24.03.15 – 05.05.15
Alexia Vogel’s début solo exhibition at Barnard Gallery ‘Lost in Reverie’ gives glimpses into a daydream that is both enchanting and disorientating. It provides utopian visions that seep into abstraction over three enormous canvases and a multitude of extremely small paper works.
‘Lost in Reverie’ reveals a hazy world that both excites and waylays. It is a world seemingly comprised of blurred memories that have been clouded by a process of recollection. In one tiny frame nestles a wine soaked bouquet, in another what appears to be a crashing wave lies eerily still beyond a painterly mist. In others, pastoral scenes are enveloped by Gerard Richter-esque sandstorms.
Isle, one of the larger paintings, depicts a mossy mountain rising from a placid, candy-coloured body of water, pastel flowers proliferate and washes of diluted oil hint at foliage, while Wander, shows boughs of alpine fur in a snowfall that resembles a swarm of drunken fireflies. Here Vogel’s dreamy palette remembers the sensation but not the exact details of her childhood vacations.
Vogel’s process involves extracting obscure parts of family snapshots with her whimsical viewfinder. Thereafter she abstracts them, creating landscapes that are strange and mythical. Nostalgic fondness saturates and warms these compositions.
In email correspondence with Alexia, she cites Claude Monet and Peter Doig as her most profound influences, mentioning that their paintings have an immersive quality that she hopes to emulate; despite the fact that their more analytical approach is different from her own experimental and explorative way of painting. Vogel’s art is thematically and practically consistent in its dreamy and playful nuance. Her state of mind when painting fluctuates but is, for the most part, peaceful and dream-like. Her interest is in the sensual, evocative abilities of painting.
However, the artist is ambivalent about her own reverie, saying of the show’s title: ‘I immediately connected with the phrase as I found a lot of my work came from a feeling of being lost in a past or feeling nostalgic for a past that isn’t actually mine. I liked the idea of placing a slightly negative word (lost) into my [show’s title], referring to the notion that dwelling in the past is not always a good thing.’
Alexia’s fantastical imaginings may have ‘a fantasy/fairyland feel to them but [for her] that is more of the daydream side to the work. [she is] not trying to tell a story, but rather to evoke emotions’.