2018 News

Chicago Tribune: Best in Chicago museums 2018: Danish trolls, Mexican art and Sue's new digs at the Field make the top 10 (December 20, 2018)

But the big dog this year in Chicago museums has been the bold and broadly invigorating yearlong Art Design Chicago initiativebacked by the Terra Foundation for American Art (with help from the Driehaus Foundation). The ADC imprimatur (and funding!) was behind dozens of exhibitions, scores of public events, and reams of new research all finding fresh or deeper takes on the city’s visual arts history. - Steve Johnson

Sheridan Road: On Exhibit - Caravans of Gold (December 2018)

An ambitious new exhibition will showcase the splendor and power of the lost kingdoms and commercial centers of Africa, using centuries-old artifacts from sites around the Sahara Desert and artwork from West and North Africa, Europe, and the Middle East that reveal the reach of Saharan networks, in a first-of-its-kind show. 

Chicago Tribune: How the look of the 20th century came from Chicago and its African-American designers. Have a 7UP? (December 5, 2018)

"In its focus on their work, “Up is Down” is a more than satisfying reminder that, done well enough, even work designed for consumption in the moment can find a way to live on." - Steve Johnson

The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education: Northwestern University’s New Exhibition Will Showcase Art From Medieval African Kingdoms (December 5, 2018)

In January, Northwestern University will debut a new exhibition showcasing the splendor and power of the lost kingdoms and commercial centers of Africa, using centuries old-artifacts from sites around the Sahara Desert and artwork from West and North Africa, Europe, and the Middle East. 

Print Magazine: The Goldsholls, Chicago Design Pioneers (December 4, 2018)

"The Block Museum has a record of bringing attention and new research to under-recognized subjects. While Morton and Millie and the designers at their firm were highly regarded during their firm’s heyday, their work has been largely overlooked in the histories of design, art, and film." -Steven Heller

Blouinartinfo UK: Northwestern University's Block Museum of Art Showcases Medieval Africa as a Cultural Force (November 29, 2018)

It is the first major exhibition that looks at West Africa’s global reach during the medieval times from the 8th to 16th centuries. It does so by examining the material remains through loans from countries such as Mali, Morocco, and Nigeria.

Evanston Roundtable: Block Museum's New Graphic Identity: 'What's inside The Block?' (November 14, 2018)

Seeking to capture the museum’s active, ever-changing nature and spirit of inquiry, the museum refocused its image this fall with a strikingly bold “B,” and a new campaign asking patrons to ponder the question: “What’s inside the Block?”  

McCormick Engineering News: Dario Robleto Discusses “The Art of Scientific Storytelling” with PhD Students (November 13, 2018)

“On paper, we can give lip service to the idea of cross-disciplinary thinking, but that’s just not enough for me,” Robleto said. “The heart of the problem is ‘what happens when you collaborate in such a way that both fields change in the process?’” - Alexandria Jacobson

Chicago Reader: If you’re into experimental animation, Eyeworks is your festival (November 7, 2018)

Now in its ninth year, the Eyeworks Festival of Experimental Animation, curated by artists Alexander Stewart and Lilli Carré, remains the best annual survey of the form, one that takes care not to limit itself. - Kathleen Sachs

Northwestern Communication Blog: The Intersection of Film, Art, and Advertising: An Attention-Catching Night at the Block Museum (November 5, 2018)

"The late 1950’s and early 1960’s marked a time of experimentation in the world of film, and this avant-garde spirit made its way into the burgeoning television advertising industry. The Goldsholls were at the forefront of this innovative movement."  - Thomas Wall

Art Daily: The Block Museum's new graphic identity invites visitors to discover 'What's inside The Block' (November 1, 2018)

As the museum has continued to grow in scope, expanding the range of its free public offerings and the depth of its creative collaborations, The Block embraced the opportunity to reintroduce itself graphically to its visitors. Seeking to capture the museum’s active, ever-changing nature and spirit of inquiry, the museum refocused its image this fall with a strikingly bold “B,” and a new campaign asking patrons to ponder the question: “What’s inside The Block?”

Voice of America: Caravans of Gold Exhibition Preview (October 2019)

"In the United States, our children grow up from the time they are little knowing only two things about the continent of Africa. One is slavery, and the other is the masks they see in art museums. This exhibit is an effort to change that, to hearken back to a time when there were some of the greatest civilizations ever in the world" -Adam Phillips

WBEZ News: NPR Newscast (October 21, 2018)

Logos for Chicago companies like Motorola and Vienna Beef have become iconic but the creators of those designs have started to fade into history, but a new exhibition is trying to change that. - Carrie Shepard

North by Northwestern: 'Up Is Down' exhibit showcases artistic advertisements (October 30, 2018) 

Lupton showed an excerpt from the exhibition's namesake, in which a boy who has previously walked on his hands looks up, only to see the hate and violence of the world, decides to return walking on his hands to seek a more positive world (hence, "up is down"). The discussion ended on this note, prompting the audience to re-evaluate their interpretations of the world around them and, as the Goldsholls did, challenge perception. - Joely Simon

Sixty Inches From the Center: Installation View: Up is Down at the Block Museum (October 29, 2018)

Co-curators Amy Beste and Corinne Granof discuss the legacy and impact of the Goldsholl Studio on design and advertising and provide insight into the curating process for a multimedia show that includes a wide variety of mediums and formats. The Block Museum’s Dan Silverstein elaborates on the detailed process required to produce such a tech-heavy exhibition, including how to find old tube televisions in the internet era. 

Reel Chicago: Northwestern’s Block Museum debuts new branding (October 31, 2018)

Seeking to capture the museum’s active, ever-changing nature and spirit of inquiry, the museum refocused its image this fall with a strikingly bold “B,” and a new campaign asking patrons to ponder the question: “What’s inside The Block?” - Dan Patton 

Picture this Post: Block Museum UP IS DOWN Exhibit and related Events Preview (October 25, 2018)

Up Is Down will include rarely seen films, as well as photography, glass slides, posters, print advertisements, and package design that tell the story of the creative life of the studio. The exhibition will highlight some of the iconic corporate logos designed by Morton Goldsholl and the firm and showcase prominent advertising campaigns by the firm 

NewCity: Design Top 5: November 2018 (November 1, 2018)

"Northwestern’s Block Museum of Art brings together the multidisciplinary work of the Goldsholl Design studio— rarely seen films and light experiments, posters, print advertisements and package design that include widely known logos such as for 7UP, the Motorola M and the Vienna Beef hot dog with fork." Vasia Rigou

Streetwise: Up Is Down at the Block Museum (October 2018) 

Visitors will see extremely familiar advertisements that were made right here in Chicago. Some of the highlights in­clude See The Light which was a short television ad for 7-Up. The name of the exhibit comes from one of Millie Goldsholls' works. Up is Down is an award-winning film, dedicated to Martin Luther King Jr. Taking the title of this name com­bined with how the Goldsholls turned the advertising world upside down, Up is Down is a perfectly fitting moniker for this exhibit.

North by Northwestern: Conversations at the Block: Addressing criminal justice through art (October 19, 2018)

"The Block Museum of Art hosted “Walls Turned Sideways: Artists Confront the Justice System,” a conversation about the criminal justice system with presentations from three Chicago-based collectives that are committed to justice and to using art as a mechanism for change." - Lindsey Lubowitz

Chicago Now: 9 Amazing Chicago Art tours for fall 2018 (October 18, 2018)

"Join the co-curators Amy Beste and Corinne Granof, and Greg Holderfield, the Director of the Segal Design Institute, for a tour of the exhibition Up Is Down: Mid-century Experiments in Advertising and Film at the Goldsholl Studio, in which the trio share their perspectives on the groundbreaking design work of Morton and Millie Goldsholl." - Carole Kuhrt Brewer

The Daily Northwestern: Block Museum exhibit 'Caravans of Gold' receives federal grant, largest in museum history (October 18, 2018)

"Cooperating with partner museums and institutions in Mali, Morocco and Nigeria, the exhibition — “Caravans of Gold, Fragments in Time: Art, Culture, and Exchange across Medieval Saharan Africa” — will present more than 250 pieces, many of which are rare loans that have never been transported to the U.S. before." -Aaron Wang

North by Northwestern:  Minding the Gap highlights cycles of domestic abuse, recovery at Block Museum screening (October 17, 2018) 

"Minding the Gap highlights the cyclical nature of domestic abuse and asks viewers to acknowledge victims’ pain, but also to recognize their hope and cheer them on as they battle against the odds to rebuild their lives." - Abbey Zhu

Form Design Magazine: Exhibitions (October 2018)

"The Goldsholl Studio became famous primarily for its experimental commercials, animations, and logo designs for large corporations and brands such as Motorola, Kimberly- Clark, and 7 Up. The aim of the exhibition “Up Is Down: Mid-century Experiments in Advertising and Film at the Goldsholl Studio” is to raise awareness of the studio’s importance. Its title refers to the animated film “Up Is Down” (1969) by Millie Goldsholl, in which the young protagonist experiences the world in his own, positive way and subsequently has to struggle with a lack of understanding." - Susanne Heinlein

Chicago's North Shore: Plan a Perfect Fall Day Around Chicago’s North Shore (October 12, 2018)

"Before the day is over, be sure to stop by the Block Museum of Art at Northwestern University. Through Dec. 9, the museum's Main Gallery will house "Up is Down: Mid-Century Experiments in Advertising and Film at the Goldsholl Studio."

The Armenian Mirror-Spectator: ‘Distant Constellation’ Documentary Opens November Boston and NY (October 11, 2018)

"An Independent Spirit Award nominee, Mizrahi’s dreamy, Tarkovskian film opens November 2 with the director present in New York and runs till November 8 at The Metrograph, November 9 in Chicago (Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art in Evanston, Illinois) and November 26 in Boston again." 

Daly Northwestern: Advertising trailblazers’ work featured in Block Museum exhibition (October 3, 2018)

"Iconic advertisements can be found everywhere, from a can of 7Up in the fridge to the classic Motorola flip phone in the palm of your hand. As the inventors of these cultural staples, Morton and Millie Goldsholl know that firsthand." - Victoria Lee

Cine-File Chicago: Crucial Viewing THE ARBORETUM CYCLE (New Experimental) (September 28, 2018)

"Dorsky’s ability to mine such grace and blooming elegance from the light captured in his neighborhood park is an amazing feat and should not be missed." -JBM

Cine-File Chicago: Crucial Viewing Raymundo Gleyzer’s MEXICO: THE FROZEN REVOLUTION (Documentary Revival) (September 28, 2018)

"There is power in his images: in the expressiveness of faces, in the muted colors and arid light, in the attention to detail. Gleyzer’s editing, too, works to build his message, through counterpoints created in crosscutting, but again, the editing is also frequently attuned to rhythm and movement. Revolutionary in message, yes; propagandistic in intent, yes; but still demonstrating an artistry despite his claims that film is just a tool." -PF

Splash Magazine: Up is Down: Mid-Century Experiments in Advertising and Film at the Goldsholl Studio Review – Fascinating and Compelling (October 2, 2018)

"This is a little known and important Chicago story, well told, and captivating." - Barbara Keer

Northwestern Research Magazine: Doorways to Discovery: Creative collaboration allows art to inspire research innovation (Fall 2018)

"The 15th-century polymath Leonardo da Vinci would have regarded modern distinctions between art and science as curious and beside the point. His creative inquiry spanned engineering, painting, sculpture, architecture, music, math, and more, and like other Renaissance thinkers he melded different tools and methods to suit the goals of his larger project of discovery. This desire to connect inspires much Northwestern innovation and discovery, and Corrin expects the Block to continue playing a significant role in supporting the University’s research excellence through partnerships.

“We want to ensure that Northwestern has the great art museum it deserves as a world-class research university,” she says. “We take to heart the importance of interdisciplinary teaching and learning, of moving out of your silo as a scholar or student to make connections across fields. I see the Block as like the Roman Forum: a place where all kinds of people can gather for all kinds of exchanges that make extraordinary new ideas happen.” - Matt Golosinski

WDCB - The Arts Section: New Exhibition Shines Light on Innovative Chicago Area Design Studio (October 1, 2018)

"An innovative Chicago-area design firm established by a forward-thinking husband and wife team is the subject of a new exhibition at the Block Museum of Art." -Gary Zidek

Westword: Neil Goodman Retrospective Gets Back to Basics (September 27, 2018)

"He received major commissions for wall sculptures, such as the one at the Leigh Block Museum of Art at Northwestern University, in which the broadly representational elements that had formerly been perched on shelves or bars were freed, and instead scattered across the wall on which they were directly mounted." -Michael Paglia

Chicago Reader: Ecstasy on film: Nathaniel Dorsky discusses The Arboretum Cycle, his latest work of devotional cinema, which he'd prefer you watch alone (September 23, 2018)

"This Friday at 7 PM, Northwestern University’s Block Cinema will host one of the major cinematic events of the year with the local premiere of The Arboretum Cycle (2017), a collection of seven interconnected short works by veteran avant-garde filmmaker Nathaniel Dorsky." -Ben Sachs

Michigan Avenue Magazine: Catch This Trio of Bold Art Shows Electrifying the Fall Exhibition Circuit (September 14, 2018)

"An artist who favored out-of-the-mainstream subjects (strippers, burlesque dancers, lucha libre wrestlers) and an eye-busting color palette, Paschke urged his students to be disruptive, joyful and open to 'every manner of humanity.'" -Thomas Connors

Chicago Magazine: Chicago Guide (September 14, 2018)

"Up is Down: Mid-Century Experiments in Advertising and Film at the Goldsholl Studio. This show celebrates the golden age of advertising through the lens of a homegrown design giant."

EXPO Chicago: Designing a Life Beautiful: "Up Is Down" Tells the Chicago Story of America's Iconic Brands (September 2018)

"Beste connects the Goldsholls' relationship to corporations to their interest in materials. 'They had an investment in experimentation and material which translates into an interest in material life,' she says. 'How do people understand their lives through the materials they engage with?'" -Amy Beste in conversation with Fulla Abdul-Jabbar

Chicago Tribune: 10 museum exhibitions to look forward to this fall (September 5, 2018)

"The Hairy Who? and the Chicago Imagists: If you know even a little about artmaking in Chicago you’ve come across these monikers used to describe loose coalitions that came together in the city in the middle of the 20th century. Three separate shows (yep, backed by Art Design Chicago) will explain and explore some of their legacy. 'Break a Rule' at Northwestern University’s Block Museum (Sept. 18 to Dec. 9) will examine the work and teaching of Ed Paschke, an intriguing approach to an art show." -Steve Johnson

Jewish United Fund: Arts & Minds: An innovative design firm, a scandalous play, and a pioneering immigrant artist (September 4, 2018)

"Billed as the first major exhibition to explore the trailblazing work of these mid-20th century artists, designers, and filmmakers and their advertising firm, Goldsholl Associates, "Up is Down" explores the many ways in which they applied experimental and avant-garde filmmaking techniques to advertising and brand development." -Hedy Weiss

Graphic Design USA: Trailblazing Goldsholl Design Firm On Exhibit In Chicago (September 4, 2018)

"Goldsholl Design Associates, headed by husband and wife Morton and Millie Goldsholl, were instrumental in introducing the principles of Bauhaus design to the American public through innovative campaigns for the likes of 7UP, Motorola, NFL, Revlon andKimberly Clark. And their advertising and design work also elevated Chicago’s lasting impact on American design."

New City: Can't-Miss Fall Art Events (August 30, 2018)

"Hairy Who. Fall brings multiple tributes to the seminal artists and the larger Chicago Imagist canon. The Art Institute will focus on the original gang of six and their late-sixties exhibitions, while Elmhurst College will show figurative works curated by original member Suellen Rocca. Even the Smart’s show, noted above, will integrate the group into its tale of the South Side’s artistic community. Northwestern’s Block Museum will open an exhibition focusing on Ed Paschke’s art and teaching, fitting for the school where Paschke taught for decades." -Elliot Reichert

Chicago Magazine: 51 Things to Do in Chicago in September (August 29, 2018)

"Up Is Down: Mid-century Experiments in Advertising and Film at the Goldsholl Studio. This show celebrates the golden age of advertising through the lens of a homegrown design giant. In the 1950s, Chicago was a hub for modernist graphic design, with Goldsholl and Associates being one of the best-known firms, churning out iconic logos for Motorola, 7-Up, and Vienna Beef. It even produced many of the era’s then-groovy, now-nostalgic educational short films." -Jason Foumberg, John Hardberger, Britt Julious, Graham Meyer, Catey Sullivan, and Lauren Warnecke

Crain's Chicago Business: Chicago Imagists star this fall (August 23, 2018)

"Opening Sept. 18, Northwestern University's Block Museum puts up "Break a Rule: Ed Paschke's Art and Teaching," zeroing in on probably the best-known Chicago Imagist. Paschke taught for more than 25 years at Northwestern, imploring his students to follow the dictum in the exhibit's title. Paschke's name summons impressions of garish color and louche characters, but the Block's exhibit instead focuses on his printmaking and pedagogical creations." -Graham Meyer

Reel Chicago: Leo B creates new Art Design Chicago campaign (August 22, 2018)

"Leo Burnett has played a key role in elevating Chicago’s prominence internationally, and many designs from the Leo Burnett archive are present in upcoming Art Design Chicago exhibitions, such as Up is Down: Mid-century Experiments in Advertising and Film at the Goldsholl Studio, opening September 18 at the Block Museum of Art." -Carol Fox and Associates

Apollo Magazine: Celebrating the diversity of Chicago’s cultural landscape (August 2, 2018)

"At Northwestern University’s Block Museum of Art, Terra Foundation funding has enabled director Lisa Corrin ‘to bring to light a forgotten chapter in our city’s cultural history’. Working with Chicago Film Archives, she has explored the experimental artist-designer-filmmakers Morton and Millie Goldsholl and their advertising firm Goldsholl Design & Film Associates, founded in the 1950s." -Louise Nicholson

Chicago Tribune: Entertainment options for every day of August — EVERY. LAST. DAY. (August 1, 2018)

"August 1: Curator Janet Dees talks 'Hank Willis Thomas: Unbranded' exhibit at the Block Museum. Dees will discuss the provocative works by artist Thomas: 'Unbranded: Reflections in Black by Corporate America 1968-2008' and “'Unbranded: A Century of White Women 1915-2015' in this lunchtime gallery talk." -Morgan Smith

New Art Examiner: Hank Willis Thomas: Unbranded (August 1, 2018)

"Thomas has consistently explored American consumer culture, particularly as it relates to African-American subjects. His appropriated imagery from advertisements investigates the subtle and not-so-subtle ways advertising reinforces ideas about race and race relations." -Phillip Barcio

Blake/An Illustrated Quarterly: Vol. 52, No. 1 (Summer 2018)

"This exhibition situated Blake’s work in the context of postwar printing experiments by Stanley William Hayter and Atelier 17, such as 21 Etchings and Poems (1960) with Willem de Kooning, Franz Kline, Irene Rice Pereira, Helen Phillips, and Attilio Salemme, and “Fifteen Poems, a Collaboration Using the Printing Methods of William Blake,” involving Alexander Calder and Helen Phillips. A section on the Doors of Perception featured Richard Anuszkiewicz’s Inward Eye serigraph series, as well as posters and other materials documenting the work of Bob Dylan, the Doors, and Jimi Hendrix." -Luisa Calè

Chicago Reader: A fiery AIDS activist finally gets his due with exbitions of his art and videos (July 20, 2018)

"According to Dr. Daniel Berger, who curated both Chicago exhibits and will take part in a postshow discussion at the Block with curator Barry Blinderman, the continuing discovery of Wojnarowicz’s art couldn't be more timely. 'All the things that Wojnarowicz was talking about back in the 80s with regards to disenfranchised people—especially people who were sick—and how the government was apathetic to them . . . all those things seem to be coming up again,'" -Ben Sachs

Chicago Magazine: Ten things to do in Chicago this week (July 19, 2018)

"FILM: During his short life, David Wojnarowicz created a considerable and celebrated body of work in paintings, photography, performances, sculpture, writing, and video. Wojnarowicz’s art focused on a critical response to the conditions of the world that surrounded him. The Block Museum hosts a one-day retrospective and conversation on his moving-image contributions."

Splash Magazines: The 1968 Bursar’s Office Takeover and “Unbranded” Review- Northwestern University puts archives and images on display (July 15, 2018)

"Thomas explored the representation of the African-American male body in visual culture in his B(r)anded Series,  about which critic Arwa Mahdawi , writing in The Guardian noted: 'Thomas’s work ‘unbrands’ advertising: stripping away the commercial context, and leaving the exposed image to speak for itself.'" -Debra Davy

Houston Chronicle: Dario Robleto crafts art with empathetic expansion (July 13, 2018)

"'Beyond whatever I make, I’m on this mission just to get art repositioned in the broader landscape of all kinds of knowledge production. … And not just because it sounds cool or we want to pat each other on the backs,' [Robleto] said. 'I want to make the case because perhaps we’re only going to move forward if we do that in various fields.'" -Molly Glentzer

Time Out Chicago: 60 exciting openings in Chicago in July (June 29, 2018)

"Chan unpacks the violent and sexual themes of Henry Darger’s The Story of the Vivian Girls through an 18-minute looping animation inspired by the artist's work." -Zach Long

Artforum: Hank Willis Thomas (June 2018)

"The wry, uncomfortable comedy of these works makes for a breath of fresh air in our acrimonious, often terrifyingly humorless times." -Abigail Winograd

Northwestern Engineering: Art + Engineering (June 2018)

"Over the past year, Northwestern students, faculty, and researchers from art, engineering, classics, and medicine have all come together to examine [the mummy's] journey, propose theories, conduct research, and ultimately to exhibit their work, all in the quest of solving the mystery." -Emily Ayshford

Chicago Tribune: $30,000 in cultural grants awarded to Evanston artists, programs (June 12, 2018)

"Theaters, musicians and artists all make up the group of 12 recipients of $30,000 in grant money awarded for the new fiscal year by the Evanston Arts Council’s annual Cultural Fund Grant Program...The goal of the program is to 'sustain and advance our community’s visual, performance, literary and media arts and to activate the extraordinary assets of the community to develop Evanston as an arts hub and destination.'" -Genevieve Bookwalter

Medill News: UNBRANDED (June 6, 2018)

"...the human experience is to exist with overlapping identities. The visualization of these converging identities is a form of artistic protest, Thomas said, because these images disrupt what the viewer assumes about an individual." -Savannah Christensen, Nicole Fallert, and Hannah Lindley

Times Literary Supplement: Cleansing the Doors of Perception (June 1, 2018)

"A handsomely designed book . . . including an excellent historical overview." -Alberto Rivero

WBEZ: Milos Stehlik Interviews Iranian Filmmaker Bahman Ghobadi (May 25, 2018)

"WBEZ film contributor and director at Facets Chicago, Milos Stehlik, interviews the world’s great filmmakers. Today, he chats with renowned Iranian-Kurdish filmmaker Bahman Ghobadi. [Ghobadi's] 'films tackle a variety of themes such as justice, dispossession and movement. Some ... focus on the plight of the Kurdish people  … [and] modern-day Iran.'"

Newswise: Forum Promotes Collaboration, Innovation and Change (May 24, 2018)

"Highlighting partnerships, innovations and strategies that can be applied across our campuses, more than 240 faculty and staff gathered last week at Northwestern University’s 11th annual Best Practices Forum to share ideas – and learn from colleagues."

Northwestern Now: Renowned Iranian-Kurdish filmmaker screens three of his films at Northwestern (May 22, 2018)

"Ghobadi’s films tackle a variety of themes such as justice, dispossession and movement. Some of the films focus on the plight of the Kurdish people while others shed a light on modern-day Iran." -Mohamed Abdelfattah

Chicago Gallery News: An Interview with Lisa Graziose Corrin, Director of the Block Mueseum of Art (May 22, 2018)

"I relished the opportunity to create a new model for an academic art museum within a research university, a model that is focused on collaboration, interdisciplinary teaching and learning, rigorous research, and innovative exhibitions and programs." -Lisa Corrin in conversation with CGN

North by Northwestern: Hank Willis Thomas's Unbranded is a haunting take on American culture (May 17, 2018)

"Although the images were poached from a period of many perceived milestones for women and African Americans, they also make it clear that there are still many milestones to go." -Kathryn Rothstein

Daily Planet: What is a Portrait Mummy? [VIDEO] (May 2, 2018)

"I always feel like a super-sleuth with the work that I'm doing, and science is a good tool to be able to better understand the historic record." -Marc Walton

The Dartmouth: Q&A with Seth Woods and Spencer Topel: 'Iced Bodies' (May 1, 2018)

"One of the things that really made me want to do it was how important it would be to address these issues today. It became a human expression, a human problem, not just some display of technology or of avant-garde art, but rather something that would intrinsically address the human condition — particularly, the American condition." -Spencer Topel in conversation with Elizabeth Garrison

Evanston RoundTable: Block Museum Exhibit Looks for Meaning in Unbranded Ads (April 18, 2018)

"He questions how ads reflect society’s hopes and dreams at a moment in time, as well as how they reveal popular ideas about race and gender."

The Hill: Reconnecting art and science in the classroom (April 18, 2018)

"A collaboration, rooted in a long-running program between Northwestern and the Art Institute of Chicago, resulted in a course and an award-winning exhibition featuring an ancient Roman-Egyptian mummy. It brought together Argonne National Lab, and Northwestern’s Block Museum of Art as well as students and faculty from classics, sound design, materials science, computer science, medicine, archeology, and art history." -Julio Ottino and Adrian Randolph

The Daily Northwestern: ‘Unbranded’ exhibition examines race, gender through advertisements (April 18, 2018)

"Thomas said he hopes the subversive titles will provoke new questions about what is being sold. 'I realized that ads are never really about the product,' Thomas said. 'It’s about what you get people to buy into through the language and the images and the stories that you tell.'” -Andrea Michelson

THE SEEN: Unbranded: reflections in black on a century of white women (April 18, 2018)

"Exploring the visualization of African-American identity and white femininity within the same eras, Thomas removes slogans and product names from historical and contemporary advertisements, asking us to confront the impact of images on the popular imagination" -Janet Dees and Tamar Kharatishvili

Chicago Reader: Let the pictures do the talking: Hank Willis Thomas deconstructs the ad game at the Block Museum (April 17, 2018)

"Both series show that advertising is never really about the product. It's about what myths or generalizations you can get people to buy into." -Hank Willis Thomas in conversation with Deanna Isaacs

Newcity Art: Ads Without Additives: 2018 Guggenheim Fellow Hank Willis Thomas Makes Advertisements Speak Truth to Power at the Block Museum of Art (April 13, 2018)

"At the Block Museum of Art in Evanston, two bodies of work by one artist are image lessons in advertising bias and persuasion. 'Unbranded' is a presentation of distinct but related projects by Hank Willis Thomas, an artist and 2018 Guggenheim fellow whose work has considered the relationship between consumer culture and identity for more than a decade." -Elliot Reichert

Chicago Magazine: Ten Things to Do in Chicago This Week (April 12, 2018)

"Thomas 'unbrands' advertisements from the last century by removing product names and all text, revealing how studio photography, clever design, and editing promoted and fueled an artificial lifestyle promised by consumerism."

Chicago Tribune: The Block goes through an experimental phase; ACRE looks for signs of intelligent life (April 12, 2018)

"As an institution, Northwestern’s Block Museum of Art is doing the work of connecting today’s political turbulence and social unrest with that of the ’60s and ’70s. While 'William Blake and the Age of Aquarius' ended its acid trip through the galleries on March 11, 'Experiments in Form: Sam Gilliam, Alan Shields, Frank Stella' rages on into the summer, recalling a movement of formalist defiance taking place from 1964 to 1975. Think of it as a history project — one that reports on a protest against the conventions of painting and printmaking." -KT Hawbaker

Northwestern Research: Art + science reveals ancient mysteries (April 12, 2018)

"The exhibit, 'Pain the Eyes Softer,' features mummy portraits produced in Egypt during the Roman period, a complete intact portrait mummy, and other archeological finds from the Fayum region. Combining expertise from across the University—including from classics, materials science, medicine, archeology, art history, and molecular biology—this groundbreaking installation explores how interdisciplinary partnerships can deliver new insights into ancient mysteries."

Splash Magazines: “Mummies” at the Field Museum Review – Cutting-edge Technologies at Work (April 7, 2018)

"[The Block exhibition] was also a good introduction to techniques that are being used broadly to investigate previously unknown “secrets” about what lay underneath the wrappings of the mummies." -Barbara Keer

Evanston Magazine: A Moveable Fest (April 2, 2018)

"The festival has many goals, but primary among them is to cast a spotlight on the robust selection of literary events already going on in Evanston—a city that is home to an impressively vast population of readers, writers, and publishers. Coordinated specifically to coincide and partner with the Northwestern Spring Writers’ Festival in mid-May, the festival also aims to “bridge the literary gap” between the university and city." -Sherry Thomas

North Shore Modern Luxury: Images of Power (April 1, 2018)

"'Willis Thomas stripped advertising images of all logos and text so we can contemplate what the images themselves are communicating,' says exhibition curator Janet Dees. It's a comment on race, gender, class, and how advertising as a form of mass communication shapes those narratives." -Laura Hine

Northwestern Magazine: Who's that mummy girl? (April 1, 2018)

"'This is a unique experiment, a 3-D puzzle,' says Stuart Stock, a professor of cell and molecular biology at the Feinberg School of Medicine who led the experiment at Argonne. He hopes their analysis can help researchers understand more about the mummy's history and how best to conserve it."

Northwestern Research: Who is she, this little mummy girl? (April 1, 2018)

"Northwestern scientists and students have worked to unravel some of her mysteries, including how her body was prepared 1,900 years ago in Egypt, what items she may have been buried with, the quality of her bones, and what material is present in her brain cavity."

Newcity: Art Top 5: April 2018 (March 26, 2018)

"1. Hank Willis Thomas - Block Museum of Art. Advertisements stripped of everything but figures demand a fresh focus on the ways that gender and race are shaped by commodities." -Elliot Reichert

The Art Newspaper: Why choosing a name for an exhibition is anything but straightforward (March 26, 2018)

"Block Museum of Art at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, enlists national and international experts to assist with titles. Its 2016 traveling exhibition on the artist Charlotte Moorman was nearly called Think Crazy—a reference to the slogan used to promote the New York Avant-Garde Festival founded by Moorman." - James H. Miller

College News Updates: Block Museum of Art releases strategic plan through 2022 (March 20, 2018)

For our campus community and the many publics we serve, the Block is a space for examining assumptions, reframing questions and bridging perspectives."

Crain's: 7 cool exhibits, some a little quirky (March 9, 2018)

"To expose how advertising depicts women and African-Americans, Thomas has collected decades of print ads, stripped out the text and put the images alone on display." -Graham Meyer

Chicago Reader: Alvin Ailey Dance Theater and more of the best things to do in Chicago this weekend (March 9, 2018)

“Fri 3/9-Sun 3/11: 'William Blake and the Age of Aquarius,' which illustrates the impact the Romantic poet had on American artists—from Allen Ginsberg to Jimi Hendrix—closes after this weekend.” -Rachel Yang

Crain's: University-based art museums are raking it in (March 9, 2018)

In January, Block's board donated a total of $1 million to establish an endowment for the museum. In 2017, major gifts from two couples with ties to Northwestern established entities at the Block: $1.5 million established the Susan & Stephen Wilson Block Museum Engagement Fund, and $1 million established the Steven & Lisa Munster Tananbaum curator of modern and contemporary art. -  Lisa Bertagnoli

The Daily Northwestern: Artist in Residence Jen Bervin leads workshops, classes on interdisciplinary art practice (March 7, 2018)

“'During Jen’s visit, the care and sensitivity … and broadened vision I saw in meetings she and I were having were both fun and deeply philosophical,' Bielak said. 'As a curator, I saw clearly how wonderful it would be to have her at Northwestern and the kind of value she’d bring here.'” -Christopher Vazquez

Forward: The Oscars, Mario Vargas Llosa’s Latest And More To Read, Watch And Do This Weekend (March 1, 2018)

"If you want to know what links the Romantic poet and painter William Blake with the beat poet Allen Ginsberg, the Northwestern Block Museum of Art’s exhibit 'William Blake and the Age of Aquarius' will make sure you’re informed." -Talya Zax

Mental Floss: See Lifelike Mummy Portraits From Roman Egypt, Now at Northwestern University (February 25, 2018)

"The exhibit is titled 'Paint the Eyes Softer: Mummy Portraits from Roman Egypt,' a reference to a note to the artist that was discovered with one of the sketches. The portraits, drawn in ink, chalk, or paint, were fastened to the subjects they represented with the same linens used to wrap the bodies." -Michele Debczak

Discovery Channel: Daily Planet (February 20, 2018)

A daily science magazine show that delivers a fascinating mix of documentaries and features, with hosts Ziya Tong and Dan Riskin. The Hibbard Mummy experiment is featured at 35:45-36:30.

Poetry Foundation: Northwestern's Block Museum Hosts Jen Bervin as Winter Resident (February 19, 2018)

"Poet and artist Jen Bervin is in residence at Northwestern University’s Block Museum of Art this winter, and her work will connect her with students as well as allow for some cross-disciplinary research 'in the diverse collections of Northwestern University Libraries – from its John Cage archives in the Music Library to textiles and ancient manuscripts in the Melville J. Herskovits Africana Library.'" -Harriet Staff

Science News: Modern tech unravels mysteries of Egyptian mummy portraits (February 19, 2018)

"The mummy was the first ever to be brought to the Argonne National Laboratory in Illinois, where it was exposed to synchrotron radiation from the lab’s Advanced Photon Source. High-energy X-ray beams could offer new information about the mummy." -Howard Wolinsky

NewCity Art: The Eyes Were A Portal, Even Way Back Then: A Review of “Paint the Eyes Softer: Mummy Portraits from Roman Egypt” at the Block Museum of Art (February 15, 2018)

"Gallery signage tells us that an edict by the Roman Emperor Diocletian listed panel painters as among the most highly-paid craftsmen in the empire, and it’s not hard to see why...Despite the differences in age, gender and proportion, each volumetric face seems to be saying 'Here I am.'" -Chris Miller

North by Northwestern: Review: The Block's Paint the Eyes Softer exhibit (February 13, 2018)

"One section of the exhibition celebrated the extremely talented “panel painters” of the ancient world. Of the later masks, three of the portraits on display are possibly from the same workshop...Even though these funerary masks are essentially the only art to have survived from then to now, the exhibition overall is an interesting delve into a form of portraiture." -Kathryn Rothstein

Washington Post: Here’s a chance to see what people who became mummies looked like (February 10, 2018)

"The free exhibition has plenty of portraits to explore but also delves into the scientific mysteries of the mummies. Intact mummy portraits are very rare, and in November the university took one of its specimens to the nearby Argonne National Laboratory for an X-ray experiment that revealed information about the workshop that probably did the painting and about the materials inside the mummy." -Erin Blakemore

Chicago Review: William Blake and the Age of Aquarius (February 8, 2018)

"If the young Ginsberg found a universe of revolutionary imaginative potential in Blake’s works, the older Ginsberg found a set of reflections on what it means to outlive a revolution. As Blake might put it, the key to both the 1790s and the 1960s is to understand the relationship between Innocence and Experience." -Sam Rowe

Chicago Tribune: Women embroider Black Lives Matter quilt as part of domestic violence awareness (February 5, 2018)

"'This isn't about making the perfect square,' Blount reminded participants. 'It's about being here and bearing witness.'" -Genevieve Bookwalter

Medill Reports Chicago: Composing Music for Mummies (February 1, 2018)

"'We really wanted something that was subtle…and respectful,' Rönkkö said, describing the final choice. 'Thomas’s [track] really captured what we had in mind beautifully.'" -Jourdan Kerl

The Daily Northwestern: Evanston artist hosts quilt circle, commemorates BLM movement (February 1, 2018)

"The quilt is beautiful in itself, but it’s the idea that over a hundred people came together to work on it and sit together and have conversations about it. Art as an impetus to action is the unifying element between our artwork." -Tejas Sekhar

The Daily Northwestern: 'The Other Kids' attempts to reinvent teen drama as part of New Docs series (January 31, 2018)

"(It) was just a great experience to have him in and to be able to learn this unique way that he makes his work,” Henry said. “It opens up possibilities to say that there (aren’t) one or two or three ways to make a film; there are many ways to make a film." -Crystal Wall

Art Journal: Book Review - “A Lunatic of the Sacred”: The Life and Work of Charlotte Moorman (January 2018)

"By asking us to regard Moorman as a constitutive force in the 1960s avant-garde, A Feast of Accomplishments was a revelation on many fronts. The galleries produced a kind of awe in viewers and listeners, owing to one’s reeducation not only in Moorman’s experimental activities but also, more crucially, in the sheer capacity and scope of those activities. The Block Museum embraced the chaos of her music and art, and in doing so, demonstrated the tenaciously collaborative way in which she lived and worked—a mode of labor with its own gendered politics. A Feast of Astonishments left little doubt: Moorman was a transformational figure in the advancement and promotion of the avant-garde in the late twentieth-century, and we should all be eager to learn more." -Nicole Woods

WTTW: Rare Mummy Portraits Offer Peek into the Past at Block Museum [VIDEO] (January 24, 2018)

"I think that this is quintessentially Northwestern, to be able to bring together multidisciplinary aspects and create something new out of it. But at the Block Museum in particular, it’s the nexus of these activities, bringing these crosscurrents together so we can actually explore one theme in depth from a number of different perspectives, giving a richer view of the subject matter." -Marc Walton

Chicago Reader: Egyptian death-mask portraits bring their subjects back to life after 2,000 years (January 23, 2018)

"No matter how sophisticated our technology becomes, it's doubtful that a device will ever be invented to explain the impulse to render the human image for posterity. The desire to make a picture in which we recognize our own faces is as basic to the human condition as the need for food or shelter. The 2,000-year-old ancestors looking out from the walls of the Block Museum are a reminder of that. Even if they were originally meant as death masks, these portraits look as alive as you or me." - Dmitry Samarov

Daily Northwestern: “Paint the Eyes Softer” features local mummy and student research (January 18, 2018)

“I don’t think in any other kind of museum you could go to a professor at the medical school to see if you could get the mummy scanned at the hospital,” Rönkkö said. “It’s one of those examples of what an academic museum can do on a campus.” - Andrea Michelson

Clyfford Still Museum: Still Life (January 17, 2018)

"Blake essentially became an artistic icon for the counterculture, and this could have made him especially appealing to Still. The curators of the Block exhibition seem to think so because they’ve included an early section which focuses on artists, including Still, working in the 1940s 'who discovered Blake’s unique voice in such poems as ‘The Tyger’ and the ‘Shepard’.'"

City Pages: Pink dolphins, zombies, and Ojibwe tales: How friends Andrea Carlson and Heid E. Erdrich inspire each other (January 15, 2018)

The two often enhance each other’s storytelling. Erdrich has written exhibition statements for Carlson and has penned poems based on her art. Carlson has contributed art to Erdrich’s poetry books and video poems." -Justin Curto

The Spectator: What do Walt Whitman, Jackson Pollock and Jimi Hendrix have in common?(January 13, 2018)

"Accompanying an exhibition at Northwestern University in Illinois, William Blake and the Age of Aquarius is the most intriguing book on Blake since Marsha Keith Schuchard’s exposé of him as a swinger, Why Mrs Blake Cried (2006). America’s postwar Blakeans rebelled against expensive advertising and contemptible comfort. However misplaced the fury, and despite a preponderance of ‘fashionable Fools’, the results were not all contemptible." -Dominic Green

Artnet: Art Industry News (January 12, 2018)

"The Block’s board of advisors banded together to donate the cash for an endowment fund at the Northwestern University campus museum. The effort was spearheaded by board member Diane Solomon."

Visit Chicago NorthShore: 16 Things to Do on a Cold or Snowy Day (January 11, 2018)

"With the holiday season behind us, it’s time for the harsh realities of winter to set in. But while it might be easy to snuggle up under a blanket and decide to never leave the house until spring arrives, why not make the most of the season?"

Make It Better: 5 Things to Do: Jan. 12-14 (January 8, 2018)

"This weekend, see a show and make a difference for fellow Chicagoans, explore two new exhibits, and more. Plus, we’ll look ahead to Martin Luther King, Jr. Day." - Anna Carlson