The Rose Art Museum opens four new exhibitions on Wednesday, February 13.
Ed Ruscha: Standard
Surveying the career of one of America’s most innovative artists, this exhibition features over seventy works in a variety of media dating from 1962 to 2011. Ruscha’s art depicts everyday subjects—gas stations, street signs, commercial packaging—yet often triggers philosophical reflections about the relationship between words, things, and ideas. The word “standard,” a recurring one in the artist’s oeuvre, is a case in point: it can be a banner or rallying point, an established level of quality, or an oil company’s brand name. In his depictions of Standard stations, Ruscha points to each of these definitions and more. Ed Ruscha: Standard will be the first large-scale solo museum presentation of his work in the Boston area.
On the matter of abstraction…(figs. A & B)
On the matter of abstraction… is an ongoing project by LA-based artist Walead Beshty comprised of a series of lectures and an exhibition conceived in collaboration with Rose director Christopher Bedford. Including postwar non-figurative works drawn from the permanent collection, the exhibition takes the architecture of the museum’s 1961 building and uses it to structure two shows in parallel (figs. A & B). The entry-level features works in the tradition of ‘analytic’ abstraction by the likes of Ellsworth Kelly, Sol Lewitt, Agnes Martin, and Judy Chicago. Downstairs, materially laden objects demonstrate a contrasting investment in the unruly. With works by Mark Bradford (a new acquisition), Ana Mendieta, Robert Rauschenberg, and Charline von Heyl, the lower level focuses not only on the gesture and body of the artist but also on the cultural detritus of the world. Beshty describes the visitor’s descent as a movement from “the cathedral to the cave…here re-imagined as a passage from ‘line to stain.’”
Walead Beshty: Untitled (Rose Art Museum, Brandeis University: Waltham, Massachusetts, February 12–June 9, 2013)
Within the same space, Beshty’s work, Untitled (Rose Art Museum, Brandeis University: Waltham, Massachusetts, February 12–June 9, 2013), a mirror and glass floor that runs throughout both levels of the building, is also on view. While not part of the exhibition that surrounds it, the work functions as a physical armature for the viewing experience, straddling—perhaps even collapsing—the dialectical concept that structures On the matter of abstraction‘s two parts. Over time and through use, the surface cracks as a result of visitors’ movements, until finally that reflected world is nothing more than a dense matrix of fractured images and jagged lines. When the exhibition closes, Untitled will enter the Rose’s permanent collection.
Sam Jury: Coerced Nature
British artist Sam Jury’s painterly videos, shown in the newly renovated Lee Gallery and public sites on campus, portray staged performances in eerily familiar yet unrecognizable settings. Her subjects range from the fraught relationship between humans and the natural world to the psychological impact of screen-based technologies. The artist refers to her video work as sitting between ‘trauma and rapture,’ passive and active gazes, and isolation and voyeurism. These ambivalences, which in many ways characterize the digital age, cohere in her mesmerizing installations. Jury was the Rose’s 2011 Perlmutter Artist in Residence.
Press inquiries: Nina Berger, firstname.lastname@example.org, T 617 543 1595
Ed Ruscha: Standard was organized by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.
These exhibitions are supported by The Ruth Ann and Nathan Perlmutter Artist in Residency Annual Award Program, Rose Art Museum Endowed Fund, Hersee Fund, Lois Foster Endowed Exhibition Fund, and Office of the Provost, Brandeis University.
Left: Edward Ruscha, Standard Station, 1966 © Edward J. Ruscha IV. All Rights Reserved. Photo © 2012 Museum Associates/LACMA. Right: Walead Beshty, Untitled (Rose Art Museum, Brandeis University, Waltham, Massachusetts: February 12–June 9, 2013). Photograph by Mike Lovett.