Although Baruch College is more commonly known for its critically-acclaimed accounting program and intensive business coursework (as offered by the Zicklin School of Business), the school has continued to break the misconception of solely teaching debits and credits by offering opportunities for interaction with other disciplines, such as the arts. Located on the intersection of 22nd Street and Lexington Avenue is the Sydney Mishkin Gallery, a space in which various art exhibitions are featured throughout the year.
As featured on its website, The Mishkin Gallery “extend[s] Baruch beyond” the confines of the 24th Street entrance and 25th Street plaza by offering an on-yet-off campus oasis. It “promotes projects by artists and intellectuals who demonstrate how and why creative practice is a crucial force in nurturing diversity tolerance and shaping culture” (“The Mishkin Gallery”). The gallery is currently under the direction of the newly-appointed Alaina Claire Feldman.
Currently on display at The Mishkin Gallery is “Sculpture by Charlie Kaplan.” The exhibition, which opened to the public on September 28th and will remain on view until October 26th, features sculptural works of Charlie Kaplan. The various pieces by Kaplan, a renowned sculptor of Italian workmanship, are featured in each of the three divides of the gallery hall, which is located to the left of the main entrance of the administrative center. According to the Mishkin site, this is Kaplan’s first solo exhibition in New York.
As a visitor of the exhibition (accompanied by the honors cohort of Baruch College), I was transfixed by the dimensionality of the statues and inspired by the movement that filled the room. Soaring, the centerpiece made of Bianco Puro Carrara Marble, was a highlight (photograph featured below). As its name suggests, it simply “soared,” shooting up to the ceiling to be circled and more importantly, admired, by visitors. Interestingly enough, the figure had open gapes and small oval windows — which enabled visitors to compare its current spatial dimension to that of the entire room space. Although Kaplan wasn’t there to explain the thought process behind its construction, I guessed that the methodology was to provide a viewpoint at every angle.
Shapes, movement and the black-and-white color dichotomy were some of the themes that illustrated the various pieces. Feldman explained that Kaplan lived on the Californian coast which vividly explained the wave-like sculptural influence. Slender Wave Black best emulated this idea. Negative Teardrop shared the same oval gape as did Soaring. Black Slice, a sleek piece of Belgian marble, looked like a sharp cut from the teardrop, dipped in black and open for interpretation.
The single piece that left the students of the cohort (including myself) in slight confusion was Round Slide, made of Rosso Rubino Marble. The work was a rosed-ruby (as is translated from the Italian-named stone), which did not fit in with the other pieces in the collection. Although it shared some of the waved, sculpted form, its color and cracked surface made it distinct enough to differentiate itself. I guess we will have to wait for an explanation from Kaplan himself.
If you are interested in checking out the hub under the Weismann School of Arts and Sciences of Baruch College, the exhibition is open from 10:00 am until 6:00 pm from Mondays to Fridays.