Advanced Search

Evanston RoundTable | Evanston, IL
The Weather Network
Dreamtown - MS Group

home : art & life : art & life
December 13, 2018

4/18/2018 3:01:00 PM
Block Museum Exhibit Looks for Meaning in Unbranded Ads
“Farewell to Uncle Tom” by Hank Willis Thomas
“Farewell to Uncle Tom”
by Hank Willis Thomas

“Hank Willis Thomas: Unbranded,” an exhibit that opened at Northwestern University’s Block Museum of Art on April 14, looks at how advertising images reproduce and reinforce American ideals of race and femininity.

Conceptual artist Hank Willis Thomas has built his career investigating issues of American consumer culture, particularly as it relates to African American subjects. The exhibit includes selections from two related bodies of Mr. Thomas’ work that draw on American print advertising from the past century. In selected works from the two series, “Unbranded: Reflections in Black by Corporate America” and “Unbranded: A Century of White Women,” Mr. Thomas digitally removes product names and slogans from historical and contemporary advertisements. By un-branding them, he asks viewers to confront the impact of images on the popular imagination. 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.

In a 2015 interview on National Public Radio, Mr. Thomas said, “When you see the image naked, or unbranded, you start to really ask questions. That’s why we can almost never tell what it’s actually an ad for, because ads really aren’t about products. It’s about what myths and generalizations we can attach, and the repetition of imagery of a certain type.”

“Unbranded” continues through Aug. 5 in the main gallery of the Block Museum, 40 Arts Circle Drive.

Article Comment Submission Form

The RoundTable will try to post comments within a few hours, but there may be a longer delay at times. Comments containing mean-spirited, libelous or ad hominem attacks will not be posted.

Note: Your full name is required. Your telephone number and e-mail will not be posted. You may type your comments in the space below, or you may type them in a word document and cut and paste them in the space below.

Submit an Article Comment
First Name:
Last Name:
Anti-SPAM Passcode Click here to see a new mix of characters.
This is an anti-SPAM device. It is not case sensitive.

Click to View Upcoming Events
2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20 21 22
23 24 25 26 27 28 29
30 31          
Submit Event

HomeVideosCommunity PostsObituariesClassifiedsAdvertiseAbout UsContact UsLife
Copyright 2008-17 - Evanston RoundTable LLC, Evanston, IL 60202, 847-864-7741, All Rights Reserved

Software © 1998-2018 1up! Software, All Rights Reserved