Close Looking: 9/17 at the Rose!

Close Looking – 3:30 – Rose Art Museum – 9/17

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This Wednesday, take a closer look at Chris Burden’s sculpture Light of Reason in a discussion led by Brandeis Professors Gordie Fellman (Sociology) and Christopher Abrams (Fine Arts). The event will take place beneath the lampposts, with tea and small cakes provided in a reception to follow.

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and the Rose is open!

 

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photo/Mike Lovett

After a summer of busy installation The Rose Art Museum opened on September 10th! The opening was a terrific success with a estimated 1,500 people in attendance. Both the Antlers and Lydian String Quartet played amazing shows and the food trucks supplied everything from ice cream to tacos.

With the Rose now open its regular museum hours 12-5pm Tuesdays through Sundays we welcome all to visit the thought provoking exhibits now illuminating the museum. The current shows highlight artists Mark Bradford, Chris Burden, Magnus Plessen and Alex Hubbard. Please visit the exhibitions page of the museum to learn more about the current exhibits and the artists’ works!

SCRAM will be hosting many events this semester both under the lights and in the museum! We hope the lights invite a plethora of students to the museum, for as was said at the opening - now no one will ask “where is the Rose?” Let the lights guide you there!

Check out this great slideshow and video published by BrandeisNOW on the opening and exhibits!

SCRAM even got a group picture with Mark Bradford!

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Rose Forecast: Upcoming events

Your source for news and events at the Rose Art Museum

SCRAM is excited to present Rose Art Museum events scheduled for the remainder of the semester. Whether it’s artist talks, Close Looking or new exhibition openings, we’ve got you covered. Stay tuned for news on upcoming SCRAM events!

Wed. 
March 12: Artist Talk: Mark Dion 6:00 PM
 Mandel Center for the Humanities

Dion

Fri. March 14: Panel Discussion and Q&A with Peter Kalb on his book, Art Since 1980 2:15 PM Mandel Center for the Humanities G03

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Tues. 
March 25: Rose Video 03 Opening 
5:00 – 8:00 PM
 Rose Art Museum

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Tues.
 March 25: Artist Talk: Mary Reid Kelley
 6:00 PM
 Rose Art Museum

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Thurs. March 27: Extended hours at the Rose Art Museum (the museum will be open from 12 pm until 9 pm)

Tues. 
April 1: Curator Talk: Katy Siegel 
5:00 PM
 Rose Art Museum

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Wed.
 April 2: Artist Talk: Charline von Heyl 
6:00 PM
 Rose Art Museum, Lower Rose Gallery

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Wed.
 April 9: Close Looking: Fernand Léger, La Femme Bleue
 3:30 PM
 Rose Art Museum, Lee Gallery

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Wed.
 April 9: Beyond Conflict Book Launch and Panel Discussion 
6:00 – 8:00 PM
 Rose Art Museum

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UPDATE: Festival of the Arts
April 24 – 27: Leonard Bernstein Festival of the Creative Arts.
Find yourself in art at Brandeis’ annual Bernstein Festival of the Creative Arts. Each spring, the campus blooms with creativity and community, presenting work by national and regional artists as well as Brandeis faculty and students. For full schedule, visit www.brandeis.edu/arts/festival

All events are free and open to the public. Events include:

Thursday, April 24
Creativity and Collaboration: A Symposium
12:30 p.m.
Women’s Studies Research Center
Col·lab·o·rate: to work with another person to create; or to give help to an enemy. In their annual symposium, WSRC artist-scholars consider the true complexities of collaboration: Does it enhance artistry or bring too many cooks to the kitchen? Panelists include:
· Moisès Fernández Via, pianist, Boston University’s director of the Arts Outreach Initiative, College of Fine Arts & BU Medical Campus
· Susie Rivo, WSRC Scholar, film director-producer of documentary Left On Pearl
· Rochelle Ruthchild, WSRC Scholar, research associate, Harvard University’s Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian studies; co-producer of Left on Pearl
· Rosie Rosenzweig, WSRC Resident Scholar, author of Streaming: the Transformative Power of Creativity
Moderated by Daniel Langenthal, Director of Experiential Learning and Teaching

How to Make Movies at Home
6:30 p.m.
Wasserman Cinematheque, Sachar International Center
Are you and your friends making movies? If not, are you crazy? The wall between “pro” and “am” has crumbled and a new wave of folk cinema is rolling in. “How to Make Movies at Home” is a wild, infectious celebration of the Do-It-Yourself world — peppered with practical lessons on cinema craft. Director Morgan Nichols ’94 says: “Filmmaking can be a vital, bonding, soul-enhancing endeavor. Today, a new wave of microcinema, made with HD cameras and home editing, is potentially in millions of hands.” Featuring John Andrew Morrison ’95, Oded Gross ’93, Micia Mosely ’95. Music by Josh Kantor ’94 and Scott Rabin ’90. Additional screenwriting: Laura Lee Bahr ’95. Cosponsored by the Film, Television and Interactive Media program and the Brandeis Alumni Association.

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Friday, April 25
Art Workshop: Find Yourself in Love, Beauty, Wildness, Dreams and the Bizarre
1-3 p.m.
Shapiro Campus Center Multipurpose Room
Enter a room designed to fuel your creative fires through poetry and art. Engage in creative pursuits at one of our “playstations,” where art and words will inspire you and you’ll find the materials to follow your inspiration. Or get advice via our authorized Dream Getaway travel agent (Elizabeth Bradfield, poet-in-residence), who will vicariously whisk you away to another land via our customized Broadsided Press Viewmaster ™ Projection Vacations. For more information: ebrad@brandeis.edu

Arts Career Alumni Talk with Morgan Nichols
2-3 p.m.
Location TBD
Find yourself in the microcinema movement with director Morgan Nichols ’94 (“How to Make Movies at Home,” screening Thursday, April 25) and other alumni in the arts. Light refreshments will be served. Sponsored by the Hiatt Career Center and Film, Television and Interactive Media program.

Saturday, April 26
Illuminations
8 p.m.
Bethlehem Chapel
Find yourself in the secretive world of a 1554 Belgian convent. The professional ensemble Cappella Clausura brings to life a remarkable piece of art and a collection of music with chant from a recently discovered antiphonal, period costumes, period food and full-color banners of pages from the Salzinnes Antiphonal. Directed by Amelia LeClair and Alexandria Borrie (Women’s Studies Research Center). Leslie Held, costume design.

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Review: Anthony Amore lecture at Brandeis University

It is a unique and bold opportunity to learn about the realities of the collision between art and crime. Fifty individuals from the Brandeis community, including Art History majors, members and directors of the Rose Art Museum, and other individuals from the faculty and student body got the chance to see these spheres collide this past Monday, March 3. Anthony Amore, Director of Security of the Isabella Stewart Art Museum in Boston, and author of Stealing Rembrandts, delivered a compelling, somewhat humorous, and remarkably comprehensive vista into the security of art museums, the reality of art theft, and the implications of such insults to culture.

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In 1990, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum was robbed of thirteen pieces of its art collection, including Rembrandt masterpieces, and totaling in five hundred thousand dollars worth of property. Obviously, this is no small event, and Amore consistently reminded his audience of this fact. His talk though, was propelled not just by stringing together the facts of the heist, but also the rarities and humors of it. Amore made fun of his own Massachusetts roots saying that, in addition to its notorious reputation as an epicenter for brutal murders, bad driving and foul mouths, “Massachusetts also has the highest rate of art crimes in the United States.”
His humor seamlessly introduced the case, and his continued ability to make fun of the absurdity of art thieves according to Amore’s findings. Mr. Amore explained how he “used skills I learned in security service at Logan Airport following 9/11” in order to build a database wherein all robberies of Rembrandt paintings in the last century were compiled. He explained how “art thieves are more like guys from the Coen brothers’ movies” than these “educated,” and culturally versed art collectors with eyes set on putting a Rembrandt in a private basement so as to contemplate the universe and admire it alone.

Anthony Amore signs copies of his book "Stealing Rembrandts," after his lecture.

Anthony Amore signs copies of his book Stealing Rembrandts after his lecture.

This new perspective on the reality of art theft greatly surprised and benefitted me. The most impactful part of the whole talk though, was when Amore spoke about the cultural implications of the theft and how he, his fellow investigators, and the people at the museum, “simply want the art back.” They “seek no prosecution,” instead they “want the Gardner Museum’s collection to be restored” to its purposefully curated completion; especially, because the cadence of the small collection’s exhibition shifted after the loss of the Rembrandts. The collection changed meaning with the absence of the paintings, and now it’s the job of the justice seekers to restore the Gardner to its original glory for the culture seekers.
Amore’s talk presents a myriad of facts and concepts to consider, but leaves an unwavering bottom line which I believe to be the most significant takeaway from the event: respect art, respect its history, its implications, respect its identity within our culture.

-Risa Dunbar, ’17, Committee Member

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Lemberg Center visits The Rose

Believe it or not, we’re already well into another semester here at Brandeis. But this season’s Rose Exhibitions have just opened. Although the opening reception was snowed out (as many things seem to be lately), I had a great way to start off this semester’s exhibitions. Last week I, along with my fellow Gallery Guide Hallie, got the exciting chance to lead the children from the Lemberg Center on a tour of the museum. When they first came in they were so eager to go see the Chris Burden exhibit. I can’t blame them, since those shiny intricate structures are just too tempting you once you walk in the door. Once we got them settled down a bit we started our tour with a discussion of the largest sculpture there. All of the students were excited by how big it is, the sleek metal materials it’s made out of, and how it reminded them of bridges they have been over themselves. We then moved downstairs to the Wols and Charline von Heyl exhibit. We sat in front of a work by Charline von Heyl entitled Carlotta. This work has abstracted facial features surrounded by an array of abstract shapes and colors. These shapes and colors left room for each of the children to have their own idea of what was happening. It was genuinely wonderful to hear how many different ideas these children had from looking at the same work.
The excitement and energy from these children put me into such a great mood. It was fun to explore the exhibits with them, since I haven’t had much time with the works yet. It was also encouraging to remember how VTS (the method we use for giving tours at the Rose) is so effective in encouraging audiences to engage with the works at their own level. Talking with the children I just felt their happy attitude about being in the museum and took on a bit of it for myself. The best part of the day was some of the responses we got from the children about what they learned from their tour, such as “Anything can be art!”
“Art is fun!”
“People can have different ideas about art,”
and my personal favorite: “Art is weird!”

-Nora Owens ’16, Committee Member

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Arts in Boston: She Who Tells a Story

From the point of view of the women who must endure it, the clash between traditional, cultural oppression and contemporary, globalized liberalism dominates She Who Tells a Story. The exhibition features the selected works of twelve Middle Eastern women photographers. The photographs explore feminine identity through jarring portraits of women, many of whose images feature text both in and on the image.

Upon entering She Who Tells a Story, the viewer is immediately confronted from afar by Shirin Neshat’s, Speechless, 1996. The image tightly focuses on the right side of a woman’s face, the barrel of a gun emerging from the shadow between her cheek and her hijab. The large print is hung at eye level so that the gun as well as the woman’s gaze point directly at the viewer. Innumerable lines of calligraphic Farsi text written in ink directly on the print cover her visage. The text comes from an essay by the poet Tahereh Saffarzadeh, in which a woman addresses male revolutionaries and asks if she too may partake in the efforts. By simultaneously defacing as well as decorating the image with ink, Neshat indicates a conflict of identity inextricable in the Arab woman’s self-image. The woman is at once powerful, symbolically illustrated by the gun, and powerless, her state of religious oppression suggested by the head covering as well as Neshat’s choice to frame the subject so closely.

Lalla Essaydi’s piece, Bullets Revisited #3, 2012, also explores conflicting elements of identity through portraiture and text. Essaydi’s triptych is composed of a supine woman with henna tattoos of calligraphic text that cover the visible skin on her face, arms, and feet. At first glance it seems that she is wearing gold jewelry. After closer observation, the viewer realizes that all that glitters is not gold but actually bullet casings. In addition to the subjects pose, reminiscent of the clean composition of 19th century paintings of harems, by momentarily deceiving the viewer Essaydi attacks the superficiality of Orientalism. Just as the henna is only skin-deep, so too are the outdated stereotypes of exoticized and eroticized Arab women.

For those interested in the artworks of a historically silenced portion of the Arab Middle Eastern population, She Who Tells a Story serves as a loudspeaker with a grand message: Arab women are making big, confrontational art, and need you to listen. Visit the show at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, where it will be open to the public until January 12th, 2014.

-Jacob Oleshansky, ’16, Committee Member

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Welcome back to the Rose

The time to appreciate the Rose has come again.

Students, faculty and art lovers of New England came to the public opening of the Rose Art Museum on Tuesday, September 17.

There are several new exhibitions at the Rose this semester. Andy Warhol: Image Machine is located in the Lois Foster Gallery, Light Years: Jack Whitten, 1971-1973 is in the Fineberg Gallery, and Minimal and More: 60s and 70s Sculpture from the Collection is located in the Lower Rose Gallery. The Lee Gallery is now home to the first installation of Rose Video, Omer Fast’s work 5000 feet Is the Best, and two pieces from artist Al Loving.

Along with the first public viewing of the new exhibitions, activities included playing with some silver floating pillows, taking a picture or two with an Andy Warhol wig in the photo booth, grabbing a sandwich from a food truck and of course, appreciating great art.

Entrance to the Andy Warhol exhibit in the Lois Foster Wing exhibit

Entrance to the Andy Warhol exhibit in the Lois Foster Wing exhibit

The Lee Gallery, which in previous years has been a multipurpose gallery and was often the location of food and drinks at special events, now houses Spotlight on the Collection: Al Loving, which meant that the space in front of the museum was transformed into the food and drinks garden. A food truck and a big white tent with garden lights created a place for mingling, grabbing a bite and talking about the fascinating pieces of art.

Jack Whitten, wearing silver shoes on the left, and Omer Fast, wearing glasses on the right.

Jack Whitten, wearing silver shoes on the left, and Omer Fast, wearing glasses on the right.

Right at the main entrance of the Rose, two of the artists whose work is on view – Omer Fast and Jack Whitten – were conversing with visitors throughout the night. Mr. Whitten talked excitedly about the process of creating his abstract paintings being in a strange way similar to an “archeological dig,” while wearing a silver pair of shoes that matched the color of the helium filled pillows in the Andy Warhol exhibit.

Fred Lawrence, the President of Brandeis University, and Chris Bedford, the Director of the Rose Art Museum, came together to honor the event and graciously continued posing for photographs even after the official photographer had taken all the shots that he needed.

President Fred Lawrence and Director Chris Bedford

President Fred Lawrence and Director Chris Bedford

This humble writer’s opinion is that the opening was a great start to a fantastic year for the Rose and that there will be much excitement ahead!

-Daniela Dimitrova, ’16, Committee Member

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Rushing with Ruscha

Ed Ruscha’s works on display in the Foster Gallery of The Rose Art Museum immediately make me think of a wild road trip on the United States’ West Coast. An inspiring drive from Portland, Oregon to Los Angeles, California. Ed Ruscha on the wheel, Allen Ginsberg scrambling through half torn maps, Burroughs sleeping naked on the back seat, between Kerouac and me. We frantically write, take pictures, make sketches. From point A to point B. There is no clear understanding of why we drive or how.

The trip takes us from the rainy green Oregon to the imagined swimmers of Coos Bay, to the State Parks around Chico, to a break in San Francisco’s taquerías. Just the five of us, pretending to understand the road, pretending to be understood by the road. Warehouses, railroads, typewriters, and hangovers. The point of the trip -at least to some of them- is to find the meaning, to understand the reason for the road. We make a salad on the bed, we fix the car with minute detail, we see the words superimposed on the landscape, we ARE Ed Ruscha. Take a step back: WAR SIN. Take a step forward: Hollywood Made In California. The Spanish names of the streets, the colors of quetzales and huipiles, nobody understands these lists, nobody cares for them.

I try to imagine how life based on this road trip would look like: colors and shapes, lines and design, the back of a truck being as beautiful as the diner we just ate at. We never paid the check and we never met the truck driver. What is it about artists and not paying checks? What is it about being excluded from a collective? We stare at the road as Ruscha signs the Chevron station; it belongs to him. He has appropriated the station; he signed the station.

It is dawn, nobody understands the difference in times. I explain to Burroughs: in one of them we wake, in the other we die. Nobody understands the unsaid sentences. Annie was the play that soldiers in Vietnam were shown for entertainment. Drop Bombs, in Raw Cities, it’s OK. Mint condition LPs. Desire. The silhouettes of storytelling and the deformed letters that cry SUNSET BOULEVARD are once again here. I remember, as always, my first words. As a baby: New York Herald Tribune!

We arrive in Los Angeles: our notebooks full of ideas that we don’t remember conceiving and our cameras filled with film that we have yet to develop. As surprising as it might seem, we never surfed when we were on the beach and we never had Gin and Tonics with the Jet Setters; we were all about the road, not the stops.

-Berke Goldberg ’16, Committee Member

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On the Matter of Abstraction: A close looking of the Beshty exhibition

On the Matter of Abstraction (Figs. A & B), currently occupying the Upper and Lower Rose galleries in the Rose Art Museum, follows the divulging paths of artists whose artwork stood under the overarching term Abstract Art. According to artist Walead Beshty who curated this show along with Director Chris Bedford, visitors make a journey, “from cathedral… to cave,” from analytic geometry to ordered chaos, and from one type abstraction to a vastly different one.

Upstairs, we see artworks by artists in the analytic abstraction tradition, which uses sharp, geometric  lines and bold colors to create careful and precise paintings. They are so exact that the pieces do not seem man-made. The use of bright colors by artists such as Ellsworth Kelly, Sol Le Witt, and Kenneth Noland punctuates the otherwise non-tonal walls and ceiling of the space, and leads the viewer’s eye around the museum. A splash of blue curve is reflected in the three circular canvases struck through with a deep orange line. That line in turn picks up the warm colors on the opposing wall, whose canvases further accentuate the use of geometric repetition, whether that be in stacked rectangles or sharply aligned dots.

Downstairs there is a shift; lines are no longer straight and colors bleed into one another, creating a new type of abstraction- abstract expressionism, a movement characterized by the smattering bare emotion against a blank canvas through the application of paint in quick, gestural strokes. The downstairs show was installed in a salon-style, evoking the feeling of stumbling into an old gallery in which pieces fill the walls from floor to ceiling, blocking almost all the white wall space. Artists such as Robert Rauschenberg, Jasper Johns, and Mark Bradford inhabit the heavily occupied space.

What drew me to this part of the exhibition is the continuous dialogue between gesture, color, and material. First there is looming blackness, as if you have entered the dark “cave” of which Beshty speaks and lost your sight. Then, brilliant light! The next set of paintings are white and use unconventional materials and techniques to create these pieces, from wax and tar (Ruth Peedin’s Fields Untitled) to programming a robotic arm to spray paint onto the canvas (Roxy Paine’s PMU No. 10). As you continue clockwise, you reach a section that includes many red hues and a focus on the human body. This is where gesture really begins to build within the show. The opposing wall includes colorful pieces that have multiple layers. Materials range from paper to paint, and yet all have a heavily impasto feel to them. By impasto, I mean thickly applied on the canvas, so much so that one sees each individual brushstroke, creating palpable (e)motion. For example, in Mark Bradford’s 2012 piece, Father, You Have Murdered Me, a collage of paper creates a modern-day landscape of downtown Los Angeles, while De Kooning’s 1961 piece Untitled is a gestural landscape of the Hamptons.Whether capturing a physical landscape or an emotional one, each piece downstairs is fiercely expressionistic; the sentiment of the artist is splattered on the raw canvas.

To further the abstraction, Walead Beshty’s instillation piece, Untitled (Rose Art Museum, Brandeis University: Waltham, Massachusetts, February 12 – June 9, 2013), which consists of a glass and mirror floor, covers the two galleries. As the visitor walks on the floor, the safety glass between the two layers of mirror cracks. The paintings, abstract to begin with, are further abstracted by the viewer navigating the gallery space. Therefore, the visitor becomes an active artist, using gestures and the motions of one’s body to create art.

The show will be open until June 9.

-Zoe Messinger ’13, Committee Member

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Reflections on Beshty: Don’t break the glass…on purpose

At the Rose Museum Opening on February 13th, I looked for Walead Beshty. As the artist of Untitled, the glass panel installation and co-curator of the On the Matter of Abstraction figs. A & B exhibition currently on view, I was looking forward to hearing Beshty talk more about his work, particularly the effort that went into the floor installation. Given the viewer-interactive nature of the work, I wanted to hear first-hand how the created his concept. What is our role in the work, and how does this play into its’ interpretation?

Being a gallery guard, I had the opportunity to see the floor panels before they had been cracked. The mirrored surface reflected a jilted image of the paintings on the walls as well as my face as I peered down to inspect my reflection. It was as if the galleries were no longer placed on solid ground. Rather, they were floating, both the real and corporeal reflected in the glass becoming something of its own. A parallel, alternate universe.

On opening night, the sounds of cracking reverberated through the museum as visitors walked around the galleries. The glass was mesmerizing, and under the glowing lights, the shattered glass sparkled and glittered, beginning to take form as something entirely different, an ice rink of fragmented colors and shapes.

I found Beshty towards the end of the night snapping pictures with his iPhone. I watched as he examined his own work, tapping his toe carefully on the glass. As he stepped back to look at the gallery, we both witnessed a group of visitors encircling by the elevator. With a youthful exuberance, they counted to three and then jumped as hard as they could on the glass, their weight causing large cracks and amplified crunching sounds.

As I looked on, I could not help but feel as if this were some kind of sacrilegious act, even despite the intentional vulnerability of the glass. I could sense Beshty’s disapproval. “What do you think?” I asked him. He didn’t like it. The glass was made to crack over time and through use, a record of each individual passing through the space, in other words, visitors shouldn’t be going out of their way to make their mark.

Beshty is no novice when it comes to working with glass. He is known for his glass sculptures, which similarly use the effect of shattered glass to communicate a process. Using an industrial glass manufacturer to create shatterproof cubes that conform to the size of a FedEx box, the sculptures are shipped standard to their destination, from the studio to museum, exhibition, or collectors home. Upon arrival, the sculptures reveal a recording of their journey, the broken glass reflecting the mysterious, unknown path it has taken.

I was equally disdainful of the jumpers at the opening, feeling Beshty’s frustration. Yet after the opening, and during my guarding hours, I would find myself walking the gallery, mesmerized by the glass, and struggling to restrain myself from bouncing around the gallery, hearing cracking noises echoing around me with each hop, skip, and leap. To compensate, I began lifting one foot and shifting my body weight as much as I could to one spot, hoping I’d find a weak spot left uncracked. As I twirled and pirouetted, I dove into the world of fragmented colors and shapes, distracted by the sparkling of the glass in the sunlight, or the reflection of my face leering back at me in a Cubist fashion.

Beshty’s installation at the Rose is beautiful, thrilling, irresistible. Yet, perhaps it is our narcissism, our magpie-like instincts, that detract from properly grasping the artistic concept behind the work. We become captivated with our own distorted images—it becomes approachable—and conveniently, below our feet. Or perhaps we work against the natural process Beshty encourages because we are drawn towards interacting with art, and as physically as possible. It’s as if a viewer-interactive work transmits the instinct to create from artist to viewer. Suddenly, we want to contribute, make something, leave our mark. We are attracted to the visceral physicality of the artist’s profession; through working with our hands–an element that has been eradicated from our concept of “work”–we can create something material and finite. I would also suggest the loss of physicality in our work, even in our daily activities, increases the pleasure of being able to do so in other contexts. Museum or not, if we are allowed to break something—encouraged to break something—our primary reaction is often to destroy it with our best effort, and to our greatest satisfaction. With this knowledge in mind, I wonder: is our involvement in the creation of Beshty’s work best kept secret? Or should we allow ourselves to ignore the original intention for the work in allowing it to become a more realistic representation of the viewer–a truer reflection?

-Molly Channon ’14, Committee Member

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