Exhibits and Events - Lanning Gallery [Sedona Arizona]

"Llama" by Russ Vogt, 68"h x 26"w x 60"d, ceramic on concrete and steelRuss Vogt: Animal Magnetism

Artist Reception Friday Evening,
June 5, 2015, 5-8 pm

This new exhibition unveils large and boldly colored mosaic tiled animals located in the gallery's outdoor courtyard. The new menagerie joins Russ Vogt's current and popular collection of colorful ceramic reeds and totem-style sculptures on display inside Lanning Gallery.

The artist's initial animal inspiration came from an ancient bronze sculpture of a primitively styled jaguar he'd seen at the Minnesota Institute of Art, but Vogt longed for a more colorful medium. His continued inspiration was found in the elaborate mosaic tile work at Antoni Gaudi's Park GŁell in Barcelona.

Russ Vogt's imaginative animals are first welded together as a steel armature before metal lathe is wired over the surface to form the animal. He applies a concrete mixture to the wire form creating a nearly final shape. Vogt creates his ceramic pieces as roughly 5/16" thick by 8" x 10" clay flats that he fires then glazes before breaking each up with a hammer. Certain details (such as eyes) are created with specially designed tiles.

Vogt's colorations are clearly arrived at emotionally instead of from the observation of nature, whether flora or fauna. He overlays color over color; Vogt may even sprinkle dried flakes of glaze, from near-empty bottles, over his colors to, as he explains it: "make the surface more active." He may also use various types of objects to press into his wet clay, adding texture from the impression.

Russ Vogt has created birds, lizards, llamas (a life-size one is unveiled at Lanning Gallery for this exhibition!), deer, dogs, even a life-size horse and a life-size elephant (a commission created, through necessity, on site). His smallest creature was a 12" tall owl, which took two weeks as compared to the elephant's three months.

The added joy of Russ Vogt's ceramic sculpture is that it can be placed indoors (size permitting) or out. To ensure this durability Vogt fires his ceramic pieces far longer than with traditional works, creating surfaces hard and vitreous enough not to absorb moisture.

At Sedona's Lanning Gallery "Russ Vogt: Animal Magnetism" runs through June 14th.

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