Kenneth Munowitz: Portraits Real and Imagined

At the Mishkin Gallery, May 22 to June 11


kenneth munowitz mishkin gallery




NEW YORK, NY – May 14, 2014-Baruch College presents the exhibition Kenneth Munowitz: Portraits Real and Imagined at the Mishkin Gallery from Thursday, May 22 to June 11, 2014. An opening reception will take place on Wednesday, May 21 from 6:00-8:00 p.m.

The work of painter and children’s book illustrator Kenneth Munowitz reveals a deep engagement with the inner life of the mind. His canvases combine elements of whimsy with a brooding self-reflection.

After his death at the age of forty-two, the New York Times critic David Shirey wrote glowingly about the artist, arguing that his talent should not be ignored. Unfortunately, a major strike occurred at the New York Times and the review was never published.

Shirey wrote: “Despite his brief career as an artist, he was able to produce a body of work of outstanding significance, especially the paintings he did in the few years before his untimely death. They deliver an extraordinary emotional and dramatic impact, filled with a powerfully spellbinding intensity.

If there is a feeling of immediacy in the paintings it is because this artist kept his palette close to his own life. In his portraits, still lifes and landscapes, he depicted his mother, aunts, cousins and friends as well as himself.

The paramount effort, a consummate tour de force, is a self-portrait, last he did of himself. Wearing a Russian hat and a heavy coat, Munowitz captures our vision and holds it. He seems to be saying. ‘… I have something to say to you about life before I leave it. Pay attention.’ We pay attention and learn that he did have much to say.”

Among the portraits featured in the upcoming show at the Mishkin Gallery is this self-portrait of Munowitz in a Russian hat. Other portraits include life-size nude figures of Lyndon and Lady Bird Johnson seated on a living room couch, as well as those of his close family members and friends.

Munowitz paints his intimate world with a unique and startling perspective. Settings such as the bathroom and other rooms in his home are fraught with a surreal edge, and with colors that recall the intensity of paintings by Vincent van Gogh or Henri Matisse.

For information about this exhibition, please call the Sidney Mishkin Art Gallery at (646) 660-6652.




About Baruch College:
Baruch College is a senior college in the City University of New York (CUNY) with a total enrollment of more than 17,000 students, who represent 160 countries and speak more than 100 languages. Ranked among the top 15% of U.S. colleges and the No. 5 public regional university, Baruch College is regularly recognized as among the most ethnically diverse colleges in the country. As a public institution with a tradition of academic excellence, Baruch College offers accessibility and opportunity for students from every corner of New York City and from around the world. For more about Baruch College, go to

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