The Rose Art Museum opens its spring exhibitions to the public on Thursday, Feb. 16. In anticipation of the museum’s semester opening, a preview has been composed of the upcoming artists and displays. The Rose will showcase works from the Rose’s collection, including art by Fred Eversley, Tommy Hartung, Louise Nevelson and Ana Mendieta along with the Rose’s own “Collection at Work.”
Fred Eversley’s “Black, White, Gray” showcases a collection of black, white and gray sculptures dating back to the 1970s. The sculptures are made of cast polyester resin and are typically molded into parabolas, discs and triangular wedges. Although these figures may closely resemble the images on the covers of calculus textbooks, there is a lot more to these seemingly simple objects.
“All the three-dimensional works operate according to the optical principles of physics that determine the properties of lenses and mirrors. Even entirely solid forms appear to melt away either at the edges or through their centers,” Eversley says on his website, describing the technicalities behind his art.
Eversley’s art has been shown in over 200 exhibitions and resides in the permanent collections of 35 museums. Some of the Los Angeles-based sculptor’s work has been featured in the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, D.C., the Réunion des musées nationaux-Grand Palais in Paris and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles. Eversley was also an artist-in-residence at the Smithsonian Institute in 1977. He even had his own studio in the National Air and Space Museum for three years. The new Rose exhibition will be displayed in the Gerald S. and Sandra Fineberg Gallery, and was curated by Kim Conaty.
Tommy Hartung’s new video, “King Solomon’s Mines,” which explores the spectrum of wealth in the Tibesti Mountains of the Sahara Desert, will be in the Lower Rose Gallery. Hartung produced this exhibit specifically for the Rose. Viewers will first be able to see Hartung’s sculptures and Polaroid pictures and can then watch his video just around the corner.
The Queens-based artist has shown art in museums such as the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles and the Museum of Modern Art in New York. “Hartung makes his videos from a combination of found imagery, sourced from YouTube and other online sources, and studio-created stop animation and video sequences that feature his sculptures and hand-crafted sets,” said Rubin.
The Mildred S. Lee Gallery will house Louise Nevelson’s 1967 “Reflections,” which showcases installation photographs, correspondence and artist-drawn floor plans, according to the Rose’s website. This exhibit reflects on Nevelson’s first appearance in the Rose, back in 1967. A retrospective, the exhibit will show the progress of Nevelson’s art since 1967. Nevelson curated and staged this particular exhibit. Rose staff members collaborated with the Brandeis Theater Department to rearrange the gallery to match up with Nevelson’s original plan. “It was a truly unique exhibition: for Nevelson, and for the Rose,” expressed Rubin.
In celebration of the exhibition’s 50th anniversary, viewers have the opportunity to experience her past art through virtual reality technology. For the past year and a half, Daniela Dimitrova ’16 from the Brandeis MakerLab has been working on recreating Nevelson’s exhibition on an Oculus Rift headset. “Dani’s virtual model of Nevelson’s 1967 exhibition allows today’s visitors to step back in time” said Rubin. Visitors can strap the headset around their heads like ski goggles to watch and immerse themselves in Nevelson’s 1967 exhibit.
Nevelson’s artwork defied gender norms during the 1970s feminist art movement, showing that women’s art could succeed just as much as men’s. Nevelson’s hardships in migrating from Russia to America with her Jewish family, along with her struggle to establish herself in a time of male-dominated art, shine through in her work. She has experimented with plexiglass, aluminum and steel. However, her room-sized sculptures, composed of wood she found in debris piles, are her most notable pieces.
“Rose Video 10” will also show Ana Mendieta’s short film “Sweating Blood” (1973), alongside her triptych “Body Tracks.”
In the Lois Foster Gallery will be the Rose’s own “Collection at Work.” This exhibit is unique, to say the least. There will be several workstations arranged around the gallery with a pathway in the middle of the gallery. Text panels will describe the different tasks being executed at that very moment. The art will continuously rotate so that visitors will see new artists and pieces each time they visit. Drawings, paintings and photographs will not have frames around them, and sculptures might be disassembled.
“In 2015, the Rose Art Museum was awarded a federal grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Sciences to support an ambitious collections stewardship project: to assess, catalogue and capture high-resolution digital images of roughly 3,000 works, over 30 percent of the Rose collection. With a focus on the photography (digitization) of collection works, the stewardship project was from the start a project of providing access to the museum’s collection,” explained Rubin. The Rose’s collection consists of a profusion of art that it would like to share with the community. “We hope this variety will inspire our campus audience to stop by to see what new thing we’re working on, even if just for five or 10 minutes in between classes,” Rubin added.
The alternating pieces will keep the exhibit fresh and appealing. This exhibit will also answer visitors’ questions about how art is preserved, constructed, stored, recorded and remembered. Notably, this exhibit will showcase art by women, African-American artists and lesser known artists, created in the 20th and 21st centuries. It will be interesting to see if viewers enjoy this more informal showcase, compared to the fixed exhibits.
While Sarah Sze’s mixed media sculpture called “Timekeeper,” which showed in the fall, will no longer be displayed in the Rose, her “Blue Wall Moulting” remains in the Foster Stairwell until June 11. This piece resembles primary blueprints used in building construction.
Mark Dion’s “The Undisciplined Collector” is a permanent installation that will also remain in the Rose. Dion chose an assortment of objects from the Rose’s permanent collection as well as from Brandeis’ other collections on campus. Interestingly, this installation is interactive. Although conventional museum rules maintain that observers cannot touch anything in the galleries, visitors can actually touch objects in the room and open cabinets and drawers. Viewers are encouraged to be hands-on when exploring this artistic space so that they too can discover Brandeis’ history with collecting objects.
Sculptures, photographs, drawings and a never before seen video—the Rose’s spring lineup is hard to beat and hard to overlook. All of these exhibitions will be on display until June 11, except for “The Undisciplined Collector” which is a permanent installation.