Unbranded,” will run through Aug. 5. Recently recognized as an Artforum “Critic’s Pick,” the exhibition brings together selections from two bodies of work by renowned American artist Hank Willis Thomas (b.1976): “Unbranded: Reflections in Black by Corporate America 1968-2008” and “Unbranded: A Century of White Women 1915-2015.” Thomas removes slogans and product names from historical and contemporary advertisements, asking us to confront the impact of images on the popular imagination.
A new exhibition, “Paul Chan: Happiness (finally) after 35,000 years of civilization,” will open July 17 and continue through Nov. 4 in the downstairs Alsdorf Gallery. Paul Chan (b. Hong Kong, 1973) is an American artist, writer and publisher. His first major video work, “Happiness (finally)…,” was created from 1999 to 2003 and takes inspiration from the surrealistic drawings of American artist Henry Darger to examine concepts of utopianism, war and political philosophy.
The Block Museum is located at 40 Arts Circle Drive on the Evanston campus. Admission is always free and open to all.
Summer event schedule:
‘Tales of Art at the Block’
Friday, Aug. 3, 11 a.m.
Museums are full of stories. Join Block Museum staff for story time and family-friendly activities to help children look closer and think deeper about art at the Block. The program is recommended for children 3 to 8 years old, but all are welcome. Space is limited and online registration is required.
Campus Art Walk
Wednesday, Aug. 8, 12 p.m.
Wednesday, Aug. 15, 12 p.m.
Sixteen extraordinary outdoor sculptures constitute a permanent public display maintained by the Block Museum of Art, which was named among the “Treasures of Chicago” by the Chicago Tribune in 2017. Situated in proximity to the museum, access to the artworks is free and open to all. Please join student docents and interns for lunchtime tours that kick off in the Block Museum lobby. Audio guides, maps and more information also are available on the Block Museum website.
Gallery Talk with Janet Dees, curator of ‘Hank Willis Thomas: Unbranded’
Wednesday, Aug. 1, 12 p.m.
How do images in advertising campaigns perpetuate ideas about race, gender and class? The exhibition “Hank Willis Thomas: Unbranded” brings together selections from two recent bodies of work by renowned American artist Hank Willis Thomas (b. 1976). Thomas removes slogans and product names from historical and contemporary advertisements, asking viewers to confront the impact of images on the popular imagination. Exhibition curator Janet Dees, the Steven and Lisa Munster Tananbaum Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art, leads a lunchtime tour and discussion of the exhibition. Online registration is requested.
Full Spectrum Features presents ‘Chicagoland Shorts’ vol. 4
Thursday, Aug. 16, 7 p.m.
Inspired by Chicago’s diversity and artistic excellence, Full Spectrum Features has curated some of the best recent film work of women, people of color and the LGBTQ+ community into “Chicagoland Shorts.” This traveling anthology and tribute to our city has screened across Cook County and nationally from Seattle to New York. The artists in this collection are diverse, prolific, genre-bending and quintessentially Chicago, with work spanning many disciplines including dance, documentary, experimental and science fiction. Program details are available on the Block Museum website.
Block Museum hours are Tuesdays, Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. The Museum is closed Mondays. For the complete schedule and more information, visit the Block Museum website.
The Block Museum of Art is a member of the Northwestern Arts Circle, which brings together film, humanities, literary arts, music, theater, dance and visual arts. Search for events across all artistic disciplines at Northwestern Arts Circle.
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