2015 News Coverage

Marg: Collecting Paradise: Buddhist Art of Kashmir and Its Legacies (September, 2015)

"...The exhibition and the catalogue focus on two strands—the impact of Kashmiri art on the Buddhist culture of the Western Himalaya and the desire to collect that art among residents of that region as well as Western scholars in the early 20th century; and the implications this had for current collections in museums and with private art collectors in America and Europe." - Monisha Ahmed

WBEZ: Black Lives Matter exhibition takes on social media (May 27, 2015)

Listen as host Tony Sarabia interviews Block Cinema Guest Curator Will Schmenner about the program "When You CAN'T Shake It Off," which looked at the impact of social media on creating a national conversation about race.

Chicago Tribune: Artist's 600 plates depict the final meals of death row inmates (May 14, 2015)

"But what struck me most was the simple fact that suddenly we ask someone who has sat on death row for, say, 15 years, someone who had no choices for years, what they would like to eat. It seemed kind of absurdist to me, and since art can be a meditation, I began sketching." Then painting.

Evanston Review: 'The Last Supper': A pictoral account of Death Row inmates' final meals (May 13, 2015)

As befitting a gallery affiliated with a university, the Block Museum is charged with displaying art that will be a springboard for conversation. "And the Death Penalty is certainly prompting conversation now," said Susy Bielak, the museum's associate director of engagement and curator of public practice.

The Daily Northwestern: Block Museum exhibit raises questions about the morality of capital punishment (May 7, 2015)

Julie Green has painted nearly 50 plates of death row inmates’ final meals for the past 15 years straight, and she has no plans to stop — until capital punishment is abolished in the United States, that is. She has made 600 plates, all white and ceramic, using cobalt blue mineral paint, which will be shown at the Block Museum of Art starting this Saturday through Aug. 9 in an exhibit called, “The Last Supper: 600 Plates Illustrating the Final Meals of U.S. Death Row Inmates.”

Chicago Sun-Times: Julie Green's Blue Plate Special Paints A Twist on 'The Last Supper' (May 6, 2015)

Individually, each of Green’s painted plates functions as both “a portrait and a still life steeped in the traditions of painting and fine craft, with the influences of Dutch Delftware and Spanish still life painting” part of the mix. For the artist, it is part ritual and part performance, with the exhibition “using the tradition of offering a last meal before execution to help expose the uneven practices and policies of the state-administered capital punishment system.”

WBEZ: Morning Shift: Food Wednesday: Last Meal Exhibit (May 6, 2015)

Listen in for a live interview with Julie Green on WBEZ's The Morning Shift. 

Huffington Post: What Would Be Your Last Meal? For 600 Executed Prisoners, One Painter Memorializes Their Answers (May 1, 2015)

"Food in general is a connection for me," Green said. "It resonates with people." The genesis of the project occurred during Green's morning ritual of toast and tea, as she read an article about a death row inmate's last meal. "Why is this in the newspaper?" she asked herself. "You're giving somebody a choice, and then you're going to execute them? That's very strange to me." Fifteen years later, the growing gallery of painted plates is coming to The Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art at Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill. (May 9 to August 9).

TimeOut Chicago: 9 art gallery exhibitions to check out in May (April 30, 2015)

"The Last Supper" The Block Museum welcomes artist Julie Green, who will present "The Last Supper: 600 Plates Illustrating Final Meals of U.S. Death Row Inmates." The program begins at Fisk Hall, with conversations on issues of representation, the criminal justice system, and social justice, followed by a reception at Northwestern's Block Museum. 

Chicago Tribune: Review: 'College' (April 10, 2015)

First we have Keaton in "College" (1927) on Friday as part of Block Cinema's "Buster on the Run" series. Organist Jay Warren will accompany the action. The movie is worth seeing for a lot of reasons, one of them being the weirdly elegant pratfall Keaton takes on the baseball diamond when he gets clipped by an opposing player sliding into third...

Evanston Patch: The Top 5 Attractions in Evanston (April 21, 2015)

So if you have one day to experience everything that is Evanston, what would you pick? Lets take a look at Tripadvisor.com, the tool most often used by travelers to find out what a particular city or town has to offer. Visitors rate their experience at attractions, restaurants and hotels and the site ranks them based on the votes. 5. Mary and Leigh Block Museum: With all the great art Evanston has to offer, it’s no surprise an artsy place made the top five. Reviewer from Nashville, Tennessee states: “I have always enjoyed the thoughtful and well curated shows at the block and the accompanying movie theater. The galleries were closed for renovations but should be reopening next month. A nice free treat if staying in Evanston.”

Evanston Roundtable: Block's 'The Last Supper' Raises Questions of Race, Class and Justice (April 22, 2015)

Contemporary artist Julie Green’s work depicts last meal requests of U.S. death row inmates. One inmate requested only a can of Coke with a cigarette. Another asked for his mother’s ravioli and chicken dumplings. Yet another ordered pork chops, eggs, toast, cherry pie, butter pecan ice cream, orange juice and milk. These are death row inmates’ last meal requests, all part of a spring 2015 exhibition presented by Northwestern University’s Block Museum, which through these meals, examines capital punishment and free will.
“The Last Supper,” features 600 white ceramic plates decorated with cobalt blue mineral paint to depict these last meal requests. It opens May 9 and will remain on view to the public through Aug. 9...

Newcity: Review: Collecting Paradise/Block Museum of Art (March 16, 2015)

But the three ivory carvings, borrowed from the Cleveland Museum of Art, are amazing articulations of planes within a very small space, even in the lowered lights required to properly conserve this exhibition of works. Art lovers will also not be disappointed by two fabulous Kashmiri shawls hanging in an accompanying exhibition of more Koelz expedition artifacts...

Newcity: Review: Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec/Block Museum of Art (February 7, 2015)

This compact, one-room exhibition of a dozen and a half lithographs is a gem. Mounted by Northwestern upperclassmen and overseen by art-history professor S. Hollis Clayson, the works are drawn from the Andra and Irwin Press Collection. The students’ extended labels are well written and informative, and often reveal fresh insights...

ARTFORUM: "Radical Art in the 'Red Decade'" (February 7, 2015)

This large and important exhibition, first seen at the Block Museum of Art at Northwestern University and including more than six dozen drawings, prints, and photographs, shows that artists of the 1930s were just as uncertain as we are of how to depict inequality and how to fight it...

The New York Observer: Seeing Red: NYU's Grey Art Gallery Revisits America’s Socialist Moment in Full (February 4, 2015)

“The Left Front: Radical Art in the ‘Red Decade,’ ” organized by the Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art at Northwestern University, Evanston, Ill., has been expanded in New York by the Grey’s curatorial team led by Lucy Oakley. Adding additional items from various NYU archives, the show contains some 100 works by 40 artists...

The Financial Times: The Left Front, Grey Art Gallery, New York — review (February 3, 2015)

In isolation, each of the works in The Left Front: Radical Art in the ‘Red Decade’, 1929-1940 might appear a bit flimsy, or even amateurish. But there is power in numbers, and the show as a whole evokes an era when a large cohort of artists woke up each morning fired with a sense of social purpose. Curated by John Murphy and Jill Bugajski of Northwestern University, The Left Front focuses on Chicago-based artists whose names are little known east of the Great Lakes... 

The New Yorker: LEFT TURNS: The radical art of the nineteen-thirties (January 26, 2015)

The show originated at Northwestern University, where it was curated by John Murphy and Jill Bugajski, and it focussed on the movement’s legacy in Chicago. (“Left Front” was the name of an activist magazine published in that city in the early thirties.)...

Chicagoist: Toulouse-Lautrec Print Exhibit, Curated by Northwestern Students, On Display (January 25, 2015)

French artist Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec is the subject of a new exhibition at Northwestern’s Block Museum (40 Arts Circle Drive) in Toulouse-Lautrec Prints: Art at the Edges of Modernity, which features print work and advertisements by the fin de siècle luminary. The exhibit is curated by Northwestern art history students under the direction of Professor S. Hollis Clayson. On Jan. 21, thirteen students presented their research in a lecture highlighting the collection and contextualizing the works. The exhibited pieces are on loan from the holdings of Irwin and Andra Press who have bequeathed their art to the Block Museum...

The New York Times: Raging at Racism, From Streets to Galleries (January 22, 2015)

…“The Left Front: Radical Art in the ‘Red Decade,’ 1929-1940” at Grey Art Gallery, New York University, a carefully researched traveling show of political art assembled by the Mary and Leigh Block Museum at Northwestern University, with the scholars John Murphy and Jill Bugajski as curators. The works were made during the Depression, by artists, many of them European émigrés, dismayed by racism and poverty and confident of left-wing solutions to these wrongs. Maybe because so much of what they did was by-the-book ideology driven — as most of what’s in “Respond” is not — a certain consistency of style and tone prevails: realism and indignation. These features are often cited as political art’s inherent limitation, the reason it’s doomed to look dated, flat-footed and aesthetically second-tier... In the end, it’s the show as a whole, its massed voice, that is so impressive, and heartening.

The Chicago Tribune: Mt. Everest epic restored and screening at Block Cinema (January 22, 2015)

A member of England's Royal Geographical Society, Captain John Noel was on hand with his movie camera when British climbers George Mallory (who was 37) and Andrew "Sandy" Irvine (just 22) attempted their 1924 summit of Mount Everest. The pair famously disappeared on the final leg of their trek, leaving open the question of whether they ever made it to the top. Their journey leading up to that fatal outcome was captured on film thanks to the 20-pound hand-cranked camera hoisted around by Noel — a pioneer of high-altitude photography — who would stitch his footage together into a silent movie called "The Epic of Everest." Recently restored by the British Film Institute (with a new instrumental score), it screens Friday at Northwestern University's Block Cinema...

The Daily Northwestern: Northwestern art history students curate block Museum exhibit (January 22, 2015)

The Block Museum of Art held an event Wednesday evening organized around a student-curated exhibit of works by French artist Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. The exhibit is titled “Toulouse-Lautrec Prints: Art at the Edges of Modernity” and includes 18 pieces ranging from posters to theater programs. The project has been in the works for two years and was first suggested by Block Museum director Lisa Corrin, said Prof. S. Hollis Clayson, whose Fall Quarter 2014 art history class reunited to speak about the exhibit Wednesday night. The pieces were donated by NU alumnus Irwin Press (Weinberg ’59) and his wife Andra Press. “Their holdings in Lautrec are so deep and they have such good quality work,” Clayson said. More than 50 people attended the event, which began with a lecture by Clayson about Toulouse-Lautrec’s career. Her 13 students then presented their research on their respective works...

The Daily Herald: Budget-friendly fun (January 20, 2015)

See the artwork of Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (1864-1901) at "Toulouse-Lautrec Prints: Art at the Edges of Modernity" at Northwestern University's Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art, 40 Arts Circle Drive, Evanston. Exhibition includes lithographic works by the world-renowned modern artist….

Hyperallergic: Topless but Far From Helpless: Charlotte Moorman's Avant-Garde Life (January 17, 2015)

An exhibition examining Moorman’s career, which will open at Northwestern’s Mary & Leigh Block Museum of Art a year from now and come to New York University’s Grey Art Gallery in the fall of 2016, should also help raise this avant-gardist’s art-historical profile.

NS Magazine: Arts and Culture (January 13, 2015)

LISA CORRIN, A museum director brings the world to Evanston.“If you come in for an hour, you’ll go away thinking for hours after you leave,” says Lisa Corrin about the Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art where she serves as director. “We try to grow our exhibits from the soil of Northwestern, and really raise and explore the big questions.” The Block hosts three major exhibits a year, plus a monthly rotating exhibit curated by students. The exhibit opening Jan. 13, Collecting Paradise: Buddhist Art of Kashmir and its Legacies, brings together masterpieces of Himalayan Buddhist art from major U.S. museums. “One of the questions we’re exploring is: What does it mean to take art from a religious setting and move it to a museum?” Corrin explains. “How does that change the meaning?”

Evanston Review: Block Museum Buddhist art exhibit asks: What’s the cost of collecting? (January 13, 2015)

In the 8th century, an artist in Kashmir created a brass sculpture of Buddha intricately woven with copper and silver. Northwestern University art history professor Robert Linrothe said the piece is one of the finest representations of metalwork art — but its original use was to adorn a Buddhist temple and reflect the Buddhist teachings. That sculpture will be among more than 40 Buddhist artifacts including metal, ivory and wood pieces; manuscripts; and textiles in a new exhibition at the Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art at Northwestern University in Evanston...

Chicago Sun-Times: Block Museum Shines Spotlight on Kashmir Art in New Exhibition (January 13, 2015)

When Lisa Corrin took over as director of Northwestern University’s Block Museum of Art in February 2012, one of the proposals on the table concerned a small study show focused on the little-known art of Kashmir. Corrin was so taken with the idea that she decided to considerably enlarge the scope of the undertaking, turning it into not the biggest but what she is calling the most ambitious exhibition in the museum’s history.

The Daily Northwestern: Block Museum exhibition features Kashmiri artifacts (January 8, 2015)

An 8th-century brass sculpture with copper and silver inlay, a masterpiece of technical workmanship, sits in the middle of an empty room. The display isn’t located in the Metropolitan Museum of Art or The Louvre. Rather, it’s part of Block Museum of Art’s new exhibition, which includes two parts — The Collecting Paradise: Buddhist Art of Kashmir and Its Legacies, and Collecting Culture: Himalaya through the Lens — opening Tuesday. Prof. Rob Linrothe, who is curating the exhibit, said this physical set-up is an integral part of understanding the exhibition...