Artist Statement of Donald G. Vogl
“The 1950s were such an exciting time to be in Chicago at the Art Institute, with such a strong European influence generated by artists and teachers who had escaped the glories of war. Impressionism, expressionism, surrealism - French, German, Russian ex-patriots brought these styles and ideas, much more appealing than the regionalism so pre-eminent in the U.S. Students were from across the globe, helping to give a vitality that was contagious. It took me awhile to appreciate all they contributed to my education, but I still look back to many lessons I learned there, particularly methods that helped generate creativity.
My new series of work comprises drawings, paintings, and ceramics. The work starts with line drawings which develop or evolve into three dimensional ceramics and large paintings which can serve to illustrate how the ceramics would look if enlarged to full size sculpture. Figures are the most discernable subject matter. Some are more abstract than others. I'm sure some people will think of Henry Moore's style while viewing the work.
I don't have any program for an audience to follow or suggestions of what one should be thinking or feeling. The work is not political or narrative. I hope the shapes and colors help provide an uplifting, buoyant mood. The design elements are fluid, not static, allowing the viewer to go with the flow. I do not want my work to look clumsy or stiff but to have some vigor within a sense of refinement.
The idea of flight or floating and an association with birds and music is the mindset I want to be in. Angels and nymphs take on the elements of air and sky. These amorphous figures live in both worlds--if only we could do likewise. ”
Art work of various subjects and styles in large and small format were on display at Art Lab at 239 Linden Street the first 2 weekends of September 2013.
Last Chance - 10 Years in Fort Collins Retrospective Exhibition
Living in Fort Collins these past ten years has been a blessing, surrounded by beautiful scenery and mild sunny weather. An inspiration at every turn kept my energy level high.
The realistic paintings include studies from nature, landscapes, figures and portraits. Some abstract work is presented alongside the original sketch to give some idea of how things developed. Some scenes are done twice using different media such as pastel, acrylic or oil to show different interpretations. Other works with different subjects are matched by similar use of color. There is a gentle softness that pastels give and that quality is typical of most things in the show.
You will not find an "in your face" attitude or outrageous intentions. No grimacing faces - some are blank! No menacing skies - most are blue! Orange and red orange lighten up the canvas! Birds glide smoothly! Dancers leap with energy! Happy times are here again!
Exploring the landscape has been a special passion starting in 1982 with a three week painting trip to Southwestern Utah. Annual trips to ten Western states, Canada, and Alaska, Morocco, Namibia and Europe followed. It was a welcome treat to visit over 75 museums in the cities on our route.
Exploring different realms in art started at an early age: watercolors age 4 to 10, oils age 11, pastels age 12. In 1953 I signed up for Art Education classes on the GI bill at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, because it offered more choices such as sculpture, printmaking, ceramics and design along with first choice drawing and painting. A major advantage was the availability to examine Great Art up close on the walls of a major museum any day. Another advantage was the emphasis on an analytical approach to structure and composition of the Masters presented in Art History classes. The professors in other subjects I took at the University of Chicago were first rate in their fields. The Art Institute's visiting artists program invited phenomenal guests, and fellow students from around the world helped give it vitality.
Teaching painting 31 years at the University of Notre Dame was another kind of education, an invaluable experience. Graduate students added stimulus, dedicated undergraduates were ever-present and a stream of guest artists visited every semester. I also enjoyed teaching printmaking, color and design and drawing.
Many thanks to my lovely wife, Colette, who made it all possible and to all six children who enrich our lives.