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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Can’t go to Chelsea? Head to the Rose!

Published: November 19, 2010
Section: Arts, Etc.

Fine Arts majors recently flocked to Chelsea Galleries in New York for a Senior Arts weekend and were confronted by some very familiar work. In addition to the Motherwells, Rauschenbergs and Picassos, two of The Rose Art Museum’s more contemporary artists were also on the scene: Roxy Paine and Ana Mendieta.

James Cohan Gallery is exhibiting a dynamic large-scale installation by Paine. The artist created “Distillation” as the newest addition to his “Dendroid” series, which the Metropolitan Museum has featured on the Roof Garden. The work consists of sculpted metal tubing that expands to fill the entire gallery. Both organic and industrial, the piece leads the viewer to a small back room, where the winding form ends with an eyeglass-like shape. The artist described the work as being like his own creative process.

Across the street, Galerie Lelong is showing “Ana Mendieta: Documentation and Artwork. 1972 – 1985.” Mendieta gracefully examines the body and earth through her performances and documentation. Consisting of films, photography, paintings and sculpture, this retrospective celebrates the Cuban-born artist’s life and work. The show coincides with the 25th anniversary of Mendieta’s death, a sad reminder of a bright talent that was cut short.

The Rose’s current exhibition “Regarding Painting” features excellent work by both artists. In Paine’s 2002 work “PMU No. 10,” white slabs hang precariously off of an otherwise naked canvas. Mere feet away, Mendieta’s “Body Tracks” traces her gestures as they trail across the canvas in red paint and blood, evoking a modern-day cave painting. The quality of both pieces of art truly shows how lucky Brandeis is to have The Rose Art Museum as a resource, and how important it is for the museum to continue to bring artists to campus and collect new work.

Though the Fine Arts trip did not make it out to Brooklyn, Fred Tomaselli, another contemporary artist in “Regarding Painting,” has a solo exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum, up until December 2nd.

James Cohan Gallery is located at 533 West 26th St., and Galerie Lelong is at 528 West 26th. Both shows run in New York City until Dec. 11, so those nearby for Thanksgiving break should check them out.