News & Upcoming Events

The Andes Inverted: Professor Daniela Rivera's solo exhibition at the MFA

Gallery view of Daniela Rivera's exhibition, a tilted wall drawing and vertical painting series, with a cloud sculpture by Tara Donovan on the ceiling
Installation view of Daniela Rivera's show, The Andes Inverted (the cloud sculpture on the ceiling is by Tara Donovan). Photo by Samara Pearlstein.
 
On March 4, Professor Daniela Rivera's latest solo exhibition, The Andes Inverted, opened at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. The show features an ambitiously-scaled copperpoint wall drawing, a series of oil paintings, a video, and a sound art piece made in collaboration with Music Professor Jenny Johnson.
 
The Andes Inverted takes as its subject the Chuquicamata copper mine of Chile. This mammoth space excavated from the earth, a counterpoint to the nearby soaring Andes mountains, is the largest open pit copper mine in the world. It is a source of civic pride for the Chilean government and a major factor in the Chilean economy, providing jobs and exportable goods. At the same time, the mine has had a deleterious environmental impact on the landscape and on the people whose employment depends on its operation. The mine as both geographical inversion and sociological paradox provides a rich source of material and meaning for Rivera's work.
 
Detail image of Daniela Rivera's large copperpoint wall drawing.
Detail view of Daniela Rivera's large copperpoint wall drawing. Photo by Samara Pearlstein.
 
The paintings in the exhibition are made with oil paints that have been mixed with soil from the site of the mine. The enormous wall drawing, with shapes generated by tracing stones taken from the site and rolled/shifted across the wall, is made with copperpoint, a technique that involves drawing with a small rod of copper, leaving behind a faintly metallic mark that may change in tone over time as the material oxidizes. These traces of the mine, brought into the work through the very substance used to create the imagery, tangibly connect the art to the place that inspired it.
 
The wall drawing and paintings are both displayed on scaffolding structures that hold them at angles within the space of the gallery; the wall drawing looms inward over the viewers, while the paintings form a high vertical stack leaning away. These architectural interventions into the space of the museum recall the physical presence of the mine, and also its metaphorical presence in the lives and minds of those in residence around it. The sound and video pieces directly incorporate the stories and histories of these people, information that was collected through a series of interviews conducted by Rivera while she was in Chile researching this project.
 
Detail of a mostly gray and white painting in Daniela Rivera's show
Detail of a painting in The Andes Inverted. Photo by Samara Pearlstein.
 
Daniela Rivera speaks about her work at the exhibition.
Daniela Rivera (center) speaks about her work at the exhibition. Photo by Samara Pearlstein.
 
The Andes Inverted is on display in Gallery 268 in the Linde Contemporary Art wing of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston through September 17, 2017. See the MFA's exhibition page here.

 

March 8, 2017


 

Professor Liza Oliver's op-ed in the New York Times

 
Professor Liza Oliver in the Jewett Sculpture Court
Professor Liza Oliver. Photo by Samara Pearlstein
 

This week, Art History Professor Liza Oliver had an op-ed piece published in the New York Times. The article, titled "Why the Met Should Appoint a Female Director," makes a number of good arguments for why the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York would benefit from a female Director now that that position has become available. As Oliver says, the pattern of major art institutions repeatedly tapping men for leadership positions "is representative of larger patterns of perhaps unintentional bias that continue to pervade museum culture."

On Wednesday, March 2 2017, the article was linked on the front page of the Times, making Oliver's take on this issue (and opportunity) visible to a wide public.

Professor Oliver, who specializes in 18th and 19th century Europe and South Asia, was a fellow at the Met in 2014-15.

March 3, 2017


 

Bonnie Lucas '72 exhibiting at JTT Gallery in New York

2 Bonnie Lucas collage works on black gallery walls
Photo via JTT Gallery
 

Bonnie Lucas '72 is currently exhibiting a body of work from the mid-80s at JTT Gallery on the Lower East Side! The show is titled 'Young Lady' and is curated by Marie Catalano. It includes a number of Lucas' fabric collage pieces, as well as gouache paintings. The work questions ideals of femininty and the role of women in society and at home, making inventive use of found objects along with material and imagery loaded with meaning.

Lucas was an Art History major at Wellesley, and went on to get her MFA from Rutgers University. The exhibition catalogue for this show will be the first book dedicated entirely to her and her art.

'Young Lady' was featured on Time Out New York as one of their Top Five New York Art Shows This Week! (Note: link will change on a weekly basis.)

For more information about the show, see the gallery website. The exhibition will be on display through February 26. JTT Gallery is located at 191 Chrystie St, New York. If you're going to be in New York this month, stop by and see the work!

February 3, 2017


 

Professor David Teng Olsen commissioned for Allston mural

Dave Olsen Allston mural

Professor Dave Olsen poses with his Allston mural
Top: the mural in progress. Bottom: Professor David Teng Olsen stands with his Allston mural. (photos by Samara Pearlstein)
 
This winter, Professor David Teng Olsen was commissioned by Harvard University to design and paint a new mural in the North Allston area. The piece will cover the entire Western Ave-facing side of a Harvard-owned building, bringing some very welcome color and dynamism to the neighborhood. Professor Olsen has created a number of public art works and murals before, making him a natural choice for this commission.
 
The enormous scale of the mural, and the vagaries of winter weather, have made this a job for a team. Wintersession has allowed several Wellesley students to gain valuable real-world art experience assisting Professor Olsen in the creation of this mural. Students are learning how to paint in less-than-ideal temperatures, how to work in a public space, how to translate designs from a printed plan to a much larger vertical surface, and more.
 
The mural will be completed by the time Wintersession ends, so be sure to keep your eyes open if you're driving down Western Ave. in 2017!
 
Jan. 13, 2017

 

Elizabeth Gorayeb '97 named executive director of the Wildenstein Plattner Institute

Elizabeth Gorayeb '97 examines papers in her office.

Elizabeth Gorayeb '97 was profiled by the Wellesley Daily Shot this week. She was recently named executive director of the Wildenstein Plattner Institute, a New York foundation for art historical research and digital archiving.

Gorayeb cites Professor Patricia Berman as a major influence on the direction of her studies at Wellesley, and as a result on her professional career. Initially unsure about majoring in Art History, she became convinced of the viability of the field as a personal area of study and a career path. "I feared I wouldn't get a job if I tried 'art historian' as a career goal," she said, but "[Professor Berman] really set me on my life's course."

Check out the Daily Shot article for more about Elizabeth Gorayeb's career at Wellesley and after, and congratulations to her on her exciting new position!

Jan. 11, 2017


 

Professor Nikki Greene on WGBH's Basic Black

Professor Nikki Greene with other panelists on the set of WGBH's Basic Black
Professor Nikki Greene (far left) with other panelists on the set of WGBH's Basic Black.
 
Professor Nikki Greene appeared on WGBH's Basic Black this past week to discuss African-American art. If you missed the show when it aired, you can still see it online at the link below!
 
 
Basic Black was created in 1968 as a response to the demand for public television programs representing the interests and concerns of African Americans. Filmed in WGBH's studios in Boston, each episode is a live panel discussion about current events and how they impact communities of color. See their website for more information.
 
Dec. 19, 2016

 

Poster for the 2016 Bakwin Lecture featuring double image charcoal drawing of old man's face made up of young women

The Dr. Ruth Morris Bakwin Class of 1919 Art Lecture for 2016 is coming up! Christopher Pinney, Professor of Anthropology and Visual Culture at University College of London will explore the cultural history of mirages, particularly in Asia. The talk is titled "The Waterless Sea: A Cultural and Political History of Mirages."

This lecture is free and open to the public. All are welcome!

Thursday, Nov. 17
5:00 pm
Collins Cinema
 
Nov. 10, 2016
 

 

 

The Harry Halverson Lecture of American Architecture is today, Thursday, November 3 at 5:00 pm, in JAC 450.

Francesca Ammon, Assistant Professor of City and Regional Planning at the University of Pennsylvania, will be speaking on the topic of postwar America's conflation of destruction and progress.

This event is free and open to the public.

Nov. 3, 2016


 

What Wellesley's Reading: Professor Liza Oliver

Professor Liza Oliver and book cover for 'White Mughals'

Art History Professor Liza Oliver is this week's 'What Wellesley's Reading' feature. Listen to her speak about White Mughals, by William Dalrymple, at the link here.

Nov. 2, 2016


 

Professor Jay Oles featured in Hyperallergic article

Unknown artist, “Peres Maldonado Ex-voto” (18th century, after 1777) (image courtesy Davis Museum at Wellesley College, Wellesley, MA)

Art History Professor Jay Oles, who is also associate curator of Latin American art at the Davis Museum, was quoted at length in a Hyperallergic article last week about the painting shown above. This elaborate devotional painting, which is in the Davis' collection and is currently on view, depicts an aristocratic Mexican woman who underwent a pre-anesthesia mastectomy.

Click here to read the article and to see what Professor Oles has to say about this work of art!

October 31, 2016
 

 

EXHIBITIONS

Nodes, encounter... out of the fields
Jewett Art Gallery
Feb. 16 - March 9, 2017
 
Jewett Sculpture Court
Nov. 17 - 20, 2016
 
Jewett Art Gallery
May 10 - 27, 2016
 
Jewett Art Gallery
Feb. 29 - April 1, 2016
 
Jewett Sculpture Court
Feb. 29 - April 1, 2016
 
Laconia Gallery, Boston
Feb. 5 - March 20, 2016
 
Jewett Art Gallery
Jan. 25 - Feb. 26, 2016
 
Jewett Art Gallery
Nov. 16 - Dec. 18, 2015