There is something strangely familiar about the paintings of Alexia Vogel; they seem at once intimate and distant. Magical and altogether enchanting they offer hints of a place sensed but not necessarily seen. Gentle, beautiful and powerfully immersive her work engenders a state of reverie wherein we experience an inkling of the ‘already and the not yet’.
Alexia Vogel’s distinguished graduate exhibition entitled Familial Distance presented at the Michaelis School of Fine Art at the University of Cape Town in 2013 earned her a Simon Gerson Prize for painting and received the attention of academics, curators and collectors alike. Drawn to and inspired by the fading images of old family photographs, images mostly of her parents and siblings documenting a time and place before she was born, resulted in paintings evoking a strong sense of nostalgia, albeit of a fictitious nature. These expressions of a sentimental longing for a past of which the artist was not a part, of seemingly better times and places, culminated in a remarkably sensitive and beautiful body of work all the while threaded through with a discomforting tension between ‘the real and the invented’.
Her highly successful debut solo show, entitled Lost in Reverie which opened at Barnard Gallery in March 2015 marked a shift in the artist’s thinking from romantic notions of place based on another’s memory to the envisioned world of daydreams. Picturing an imagined fertile paradise, the artist presented viewers with vistas not yet seen but longingly anticipated; echoes of Eden these Arcadian fragments and idyllic landscapes projected through multiple thin layers of pigment onto canvas and paper. Moments of lucidity dissolving into states of dreamy meditation these pastoral and otherworldly images are ‘gradually exposed’, imprinting themselves on the mind of the viewer, resonating on a level whereby they are not merely perceived but rather and more importantly felt.
Alexia Vogel graduated from Michaelis School of Fine Art (with distinction) majoring in painting and was subsequently awarded a Simon Gerson Prize.
Selected group exhibitions include Picture & Paper (Barnard Gallery, Cape Town, 2015); Then & Now: Conversations in Time (Barnard Gallery, Cape Town, 2015); Surface: Emerging Painters (Barnard Gallery, Cape Town, 2015); PAINT MATTERS (Barnard Gallery, Cape Town, 2014); Golden Haze (Salon91, Cape Town, 2014); /SCAPE (Salon91, Cape Town, 2014); and Greatest Hits 2013 (Association of Visual Arts, Cape Town). Her work was represented by Barnard Gallery at the Joburg Art Fair (2014) and the Cape Town Art Fair (2014 and 2015) and also featured in the 2015 Sydney Contemporary, one of Australasia’s leading art fairs. The artist’s paintings can be found in a number of private collections as well as in the University of Cape Town (UCT) Collection.