Jim Vogel has been called the quintessential New Mexican artist. He brings us the heart and soul of this region’s land, its people, and its stories. For many, New Mexico’s character is unique among the 50 states—it’s not just the majesty of its mountain peaks; its limitless skies filled with towering, often rainbow-colored clouds; its vast, sparse expanses of open country; or even the way the light pours dramatically across the land. There are human stories and history here, blood and traditions that go back centuries and emerge in distinctive patterns and personalities. These are the themes that inspire Vogel.
This fall the artist will bring us at least ten new paintings along with a few other recent works that showcase the full range of themes that catch his eye: landscapes, scenes of hard-working people, family life, and critters endemic to the Southwest. While an idea might be sparked by an event, an old photograph, or historic research, his artworks are never a replication of a resource. His signature style employs bold color, geometric pattern, and often exaggeration to bring a lively narrative to each painting in his own inimitable style. To create a total concept, Vogel and his wife, Christen (an accomplished tin and wood artist), carve or create a special frame for each artwork.
One of Jim’s largest paintings this fall, Blessings of the Blossoms (48 x 32 inches), shows how everyday subject matter can be transformed into the extraordinary in the hands of this masterful painter. Near Vogel’s home is an orchard with distant mountain views circling a checkerboard of orchards and cultivated fields. Plein air painters frequently stop alongside the road to paint the picturesque near view, but Vogel felt there was something more to be discovered. This past spring he hiked above it and the fresh perspective revealed a scene of greater majesty and cultural significance. Back in the studio, the artist combined what he had experienced with what he knew of the area’s native history to create his own majestic, reimagined vision.
Born and raised in New Mexico, Jim Vogel says, “I think of myself as a son of New Mexico. It is not just the place where I was born or live now, New Mexico lives within me. I paint from this core, trying to represent my native state from a genuine place.” Perhaps it is this deep vein of authenticity that resonates so well with artlovers and collectors alike.
Jim Vogel’s new work goes on display at the gallery on September 29th along with a reception for the artist. The exhibition runs through October 14, 2017.