Northern Trust Purchase Prize Announced – Block Museum awarded Rachel Monosov & Admire Kamudzengerere’s “1972”

Northern Trust Selects Artwork for Donation to Northwestern University’s Block Museum of Art at EXPO CHICAGO 2017

CHICAGO – Northwestern University’s Block Museum of Art and Northern Trust have announced that the 2017 Northern Trust Purchase Prize will go to support the museum’s acquisition of the collaborative work 1972 by artists Rachel Monosov (b. 1987, Israeli) and Admire Kamudzengerere (b. 1981 Zimbabwean).  The Northern Trust Purchase Prize is an annual gift of artwork selected from EXPO CHICAGO, and donated to the collection of a Chicago cultural institution. The selected artwork was announced during a special unveiling  by Northern Trust President Michael O’Grady at EXPO CHICAGO on September 16, 2017 in the Northern Trust Anchor Lounge.

The work, featuring 23 black and white photographic prints and accompanying descriptive cards, was presented within the fair’s Exposure Section by Catinca Tabacaru Gallery, New York.  As presenting sponsor of EXPO CHICAGO and a long-time supporter of arts and culture, Northern Trust purchased the work of art from the EXPOSURE section, which elevates the profile of up-and-coming galleries and bolsters the careers of emerging artists. The piece will be added to the Block Museum of Art’s permanent collection.

“Northern Trust is proud to award this year’s Purchase Prize to Rachel Monosov & Admire Kamudzengerere, and display their meaningful work in the Block Museum,” said Mac MacLellan, Central Region President of Northern Trust Wealth Management. “The Purchase Prize – and sponsorship of EXPO CHICAGO – is a key effort as part of our longstanding commitment to supporting arts and culture in our community.”

Block Museum Director Lisa Corrin at Northern Trust Purchase Prize Award Ceremony, 2017. Image courtesy EXPO CHICAGO

“This deeply relevant work is an ideal alignment for the Block Museum, with its emphasis on supporting artists that engage the archive and extend global perspectives.” says Lisa Corrin, the Block Museum of Art Ellen Phillips Katz Director. “Rich with meaning, 1972 blurs the line between performance and reality and shifts between the past and the present. The images reflect complex histories as well as urgent contemporary issues through their exploration of identity, politics, and society. We are grateful to the Northern Trust for their support in bringing this work to Northwestern University, where it will be widely used in interdisciplinary teaching.”

Listen to Block Museum Director – Lisa Corrin at the Northern Trust Purchase Prize Award Ceremony

About “1972”

Installation view of 1972 consisting of 23 archival photographic prints by Rachel Monosov and Admire Kamudzengerere

A complex work of performance and photography, 1972 offers an archive of images and text documenting the imagined interracial marriage of an Israeli woman and a Zimbabwean man in rural Zimbabwe in 1972. In reality 1972 was a tumultuous year in Zimbabwe, as a guerrilla-style war of independence escalated and the intermingling of the races was challenged and driven underground by social pressures and government intervention.  Together, the photographs and cards, rendered in a style drawn from the past, attest to an intimate personal and domestic narrative, a story “both believable and unbelievable at the same time,” says Monosov. The black and white prints also serve as photographic self-portraits, as in the course of their creation the artists married, lived together, and built a house in Zimbabwe.

Kathleen Bickford Berzock, the Block’s Associate Director of Curatorial Affairs, says of the work, “1972 is complex and visually acute. It asks us to think about the interaction of words and photographic images, whether in a photo album, a newspaper, or an archive. We’re extremely excited to bring it into the Block’s collection, where it will be seen in juxtaposition to the extraordinary collection of early and mid-20th century photographs and photo albums in the collection of the University’s Melville J. Herskovits Library of African Studies.” She added, “The Block is committed to building a collection of contemporary African photography, and we’re grateful to Northern Trust for this opportunity to support the work of emerging artists working on the continent.”

Block Museum Associate Director of Curatorial Affairs ,Kathleen Bickford Berzock, discussing 1972 with artist Rachel Monosov

Read More: Forbes Magazine on Kamudzengerere  ‘Art Points The Way To Empathy’ Zimbabwean Artist Admire Kamudzengerere Reaches A Global Audience

Previous Prizes

In previous years, the Northern Trust Purchase Prize was awarded to:

  • 2016: Neil Raitt’s Emerald Waters (New Beverly), displayed at Anat Ebgi Gallery, donated to DePaul Art Museum and chosen by DePaul Art Museum Executive Director Julie Rodrigues Widholm and DePaul University Trustee Dia Weil;
  • 2015: JJ PEET’s Jaw X, displayed at On Stellar Rays Gallery, donated to The Arts Club of Chicago and chosen by Arts Club Executive Director Janine Mileaf and Chairman of the Board Helyn Goldenberg;
  • 2014: Elise Ferguson’s Saree, displayed at Romer Young Gallery, chosen by a jury led by Michael Darling, James W. Alsdorf Chief Curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago and placed in the permanent collection at Northern Trust;
  • 2013: Jorinde Voigt’s Horizon (Berlin II), displayed at David Nolan Gallery and Corbett vs. Dempsey Gallery, donated to The Art Institute of Chicago and selected by Mark Pascale, Janet and Craig Duchossois Curator of Prints and Drawings.
Archival print,
Rachel Monosov and Admire Kamudzengerere Courtesy of Catinca Tabacaru Gallery

About Northern Trust

Northern Trust Corporation (Nasdaq: NTRS) is a leading provider of wealth management, asset servicing, asset management and banking to corporations, institutions, affluent families and individuals. Founded in Chicago in 1889, Northern Trust has offices in the United States in 19 states and Washington, D.C., and 22 international locations in Canada, Europe, the Middle East and the Asia-Pacific region. As of June 30, 2017, Northern Trust had assets under custody of US$7.4 trillion, and assets under management of US$1.03 trillion. For more than 125 years, Northern Trust has earned distinction as an industry leader for exceptional service, financial expertise, integrity and innovation. Visit or follow us on Twitter @NorthernTrust.


EXPO CHICAGO/2017, The International Exposition of Contemporary and Modern Art, is presented by Art Expositions, LLC at Navy Pier’s Festival Hall, hosting more than 135 leading International exhibitors presented alongside one of the highest quality platforms for global contemporary art and culture. Now in its sixth year as a leading international art fair, EXPO CHICAGO (September 13–17, 2017) offers diverse programming including /Dialogues, IN/SITU, IN/SITU Outside, EXPO VIDEO, the Curatorial Forum, the Art Critics Forum, Special Exhibitions and OVERRIDE | A Billboard Project. In addition, EXPO CHICAGO continues to publish THE SEEN, Chicago’s International Journal of Contemporary & Modern Art. Under the leadership of President and Director Tony Karman, EXPO CHICAGO draws upon the city’s rich history as a vibrant international cultural destination, while highlighting the region’s contemporary arts community and inspiring its collector base. In 2017, EXPO CHICAGO and the Chicago Architecture Biennial (September 16–January 7, 2018) will align, establishing the city as a preeminent destination for global contemporary art and architecture, intersecting across a wide variety of programs including panels, international residencies, exhibitions and citywide events.


Top Image – left to right – Gallerist Catinca Tabacaru, Artist Rachel Monosov, Michael O’Grady, Northern Trust President, R. Hugh Magill, Block Museum Board Member and Executive Vice President of Northern Trust Corporation, Lisa Corrin, Block Museum Director, Mac Maclellan, Northern Trust Executive Vice President & President Central Region, and Chris Robb, Block Museum of Art, Board of Advisors Chair. Image Courtesy Expo Chicago.

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