Friday, May 13, 2016

Chizuru Morii Kaplan - Studio Visit

Dreamy cityscapes and landscapes abound in Chizuru Morii Kaplan's studio on the Upper, Upper Eastside, often known as Spanish Harlem.  It's a bustling building full of exciting art - and lovely artists.  Today I am highlighting one and will post others in the near future.

Here are details from buildings not far from the Musée d'Orsay, which I'll look for during my week in Paris.  Wondrous in their evocative interpretation, the face of the woman seems to come from the recesses of our memory.  This appeal to our collective reserves of past experiences is the great force that keeps us looking, studying Kaplan's work.  Always a pleasure to pour over, searching for clues that connect these places to our own lives.

Chiruru Morii Kaplan is a Japanese architect and interior designer, who has free-lanced in Toyko, Chicago and New York, working for several major firms such as I. M. Pei, Edward Larrabee Barnes and Junzo Sakakura.  She transitioned into producing art full time less than ten years ago, having studied at the Arts Students League with the celebrated watercolorist Paul Ching-Bor since 2007.

Recently, I posted news of her last exhibition at Hubert Gallery. I will send out information about her exhibition in June within the next few weeks.

Best wishes for the week,
Beth New York

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Beth S.Gersh-Nesic, Ph.D

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Mother's Day 2016

Grant Wood, Hattie Weaver Grant, 1929

Happy Mother's Day to you and yours.  This blog post is dedicated to my mother, Mildred Gersh, who gave me a love for art through our many visits to museums.  Thank you, Mom.

Please make visits to museums a frequent and pleasant experience for your family.  Take your children and grandchildren to a museum for a short time - an hour or so.  Not too long.  Just enough time to whet the appetite for more, another day. 

Also, have the children select a reproduction in the bookstore as a souvenir of the trip to the museum. The purchase not only supports the museum, it also extends the experience past the doors of the museum and into one's personal space, one's comfort zone.

I urge you to frame these museum reproductions so that they hang in the child's bedroom, creating a personal connection that will last a lifetime.

Rembrandt van Rijn, Neeltgen Willemsdochter van Zuytgbrouch. van Rijn, 1629

Rembrandt's mother's face is familiar to us through other works wherein she served as his model.

Vincent van Gogh, Anna Cornelia Carbentus van Gogh, 1888

Almost smiling, Anna van Gogh seems to listen intently.  She provided solace for her son when he was at odds with his father. An artist in her own right, she too studied art and drew plants and flowers in notebooks. 

Andy Warhol, Julia Justine Zavacka Warhola, 1974

Julia Warhola is truly the Mother of Pop Art.  Her charming European script graces most of Andy Warhol's early works, such as the greeting cards and clever books. Examples of her work are currently on view at the Morgan Library in the exhibition Warhol by the Book, closing on May 15th. 

For other artists' mothers place click on this link.  

And please check out our Mother's Day Special: private tours for $250 per group, if you book by June 1st. Tours will be conducted this summer.  Reservations at

Happy Mother's Day to you and yours - 
Beth New York

Beth S. Gersh-Nesic, Ph.D.
New York Arts Exchange.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Last Call: Miriam Schapiro, A Visionary, at the National Academy through May 8th.

Miriam Shapiro and Sherry Brody, Dollhouse, 1972

Miriam Schapiro (1923 - 2015) was one of the founding member of the Feminist Art Program at California Institute of the Arts (CalState), in Los Angeles, in 1971, based on the Women's Art Program at Fresno State College, founded in the previous year.  Schapiro and Judy Chicago (b. 1939) led the team of artists who created Womanhouse (1972) with Faith Wilding, Mira Schor, among dozens of others. Miriam Schapiro was a major influence on the feminist art movement, earning this activist artist a permanent place in art history as a trailblazer and visionary (hence the title of the show).

Miriam Schapiro, Lady Gengi's Maze, 1979

The current retrospect at the National Academy Museum and School summarizes her characteristic contributions. Beginning with her early Abstract Expressionist work that transitioned into her hard-edge Shrine series, this modest selection of her works serves as a fitting memorial for this a highly gifted artist who also ushered in the Pattern and Decoration Movement.   

Miriam Schapiro, My History, 1987

Sadly, the National Academy has announced that it will close permanently on June 1st, explained by the director Maura Reilly on its Museum. Therefore, please make a special effort to visit this marvelous Miriam Schapiro show accompanied by three other fine exhibitions:

An American Collection, through May 8th

Method Order Metrics, through May 8th

Tony Rosenthal, Alamo, 1967 (model for the Astor Place "cube")

And Contemporary Highlights from the Collection, through May 8th

The National Academy was founded in 1825 by American Academy artists Asher B. Durand, Samuel F. B. Morse, Thomas Cole, Rembrandt Peale and Ithiel Town.  At first homeless, its original home was on Fourth Avenue and 23rd Street in late 1800s.  Then it sold the building to Met Life in 1899, was homeless again and then moved into the Archer Milton and Ann Hyatt Huntington mansion on Fifth Avenue between 89th and 90th Streets in 1942. Time to move on again . . . . .

Happy May Day -  and please follow us on Intagram  and Facebook :)
Beth New York

aka Beth S. Gersh-Nesic, Ph.D.
Director, New York Arts Exchange