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Art exhibit at Womens Studies Research Center debuts to positive reviews

Published: February 4, 2005
Section: News


The Womens Studies Research Center saw the opening of its new installation in its Kniznick Gallery Wednesday night. Although the works have been up for viewing for some time, the reception marked the official opening, and the artists, three Brandeis professors, were able to present their work. School of Fine Arts professors Tory Fair, Susan Lichtman, and Nadine Zanow created the site-integrated exhibit.

The show has been titled Generativity & Creativity, referring to the reconciliation of the professors teaching and personal art. Opening remarks were given by Prof. Shulamit Reinharz (SOC), founding director of the WSRC, and then the professors were given a chance to speak.

Ive been at Brandeis for 25 years, but Ive never painted at Brandeis, said Lichtman. Lichtmans primary contribution to the project is a large mural. The mural depicts a subtle, earth-toned family scene in which: a woman works at a table in the midst of her playing children.

This is an image Ive worked with before, said Lichtman, but this woman is new. Shes for the Womens Center.

Also on display are several smaller works by Lichtman of similar subject matter on paper, in casein and oil.

Fair contributed several sculptures to the exhibit. In her Game Time series, Prof. Fair uses paths of lines and dots running over furniture to describe spaces. Her sculpture, consisting of thick, impressive rubber strips, runs over and in two chairs and loops around a pre-existing sculpture and plant. In her statement about the work, Fair described the lines as defining a dynamic between domestic and competitive space.
I wanted to engage what was already here with what Ive been working on, said Fair.
Zanow, who is a 2001 Guggenheim Fellowship recipient, was also interested in integrating personality and experience into her works. It was her experience abroad on a Fulbright Grant which shaped Zanows mode of painting.

When I was in Bulgaria I spent a lot of time in churches and monestariesmonasteries, said Zanow. Her highly textured, patterned paintings often resemble religious art and brocade. Zanows striking paintings often juxtapose bright, strong primary colors and muted pastels.

Lichtman described the creative process that the three artists went through when conceiving the idea of integrating the exhibit, both with the pre-existing space and between the different artists works.

We werent sure that we should try this, but we knew if we did it was exactly what we wanted to do, said Lichtman.

When the artists had finished their statements, Reinharz invited students up to the microphone to talk about their professors.

I think its really cool to see your teachers work, said student David Oppenheimer, 06. You never see this part of them,them;

its kind of hidden from you.