Reframing America: Works from the Baruch College Art Collection
August 19, 2021
NEW YORK, NY — Mishkin Gallery at Baruch College, The City University of New York, presents Reframing America: Works from the Baruch College Art Collection, an exhibition of forty-one works by artists such as Mary Ascher, Beverly Buchanan, Lynda Benglis, Larry Clark, Milton Hinton, Robert Indiana, Andy Warhol, Carrie Mae Weems and more. Reframing America has been collectively organized on the occasion of the 2021 course Contemporary Issues in Curating at Baruch College (CUNY).
Throughout the summer, the curators researched works in the college’s art collection that responded to a myriad of critical issues regarding “Americana,” defined by Merriam-Webster as “materials concerning or characteristic of America, its civilization, or its culture broadly.” Art has always been a mirror for society. As America is in the throes of simultaneous health, economic, labor, gender and racial justice crises, this exhibition looks to art to help us grapple with the current situation, while also considering the country’s past to understand where the issues at hand arise from.
Each curator of Reframing America has identified three works from the collection which resonate with their understanding of what American identity would have meant to these artists, as seen through the lens of today. Rather than create one unified concept of American identity or nationality, the exhibition aims to diversify and complicate “America” through artworks that represent numerous ideas: from Mary Ascher’s pictorial representations of oppressive ideologies, Andy Warhol’s portraits of Indigenous fictions, Milt Hinton’s celebratory coverage of famous African American jazz performers, Walker Evans’ humanistic depictions of families during the Great Depression, and so much more.
According to Walter Benjamin, “the phenomenon of collecting loses its meaning as it loses its personal owner.” Many factors have shaped the collection over decades, but this exhibition puts the personal back into the narrative through the interpretation of its student stakeholders. It also complicates what curatorial work means by curating this project together and sharing it with fellow Baruch and CUNY communities for years to come through this digital platform.
Reframing America: Works from the Baruch College Art Collection has been curated by Jonathan Anderson, Bianca Bailey, Wendy Berot, Zhidan Dai, Marcello Di Russo, Elena Freije Urdaneta, Randall Houston, Shawn-Ta Jones, Joyce Laoagan, Zachary Longstreet, Christina Lynch, Jeff Park, Ali Rossi, Robin Schatell, Jialu Tang, and Weigine (Marisa) Wang. The exhibition is part of a curatorial partnership between the Mishkin Gallery and Baruch’s MA in Arts Administration program.
Now Online: blogs.baruch.cuny.edu/reframingamerica
Curators Talk: Reframing America
Join curators Jonathan Anderson, Zhidan Dai, Marcello Di Russo, Elena Freije Urdaneta, Shawn-Ta Jones, Zachary Longstreet, Christina Lynch, Robin Schatell, Jialu Tang and Marisa Wang for an in- depth look at the Mishkin Gallery’s fall 2021 online exhibition Reframing America: Works from the Baruch College Art Collection. The event will be moderated by Mishkin Gallery’s Interim Assistant Curator, Laurel Crepeau.
The online event takes place Thursday, September 9. The event is free, but participants should register for the Zoom meeting ahead of time.
About Baruch College
Baruch College provides students with the skills, knowledge, and perspectives to pursue their aspirations in today’s global environment. Part of The City University of New York (CUNY), Baruch is also listed among the nation’s top public colleges for academic excellence, affordability, student success, and value. Its three schools educate more than 18,000 students who represent one of the most diverse college campuses in the country. Strong career and support services drive Baruch’s national recognition as an engine for social and economic mobility. Through executive education, continuing studies, international partnerships, public events, and arts programming, Baruch stands out as an intellectual and cultural resource for New York City and the world.
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Liam Ben Zur
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