I think the role of texture, whether physical or rendered, plays a more important part in the visceral presence and visual impact of artworks than is often mentioned. It is frequently overshadowed by the more overt characteristics of a painting or drawing. There are artists, however, for whom texture a major component in their artistic voice, to the point where its presence and power can’t be ignored.
Robert V. Kogge deliberately works with muted color palettes and narrow ranges of value to let the textural elements of his work come to the fore. At one point in his career, Kogge says he found his preparatory drawings for paintings taking on a life of their own, becoming finished works, and he started drawing directly on unprimed canvas with graphite.
He currently works with colored pencil, a medium that lends itself well to expressions of texture, on canvas with washes of colored ink.
Though you will find cityscapes in his oeuvre, it is his still life images that captured my attention. They invite you to enter slowly, revealing their individual elements gradually, each emerging in turn from the composition to take its place in your attention.
Within the subdued color and value range, Kogge finds a wealth of subtle variation, combined with beautiful textural surfaces, both rendered in his images, and expressed through the canvas surface on which they rest.
There is a gallery of his work on American Artist’s Artist Daily, a bio on Contemporary Still Life and a portfolio on Local Artists.
Bio on Contemporary Still Life
6 Replies to “Robert Kogge”
The precision of his rendering and clarity of vision are remarkable.
I can only echo what the first commenter has said. And you are so right to point out the role of texture.
An incisive consideration of artist and technique, Charley. Your first sentence raises an issue that is often obscured especially in web-presentations that carry poor reproductions. We can always appreciate composition (or lack of it). Texture doesn’t always come through in reproduction.
I think Kogge’s work owes something to the still life work of William Bailey, longtime professor of painting at Yale whose work was regularly shown in NYC venues during the time Kogge attended Parsons.
One can hardly find any info on how to achieve interesting texture in, say, oil painting. Sure, there are some intuitive approaches to it (using high and low viscosity paint, paint knife, various brushes, modeling paste; playing with other, more unusual way to get the paint onto the support etc), but I find that final result of such efforts are more often than not unsatisfactory, and not even close to the works of the artists who were masters of texture (Mancini, Fechin, Nikolai Blokhin, Walter Murch and others).
I am taking classes with you for tomorrow class can you remember to bring some subecect to paint? Magazine or something?..Geeta Desai
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