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