The Rose Art Museum's spring exhibitions explore untold narratives

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The Rose Art Museum's spring exhibitions explore untold narratives
Dora García, “EXILE,” 2012 - present. Photo by Samuel Saelemakers.

WALTHAM. MASS.- The Rose Art Museum opened two exhibitions at the museum. The spring season includes the first U.S. solo exhibition of acclaimed Spanish artist Dora García and a new exhibition that brings together works from the Rose’s extraordinary permanent collection by artists who wrestle with, and create room for, layered understandings and circuitous trajectories through time.

Alongside Dora García: Love with Obstacles, the exhibition Yesterday’s Tomorrow: Selections from the Rose Collection, 1933-2018 reminds us that, in order to address issues of the present and envision a better future, we must constantly remember—and reevaluate—the past through a contemporary lens.

DORA GARCÍA: LOVE WITH OBSTACLES February 14, 2020—May 17, 2020
For her first solo exhibition in the United States, Spanish artist Dora García (b. Valladolid, 1965) focuses on her work of the recent years to open new platforms of analysis, reflection, and visibility. Through a practice that prioritizes the use of performance in a participative manner, García transforms the Lois Foster Gallery into a living platform to investigate the relationship between audience, architecture, and artistic work.

“At a time when politics of exclusion and heteropatriarchal domination seem to invade contemporary speech, it is important to rethink the formidable role that feminisms have had throughout history as a solid wall of resistance and opposition,” says Ruth Estévez, Senior Curator-at-Large. “Love with Obstacles allows us to glimpse a rare and necessary space where we can be with each other as equals.”

Love with Obstacles includes both newly commissioned works, daily performances, and existing projects, and also features drawings, films, intervened documents, and letters that will be activated through performances and readings to articulate a collective space where dialogue is central. Two newly commissioned works will be premiered at the Rose Art Museum: the film Love with Obstacles, focusing on the legacy of the extraordinary author, feminist, October revolutionary, political exile and diplomat, Alexandra Kollontai (St. Petersburg,1872– Moscow, 1952) who advocated for the sexual emancipation of women and radical equality; and The Labyrinth of Female Freedom, a performance where female poetics and politics meet. A new production of García's series Golden Sentences opens the exhibition.

Love with Obstacles also brings together for the first time rarely seen documents from Brandeis University’s Special Collections that the artist has personally selected and classified, highlighting the institution´s unique legacy of committed work to social justice and in the struggle for human rights.

Love with Obstacles is organized by Ruth Estévez, Senior Curator-at-Large, with research assistance from Rayelle Gardner and Emma Peters.

YESTERDAY’S TOMORROW: SELECTIONS FROM THE ROSE COLLECTION, 1933—2018 February 7, 2020—September 13, 2020
Despite language used to describe it, the past is rarely stilled within the fixed frame of retrospective distance. Instead, defying attempts at neat chronology, the past resurfaces and evolves in the expanding now. Images and narratives echo at the edges of the present and shade visions of the future. Interwoven with and twisted by current events and shifting perspectives, individual and collective understandings of history are forever in flux.

This presentation from the collection brings together works by artists who wrestle with, and create room for, such circuitous trajectories. “The title Yesterday's Tomorrow is an appropriate jumping off point for the central themes of the show. It can read as a paradox— 'yesterday is tomorrow’—but ultimately, sorting out its riddle, can also mean the present: today. The now takes shape within this unstable space, molded by and melded with an envisioned yesterday and an imagined tomorrow,” says Assistant Curator Caitlin Julia Rubin.

More than half of the works on view are new gifts and recent acquisitions that have never before been exhibited within a Rose exhibition, including artworks by Nicole Eisenman, Joy Episalla, Ulrich Horndash, Ellen Lesperance, Patti Smith, William Villalongo, Jack Whitten, and others, paired with celebrated works long held within the museum’s collection. Reckoning with complexities, atrocities, and losses both recent and removed, the artists of Yesterday’s Tomorrow confront, in diverse ways, the challenge of giving shape to subjects which resist direct representation, as well as locating their own place within the imprint of broad and tangled influences. Eschewing the inflexible formats of traditional monuments, the objects in this exhibition open onto layered narratives, making room for history’s multiplicities and giving space to the subjective and intimate sway of memory.

Permanent collection artists on view: Ross Bleckner, Melvin Edwards, Nicole Eisenman, Joy Episalla, Myra Greene, Philip Guston, Ulrich Horndash, Rachel Lachowicz, Annette Lemieux, Ellen Lesperance, André Masson, Dominic McGill, Mary Miss, Shirin Neshat, Lorraine O’Grady, Adam Pendleton, Manfred Pernice, Katherine Porter, Kay Rosen, Kiki Smith, Patti Smith, William Villalongo, Kara Walker, Jack Whitten, Samira Yamin.

Yesterday’s Tomorrow: Selections from the Rose Collection, 1933–2018 is organized by Caitlin Julia Rubin, Assistant Curator, with contributions from Ruth Estévez, Senior Curator-at-Large.

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