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Rose after Dark lights the way to another semester of art exhibits

By Ben Benson

Section: Arts

September 16, 2016

On Saturday evening, Brandeis’ Rose Art Museum opened its fall show, featuring art by David Reed, David Shrigley, Sarah Sze, Sean Lynch, Sarah Charlesworth, JJ Peet, Robert Rauschenberg and Andy Warhol. The museum opened with an outdoor reception featuring a beer and wine garden and small appetizers. Students, art patrons and members of the community all came to enjoy the museum’s fall offerings together. Many were dressed in colorful, creative outfits to reflect the art they came to view.

At the entrance to the museum in the Gerald S. and Sandra Fineberg Gallery, David Reed’s brushstroke paintings are exhibited together for the first time since they premiered in New York City in 1975. Reed sought to create art that reduced painting down to its barest element, the brush stroke. The paintings combine process and image in a reaction to abstract expressionism. One museum goer told The Brandeis Hoot she felt the paintings were simple to the point of disinterest, while another said she liked the laid back yet careful brushwork.

Downstairs, David Shrigley’s “Life Model II” centers around a tall mannequin of a nude woman posed with her arm in the air. Placed around the mannequin are chairs where patrons can sit and sketch the model on paper provided by an attendant, as if in a life drawing class. On the walls are drawings of the model made by Shrigley alongside drawings by Rose Art Museum patrons. The results display a wide variety of skills, ranging from simple line drawings to beautiful, colorful portraits. This was one of the most popular exhibits in the museum, with many members of the community seeming to enjoy the opportunity to show off their artistic chops in the museum.

Interestingly, the Rose’s large main gallery has been left largely empty and dark save for Sarah Sze’s mixed media sculpture, “Timekeeper,” which is placed in the center, projecting light and abstract images onto the walls around it. “Timekeeper” is site specific, designed for the space it sits in. The sculpture is comprised of what look like found objects, but has an almost organic feel to it. Museumgoers seemed captivated by the moving elements of the sculpture as well as the way their shadows were projected on the wall by the lights the piece emitted.

In the stairway outside the main gallery, Sze used the wall to create a mural called “Blue Wall Moulting,” which traces the structural elements of the inner wall in blue and seems to emulate a construction blueprint.

In the video gallery is the North American debut of Irish artist Sean Lynch’s “Adventure: Capital,” a multimedia piece involving sculpture and video which incorporates both mythology and minimalism. The piece utilizes the physical realm and the virtual, and the video features both live parts and animated scenes, with a narration telling a mythical story. Lynch’s soothing narration kept many museum patrons engaged for the duration of the video. The multimedia piece was commissioned for the Irish pavilion at the 2015 Venice Biennale and has come to the Rose Art Museum with the support of Culture Ireland.

Just outside the video gallery, an exhibit called “Still Life” featuring several artists highlights the elements of images that tell stories. JJ Peet’s work showcases the grotesque elements of news photography displayed beside a sculpture of a camera. Also featured are works by Andy Warhol, Sarah Charlesworth and Robert Rauschenberg.

The Rose Art Museum’s fall exhibition runs until Dec. 11, and is open to the public from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. from Wednesday to Sunday.

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