February 4, 2015

Spring exhibitions

Rose Art Museum at Brandeis University
In order of appearance: Helen Frankenthaler, Flirt, 1995. Acrylic on paper. Sam Gilliam, Wide Narrow, 1972. Acrylic on canvas. Willem de Kooning, Montauk II, 1969. Oil on paper on canvas. Jack Whitten, Dispersal ‘B’ #2, 1971. Dry pigment on paper.*

Spring 2015 exhibitions

Pretty Raw: After and Around Helen Frankenthaler

New Acquisitions

Rose Projects 1C: Painting Blind

Collection in Focus

Rose Video 05: Gillian Wearing
Through March 8, 2015

The Rose Art Museum announces the opening of its spring exhibitions on February 11. A reception will be held from 5 to 9pm on February 10 and is free and open to the public.


About the exhibitions:

The history of modernist painting is usually told either as a chain of male masters or a series of anonymous formal inventions; how might it change our vision of the history of postwar American art to start with a female artist? Pretty Raw: After and Around Helen Frankenthaler takes work by the artist Helen Frankenthaler (1928–2011) as a lens through which to refocus our vision of modernist art over the past 50 years. Organized by the museum’s curator-at-large Katy Siegel, Pretty Raw works outwards from the 1950s to trace several related phenomena: the artistic innovations of poured paint and the stained raw canvas; the social implications of decoration; authorial control vs. materiality; the body and painting; and the image of the woman painter and related questions of gender and identity. As we approach the present day, when the allure and bodily affect of color and form permeate contemporary art, Pretty Raw reveals the questions of taste and identity that were always present in this history.

New Acquisitions presents works that have entered the Rose’s collection over the last 18 months, focusing specifically on abstract painting and sculpture by African American artists. The selection reflects the Rose’s commitment to expand its existing holdings of postwar art by acquiring important works by figures who, until recently, have been excluded from canonical accounts of art history due to race and gender-based discrimination. The Rose’s exhibition attests to this ongoing effort and to Brandeis University’s mission of social justice, presenting an extraordinary selection of works which assert their rightful place in the story of postwar art just as they point the way forward.

Rose Projects 1C | Painting Blind features paintings, sculptures, drawings, and prints by Willem de Kooning (1904–1997), Maria Lassnig (1919–2014), Frank Auerbach (b. 1931), and Georg Baselitz (b. 1938). All four figures are central to the secret history of the double positive: artists who said “yes” both to painterly painting and to the representation of the everyday world. The artists in Painting Blind evaded their own habits through techniques that included painting—and sculpting and drawing—with their eyes closed, working on the floor in the midst of large canvases, and forcing immediacy through quick execution. Sometimes the artists were literally painting blind, while at others they were simply shedding pre-formed styles or images, feeling their way. These artists reveal something fundamental to late modern painting, but also to contemporary life: the eruption of the immediate physical world amidst that which we see and think we know, or know and think we see. This exhibition, organized by Katy Siegel, is the final installment of Rose Projects 1: Touching From a Distance, a series of three research-based exhibitions.

The Rose Art Museum’s Collection in Focus series highlights and draws new connections among important and often understudied objects from its renowned holdings. This semester’s presentation is organized in collaboration with New York-based artist Jennie C. Jones (b. 1968), whose work is on view alongside selections from the Rose’s permanent collection.

Gillian Wearing (b. 1963) documents the disparities between public personas and private lives, creating intimate portraits that, in their frank focus, are often uncomfortable to witness. Making use of tools that temporarily conceal—costumes, masks, and role-play—Wearing’s photographs and videos reveal deep-rooted secrets: desires and fears typically veiled by other means, hidden out of habit or as the result of societal pressures. Rose Video 05 presents Wearing’s Bully (2010), in which the enactment of playground abuse moves rapidly from archetypal performance to raw and real emotion.

For more information on the Rose’s spring exhibitions and programs, please visit the museum’s website.

Press inquiries: Nina Berger, [email protected] / T +1 617 543 1595

These exhibitions and associated programs are made possible through funding from the Rose Art Museum Endowed Fund; Ruth Ann & Nathan Perlmutter Artist-in-Residency Annual Award Program; the Hersee Fund; the Massachusetts Cultural Council; and the Office of the Provost, Brandeis University.


*Photo credits in order of appearance: Helen Frankenthaler, Flirt, 1995. Acrylic on paper. Courtesy of the Helen Frankenthaler Foundation/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York, and Gagosian Gallery. Sam Gilliam, Wide Narrow, 1972. Acrylic on canvas. Rose Art Museum. Photo: Fredrik Nilsen, through David Kordansky Gallery, Los Angeles, CA. Willem de Kooning, Montauk II, 1969. Oil on paper on canvas. Private collection. Courtesy of The Willem de Kooning Foundation/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Jack Whitten, Dispersal ‘B’ #2, 1971. Dry pigment on paper. Rose Art Museum. Courtesy of Alexander Gray Associates, New York.



Spring exhibitions opening at The Rose Art Museum, Brandeis University

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