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Rose Art Museum opens spring semester exhibits

By Ben Beriss

Section: Arts, Featured

March 2, 2018

The Rose Art Museum opened three new exhibitions this Thursday as it transitioned between semesters. The new exhibits emphasize diversity and unconventionality in art and education.

The exhibits are “Tenderheaded” by Jennifer Packer, “Praying for Time” curated by the director of the Rose, Luis Croquer, and “Blueprint for Counter Education” organized by museum assistant curator Caitlin Julia Robin. The exhibitions, first premiered at the March 1, 2018 Spring Museum Opening, will be up until July 2018.

Jennifer Packer’s “Tenderheaded” is a series of paintings which unite the various themes she has explored throughout her career. Paintings of funerary bouquets recall a sense of loss. They juxtapose the beauty of the flowers with the loss which inspired their creation. Her method, as described by The Renaissance Society at the University of Chicago which curated the exhibition, involves extensive repainting, “returning again and again to rework the surface, ‘undoing’ the image, as she says, until a balance is struck.” The work plays with artistic tradition to create insightful portraits and posit a personal response to how “black bodies navigate within the present political landscape.” “Tenderheaded” was curated by Solveig Øvstebø.

“Praying for Time,” curated by Croquer, features works from the Rose’s permanent collection from the 1980s, 1990s and early 2000s. The Rose owns many works that are kept in storage and rotated into exhibitions. “Praying for Time” is organized to reflect the diversity of artistic responses to the events during the transition into the 21st century. The events of this period, such as the fall of the Berlin Wall and the September 11 attacks, had deep effects on society which continue to be felt today.

The art featured in “Praying for Time” helps show the diversity of understandings and responses to these events. It also serves as a marker of the culture which existed before the 21st century revolutionized our world. Pavla Berghen-Wolf ’18, who works as a student curatorial intern at the museum along with LaShawn Simmons ’18, explained she is particularly excited for “Praying” because “it focuses on art from the decade when most of [Brandeis’ students] were born” and hopes “art from the turn of the 21st century will resonate with students in a unique way.”

“Blueprint for Counter Education” is an exhibit organized around the revolutionary book of the same name. The book, created by the then-chair of Brandeis’ sociology department Maurice Stein and his student Larry Miller, encouraged students to create their own education, providing a bevy of resources in its charts of ideas. The Rose exhibit features primary documents from Brandeis’ archives which map the books’ creation from the Stein’s first ideas and drafts to the first edition. These are supplemented with other pieces from the archives and the Rose’s collection which were selected to help contextualize “Blueprint.” Berghen-Wolf describes it as “a great chance to better understand Brandeis’ history and legacy of radical politics.”

The Rose’s new exhibits will stay until July 8, giving ample time for Brandeis students to visit and experience these impressive exhibits.

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