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Lynne Cooke - The Debt is Infinite: On Paul Chan and His Outliers

Lynne Cooke - The Debt is Infinite: On Paul Chan and His Outliers
6 PM-7:30 PM

Event Details

Date & Time:

Wed October 3, 2018
6 PM-7:30 PM


The Block Museum of Art
40 Arts Circle Drive
Evanston, IL 60208


Open to the public


Paul Chan’s landmark 2003 digital animation Happiness (finally) after 35,000 years of civilization draws on the themes and iconography of one of Chicago’s most celebrated self-taught artists, Henry Darger. Lynne Cooke, Senior Curator for Special Projects in Modern Art at the National Gallery in Washington, will situate Chan’s approach to Darger within a longer history of the changing relationship between modern and self-taught art, which she explored in her landmark exhibition Outliers and American Vanguard Art (touring to LACMA in November 2018). Exhibition co-curator Jim Hodge, Assistant Professor of English and Humanities at Northwestern, will then reflect on these distinctions in an era when new media platforms have eroded the boundaries of what constitutes avant-garde and folk art. Block Media Arts Curator and exhibition co-curator Michael Metzger will join Cooke and Hodge to address the key themes of narrative and social transformation that bind Chan and Darger.

Presented by The Block Museum of Art in partnership with the Arts Club of Chicago.

Image: Jacob Lawrence’s “Sidewalk Drawings” (1943) in gouache on paper is part of “Outliers and American Vanguard Art” at the High Museum of Art.

Contact The Block Museum of Art for more information: (847) 491-4000 or email us at