This fall at the Rose Art Museum: ‘Peter Sacks: Resistance’

Over eighty never-before-seen portraits by the acclaimed visual artist

Photo: Julia Featheringill Photography

Installation view, Peter Sacks: Resistance, Rose Art Museum, Brandeis University, August 25– December 30, 2022, Lois Foster Wing.

The Rose Art Museum’s fall season features over eighty never-before-seen portraits by acclaimed visual artist Peter Sacks.

“Peter Sacks: Resistance” is the first solo museum exhibition of Sacks’ work. It presents portraits of individuals who have resisted political, racial, or cultural oppression over the past two centuries. An opening celebration will be held on Wednesday, Sept. 21 from 6-8 p.m. The exhibition is on display at the Rose until Dec. 30.

Photography: Gary Mirando

Peter Sacks, Nelson Mandela, 2020-2022. Mixed media on paper. Courtesy of artist and Sperone Westwater, New York.

“The Rose is honored and thrilled to be hosting such an important and timely exhibition. Drawing from his anti-apartheid activism and multicultural experiences, Peter Sacks creates an inspiring cast of individuals—artists, writers, philosophers, and political activists from across the globe—who resisted oppression in various ways,” said Gannit Ankori, Henry and Lois Foster Director and Chief Curator of the Rose Art Museum. Bold and layered portraits will confront viewers as a call to action inviting ethical responses to the brokenness of our world.”

An expatriate of South Africa, Sacks gained stature as a visual artist for his intricately layered and textural mixed-media compositions. He created the portraits featured in “Resistance” over the last two years. The subjects range from Nelson Mandela to Nasrin Sotoudeh and Rosa Parks to Volodymyr Zelenskyy. Each face is embedded in a tactile composition of fabric, paint, personal items, and texts, conveying a sense of their life, historical background, struggles, acts of resistance, imprisonment or exile, and, sometimes, their death.

Photography: Gary Mirando.

Peter Sacks, Volodymyr Zelensky, 2020-2022. Mixed media on paper. Courtesy of artist and Sperone Westwater, New York.

“Many of these figures have inspired me over a lifetime, in ways at once intimate and public. I hope that they will do the same for viewers. My relation to most of these figures has been long and deep,” Sacks said. “My experiences in South Africa gave me more than enough exposure to political and racial oppression, but also gave me a persistent need for models of resistance.”

The exhibition also includes an audio collage of the voices of numerous contemporary literary, political, social, and cultural figures reading excerpts they chose from the resistors’ writings. The recording features the voices of Teju Cole, Carol Gilligan, John Kerry, Henry Louis Gates, Bill McKibben, Julian Brave NoiseCat, Claudia Rankine, Colm Tóibín, Elaine Scarry, Bryan Stevenson, and many others.

This exhibition is generously supported by Geralyn Dreyfous, Nina and David Fialkow, Marni J. Grossman, The Heineman-Russell Foundation, Richard & Hinda Rosenthal Foundation, and Angela Westwater, Sperone Westwater.

A variety of programs and workshops will be held in conjunction with the exhibition throughout the fall semester, and the museum will publish a fully illustrated catalog of Sacks’s portraits. The Rose Art Museum is free and open to the public.

Categories: Arts, Student Life

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