The Rose Art Museum opens Spring 2017 exhibitions

Tommy Hartung, King Solomon's Mines, 2017 (still).  Courtesy of On Stellar Rays and the artist.
Tommy Hartung, King Solomon's Mines, 2017 (still). Courtesy of On Stellar Rays and the artist.
(Rose Art Museum)

The Rose Art Museum at Brandeis University opens Spring 2017 exhibitions: Fred Eversley: Black, White, Gray; Tommy Hartung: King Solomon’s Mines; Collection at Work; Reflections: Louise Nevelson, 1967, and Rose Video 10: Ana Mendieta, on view February 17 – June 11, 2017. 


For more than four decades, Fred Eversley (b. 1941) has produced a singular body of work that considers materials, light, and the optical qualities of shapes and colors as part of a broad investigation of individual perceptual experience. A Brooklyn native and engineer by training, Eversley moved to Los Angeles in 1963 to work in the aerospace industry; four years later, inspired by the burgeoning bohemian culture in Venice Beach, he decided to shift careers and become an artist. Since that time, the African-American artist has pushed the boundaries of sculpture, bringing his technical expertise and keen aesthetic sensibility to bear on the remarkable objects that he produces. This exhibition examines a series of black, white, and gray “lens” sculptures that Eversley began in the early 1970s. The works have cosmological associations—“stars expanding their energy and becoming black holes, white dwarfs, and neutron stars,” Eversley explained at the time—but also prompt us to consider how we ascribe meaning to color. With their complex optical properties and intimate, human scale, the works both challenge our perception of and create new perspectives on the world. The exhibition, curated by Kim Conaty, is a collaboration between Art + Practice in Los Angeles and the Rose.



In a body of work created specifically for his Rose exhibition, Tommy Hartung (b. 1979) extends his investigation of mythmaking and storytelling tied to powers of surveillance, wealth, and politics. A presentation of Hartung’s sculptures and Polaroid photographs accompanies the display of a new video, King Solomon’s Mines, which, in the guise of a satirical ethnofiction, weaves a narrative based in a remote territory of the Saharan desert. Against the backdrop of the Tibesti Mountains, a harsh landscape traversed by both safari tourists and the region’s impoverished migrants, Hartung transposes the legend of King Solomon to create a fable that rings true for a modern era. Co-curated by Kim Conaty and Caitlin Julia Rubin, King Solomon’s Mines represents Hartung’s most comprehensive solo museum exhibition to date.



Collection at Work transforms the Lois Foster Gallery into a workspace, inviting visitors to take an unprecedented up-close look at some of the most important behind-the-scenes work of the Rose Art Museum: the study and stewardship of the artworks under its care. Rather than a pristine, curated space, as one has come to expect in a museum setting, the Foster Gallery will be organized as a series of workstations. Within them, an ever-changing selection of works from the Rose’s renowned permanent collection will be the subjects of study, as staff members and outside specialists photograph, catalogue, re-house, and conserve these objects, all in plain sight. The public will have the chance to see these artworks without their usual trappings of display: drawings and photographs will be unframed and on worktables; sculptures may be in the process of being physically assembled; and paintings might be propped against the wall.

Supporting the Rose’s mission statement, which affirms and advances the values of diversity and social justice that are hallmarks of Brandeis University, this stewardship project will focus on works by women and African-American artists, as well as the historically rich but lesser known collections of photography and unique works on paper (drawings and paintings on paper). These noteworthy collections, which span the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, deepen and complicate our understanding of accepted narratives within art history and offer a fascinating group of works with which our community can engage.



A display of previously un-exhibited archival materials—including installation photographs, correspondence, and artist-drawn floor plans—Reflections looks back at sculptor Louise Nevelson’s first museum retrospective, which opened at the Rose Art Museum in 1967. Organized in collaboration with the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Rose exhibition was unique for the degree to which Nevelson herself curated and staged its presentation: under her direction, both floors of the original Rose building were transformed to create an encompassing, theatrical environment in which to view her work.

In honor of the 50th anniversary of this exhibition, this presentation offers the historical documents through which we can glimpse the artist’s hand or imagine her installation process. It also utilizes virtual reality technology to allow today’s visitors to walk back in time, recreating the spatial experience of visiting this earlier show. Using the Oculus Rift headset in the gallery, viewers can access a computer-generated model of Nevelson’s 1967 exhibition, created by students at Brandeis University’s MakerLab. Offering multiple windows into this groundbreaking show at the Rose, the 2017 exhibition considers its legacy and imagines how this historic moment can be understood in our present day.


Rose Video 10 presents Ana Mendieta's powerful short film Sweating Blood (1973), one of the artist’s early experiments with performance for the camera. A pioneer among artists dealing with identity politics and feminism, the Cuban-American Mendieta (1948-1985) created groundbreaking work in photography, performance, film, video, drawing, sculpture and site-specific installation. For this special presentation, Mendieta’s film will be shown alongside Body Tracks (1982), the rare triptych of her body prints made as part of a performance at Franklin Furnace, New York, now part of the Rose Collection.   

And, remaining on view…



Blue Wall Moulting, traces the structural elements behind the wall of the Foster Stair. Created with a basic chalk snap-line technique, which mimics the process used in building construction, the drawing follows the hidden architecture of the space, drawing attention both to the surface and to what lies behind.  



Permanent Installation

In The Undisciplined Collector, Mark Dion invites the museumgoer into a 1961 wood-paneled living room, designed to echo the founding year of the Rose Art Museum. An immersive and interactive space, the installation serves as an introduction to the Rose and to the history of collecting at Brandeis.



Founded in 1961, the Rose Art Museum at Brandeis University is among the nation’s premier university museums dedicated to collecting, preserving, exhibiting, and interpreting 20th and 21st century art. A center of cultural and intellectual life on campus, the Museum serves as a catalyst for artistic expression, a living textbook for object-based learning, and a site for scholarly innovation and the production of new knowledge through art. American painting of the post-war period and contemporary art are particularly well represented within the Rose’s permanent collection, which is now more than 8,000 objects strong.  

Major paintings by Willem de Kooning, Jasper Johns, Roy Lichtenstein, Helen Frankenthaler, and Andy Warhol anchor the collection, and recently acquired works by Mark Bradford, Al Loving, Jack Whitten, and Charline von Heyl build upon this strength while reflecting the Museum’s commitment to works of both artistic importance and social relevance. Through its collection, exhibitions, and programs, the Rose works to affirm and advance the values of global diversity, freedom of expression, and social justice that are hallmarks of Brandeis University.

Located on Brandeis University’s campus at 415 South Street, Waltham, MA, the museum is free and open to the public Wednesday through Sunday, 11 AM – 5 PM.


For more information, visit or call 781-736-3434. 

Rose Art Museum at Brandeis University
415 South Street
Waltham, Massachusetts
About Rose Art Museum at Brandeis University

The Rose Art Museum at Brandeis is among the premier university museums of modern and contemporary art in the country. Through its distinguished collection of mid-20th through 21st-century art, cutting-edge exhibitions and dynamic programs, visitors can experience the art, artists and ideas of our time.

Press Contact:
Nina J Berger
Rose Art Museum
P: 6175431595

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