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Leon Golub and Shirin Neshat at the Block

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BLOCK exhibits drawings by Golub and video installation by Neshat through December 12
The late drawings of provocative American artist Leon Golub and a poetic video installation that brought international acclaim to Iranian-born artist Shirin Neshat are now on exhibition at Northwestern University’s Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art.

Shirin Neshat, Rapture Series, 1999, gelatin silver print. Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art, Northwestern University, Gift of Helyn D. Goldenberg, 2008.33.1. © Shirin Neshat. Courtesy Gladstone Gallery, New York. Leon Golub, ALARMED DOG ENCOUNTERING PINK!, 2004, oil stick and ink on Bristol. Courtesy Ronald Feldman Fine Arts, New York. Art © Estate of Leon Golub/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY. Photography by Cathy Carver.

LEON GOLUB



Born and educated in Chicago, Leon Golub (1922–2004) was known for monumental size paintings protesting injustice and inhumanity and a raw figurative style inspired by classical sculpture and photography from newspapers and magazines.

Although it had always been a part of his artistic process, Golub turned to drawing with a renewed passion during the final years of his life, embracing it as a primary artistic activity and using the medium to explore new subjects and reinterpret old ones. “I want to throw drawings in all directions,” he said in 2004. “That’s my ultimate intent: to have them be political, to have them be erotic, to have them be neurotic, to have them be just rotten.”

The exhibition Leon Golub: Live & Die Like a Lion? presents 42 of the more than 400 small drawings Golub created between 1999 and his death. The oil-stick and ink works mark a stylistic shift for the artist toward a more improvisational form and fluid line and show him incorporating personal themes, such as sexual desire and his own mortality, into this work.

The exhibition is organized by Brett Littman, Executive Director of The Drawing Center, New York, who will lead a special tour of the show on Thursday, November 11 at 6 pm.

The exhibition also includes Golub’s only existing unfinished canvas—a chalk drawing of two lions—along with source materials from his files. The Block Museum is complementing Live & Die Like a Lion? with selections of works on paper by Golub from its own collection.







SHIRIN NESHAT

Known for hauntingly beautiful explorations of Islam and gender relations, Iranian-born, New York City-based artist Shirin Neshat (b. 1957) draws upon her personal experience in exile and on the widening political and ideological rifts between the West and the Middle East.

Shirin Neshat, Rapture Series, 1999, gelatin silver print. Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art, Northwestern University, Gift of Helyn D. Goldenberg, 2008.33.1. © Shirin Neshat. Courtesy Gladstone Gallery, New York.

Rapture (1999) is a poetic black and white video and sound work projected onto two opposing screens, showing what Neshat calls “an allegorical duel” between white-shirted men occupying a seaside fortress and black-veiled women moving from a desert to the beach outside the fortress. The stark beauty of the landscapes, the contrasting poses and movements of the actors, and the richly layered soundtrack create a hypnotic experience.

Shot in Morocco, Rapture is approximately 12 minutes long and plays continuously in the Block’s Alsdorf Gallery during public hours.

Both Leon Golub: Live & Die Like a Lion? and Shirin Neshat: Rapture are on view at the Block Museum through December 12. The Museum is located at 40 Arts Circle Drive in Evanston. Admission to the exhibitions and the tour by Brett Littman are free of charge.

Shirin Neshat, Rapture Series, 1999, gelatin silver print. Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art, Northwestern University, Gift of Helyn D. Goldenberg, 2008.33.1. © Shirin Neshat. Courtesy Gladstone Gallery, New York.

The Block Museum is open Tuesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays from 10 am to 5 pm, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays from 10 am to 8 pm. The Museum is closed on Monday. Free parking is available weekdays after 4 pm and all day on weekends; parking permits may be purchased for other times. The Museum is accessible via the CTA Purple Line Davis and Foster stops and the Metra Davis stop.










Visit www.blockmuseum.northwestern.edu or call 847.491.4000 for more information.