Get a behind-the-scenes look at the Rose Art Museum this spring

Spring exhibitions feature Fred Eversley, Tommy Hartung and an up-close look at maintaining the Rose’s permanent collection

Crew at work at the Rose Art Museum

Crew at work, summer 2016. Courtesy Rose Art Museum, Brandeis University. Photo/Charles Mayer

Visitors to the Rose Art Museum this spring will have an opportunity to get an up-close look at the behind-the-scenes work that goes into maintaining the museum’s collection.

“Collection at Work” turns the Lois Foster Gallery into a series of workstations for museum staff as they maintain and document items from the Rose’s renowned permanent collection.

Along with this unique exhibition, the spring season features works by sculptor Fred Eversley, previously un-exhibited archival materials from Louise Nevelson, a short film from Cuban-American artist Ana Mendieta and a Tommy Hartung exhibition featuring pieces made specifically for the Rose.

The Museum will celebrate the spring exhibitions with an opening reception Thursday, Feb. 16 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Normal museum hours begin Feb. 17.

More about each of the spring exhibitions:

Fred Eversley: Black, White, Gray (Gerald S. and Sandra Fineberg Gallery)

This exhibition examines a series of black, white, and gray “lens” sculptures that Eversley began in the early 1970s. The works have cosmological associations—“stars expanding their energy and becoming black holes, white dwarfs, and neutron stars,” Eversley explained at the time—but also prompt us to consider how we ascribe meaning to color. With their complex optical properties and intimate, human scale, the works both challenge our perception of and create new perspectives on the world.  The exhibition, curated by Kim Conaty, is a collaboration between Art + Practice in Los Angeles and the Rose.

Tommy Hartung: King Solomon's Mines (Lower Rose Gallery)

In a body of work created specifically for his Rose exhibition, Hartung extends his investigation of mythmaking and storytelling tied to powers of surveillance, wealth, and politics. A presentation of Hartung’s sculptures and Polaroid photographs accompanies the display of a new video, “King Solomon’s Mines,” which, in the guise of a satirical ethnofiction, weaves a narrative based in a remote territory of the Saharan desert. Against the backdrop of the Tibesti Mountains, a harsh landscape traversed by both safari tourists and the region’s impoverished migrants, Hartung transposes the legend of King Solomon to create a fable that rings true for a modern era. Co-curated by Kim Conaty and Caitlin Julia Rubin, King Solomon’s Mines represents Hartung’s most comprehensive solo museum exhibition to date.

Collection at Work (Lois Foster Gallery)

Collection at Work transforms the Lois Foster Gallery into a workspace, inviting visitors to take an unprecedented up-close look at some of the most important behind-the-scenes work of the Rose Art Museum: the study and stewardship of the artworks under its care. Rather than a pristine, curated space, as one has come to expect in a museum setting, the Foster Gallery will be organized as a series of workstations where an ever-changing selection of works from the Rose’s renowned permanent collection will be the subjects of study, as staff members and outside specialists photograph, catalogue, re-house, and conserve these objects. The public will have the chance to see these artworks without their usual trappings of display. This stewardship project will focus on works by women and African-American artists, as well as the historically rich but lesser known collections of photography and unique works on paper.

Reflections: Louise Nevelson, 1967 (Mildred S. Lee Gallery)

A display of previously un-exhibited archival materials—including installation photographs, correspondence, and artist-drawn floor plans—looks back at sculptor Louise Nevelson’s first museum retrospective, which opened at the Rose Art Museum in 1967. Organized in collaboration with the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Rose exhibition was unique for the degree to which Nevelson herself curated and staged its presentation: under her direction, both floors of the original Rose building were transformed to create an encompassing, theatrical environment in which to view her work. In honor of the 50th anniversary of this exhibition, this presentation offers the historical documents through which we can glimpse the artist’s hand or imagine her installation process. It also utilizes virtual reality technology to allow today’s visitors to walk back in time, recreating the spatial experience of visiting this earlier show. Using a virtual reality headset in the gallery, viewers can access a computer-generated model of Nevelson’s 1967 exhibition, created by students at Brandeis University’s MakerLab.

Rose Video 10: Ana Mendieta (Rose Video Gallery)

Rose Video 10 presents Ana Mendieta's powerful short film “Sweating Blood,” one of the artist’s early experiments with performance for the camera. A pioneer among artists dealing with identity politics and feminism, the Cuban-American Mendieta (1948-1985) created groundbreaking work in photography, performance, film, video, drawing, sculpture and site-specific installation. For this special presentation, Mendieta’s film will be shown alongside Body Tracks (1982), the rare triptych of her body prints made as part of a performance at Franklin Furnace, New York, now part of the Rose Collection.   

Categories: Arts

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