Jewish Journal

Charlie Kaplan - Sculpture, Pleasing Curves

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PYO Gallery LA is pleased to announce “Sculpture, Pleasing Curves” a solo exhibition of works by Charlie Kaplan. The exhibition opens on January 19 and continues thru March 9, 2013. A reception for the artist will be held on Saturday, January 19, from 6 to 8pm.

PYO Gallery is pleased to present the first complete exhibit of Kaplan’s sculpture, dating from 1989 to the present.  The majority of the pieces in the exhibit are sculpted from Carrara marble with additional pieces sculpted from alabaster, Belgian black marble, Rosso Laguna marble and Bianco Puro Carrara marble.  A selection of bronze and stainless steel sculpture are also included.

Kaplan’s work is evocative of Constantin Brancusi’s polished curves and Henry Moore’s monumental nature-inspired figures.  “Charlie has more confidence now as an artist in what has always been a natural and instinctive talent,” explains Charles Fulmer, an instructor at American Jewish University, who has witnessed Kaplan’s evolution as an artist over the last twenty-plus years as one of his instructors.  “Kaplan has a supreme understanding of marble and what will emerge from his sculpting hands.”

Charlie Kaplan thought of taking a sculpture course in college but opted not to for fear of failure.  Instead, it would be over a 40 year period of taking sculpture courses while working and raising a family, that Kaplan would discover his potential as a sculptor.

A natural interest in hand tools, an abandoned piece of wood and instinct merged when Kaplan first tried his handing at carving.  He then decided to enroll in a few courses to focus his interests.  He began in 1969 at Beverly Hills Adult School in a clay sculpture course. Shortly thereafter, he enrolled in Santa Monica City College and took courses in welding for artists and blacksmithing. In 1978, Kaplan enrolled in UCLA Extension and began to take sculpting courses in stone, alabaster and marble.  Ultimately, the smooth, sensual feel of highly polished marble would become a lifetime pursuit.

Further studies at American Jewish University culminated in a 1995 trip to Pietrasanta, Italy. The experience of carving marble in a town not more than ten miles from Carrara, and being surrounded by artisans who live and breath carving, was the proverbial tipping point.

Immersing himself in the community of artisans in Pietrasanta, Kaplan would gain an in-depth knowledge of the different types of marble allowing him to expand his technique and creativity.  Kaplan continues to travel to Italy every summer to sculpt and in 2009, the city of Pietrasanta installed one of his finished sculptures on the public pier.

Throughout his intuitive and schooled approach to sculpting, it became clear that Kaplan’s strength was in non-representational, three-dimensional forms.  Kaplan looks for clues from the natural shape of the material.  Knowing which curves are pleasing and not pleasing, intuitively knowing how a contoured area should be expanded and knowing how to create a cohesive, well-balanced form are hallmarks of Kaplan’s sculpture.

Charlie Kaplan was born in Omaha, Nebraska in 1944.  He moved to northern California in the mid-1950s with his mother and siblings and to Los Angeles in the mid-1970s as a young business professional with Lakeshore Learning Materials, the company founded by his mother in 1954.

PYO Gallery will provide visitors to “Sculpture, Pleasing Curves” with gloves to allow enthusiasts to touch the sculpture and experience the smooth surface and pleasing curves.  Instructors at college art courses are invited to contact PYO Gallery to make arrangements for a private tour with the artist.




Event Price

Free and Open the public



PYO Gallery LA



PYO Gallery LA
1100 S. Hope Street
Los Angeles, California 90015


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