Peter Sacks: Resistance

Portrait of Nelson Mandela with different fabrics
On View

August 25, 2022 - December 30, 2022
Lois Foster Wing

Peter Sacks: Resistance is the first solo museum exhibition of works by the South African-born artist, Peter Sacks (b. 1950). The show presents over ninety never-before-seen portraits of individuals who have resisted political, racial, or cultural oppression over the past two centuries. The portraits’ subjects range from Frederick Douglass, Harriet Tubman, Rosa Parks, and Nelson Mandela to Anna Akhmatova, James Baldwin, Toni Morrison, and Volodymyr Zelensky. Each resistor’s 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, and, sometimes, their death.

Additionally, the exhibition will include an audio collage of the voices of numerous contemporary literary, political, social, and cultural figures reciting excerpts they had chosen from resistors’ writings. Sacks notes: “many of these individuals not only inspired each other but became each other’s guides and sources of courage—as I hope they will become for those encountering them in this exhibition.”

Peter Sacks: Resistance pays tribute to generations of resistors using the power of art to transmit their legacies to future generations.


Peter Sacks: Resistance is curated by Dr. Gannit Ankori, Henry and Lois Foster Director and Chief Curator of the Rose Art Museum and Professor of Fine Arts and Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies at Brandeis University.

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

Media partner: WBUR 90.9 FM

WBUR 90.9 FM