I’m not always fond of artists who engage in the loose application of watercolor. Too often it results in a feeling of formlessness and lack of control over the materials.
German watercolorist Bernhard Vogel manages to make his application of the paint seem as loose as can be while still exercising the kind of restraint that makes his images feel strongly composed and skillfully drawn.
Also, unlike those who try to force geometry onto forms in an attempt to induce some kind of awkward Cubist quality, Vogel employs light lines and bands of color to point out hidden geometry in his forms, without losing the forms themselves.
One of the most appealing things about Vogel’s work is his application of textures, apparently applied with resists, scrapings and spatters, that give his paintings a lively quality and an appealing variety of surface.
At times some of his forms can almost dissolve but there always seems to be enough underpinning of draughtsmanship to keep them solidly planted in this world.
The more defined defined forms in his landscapes, for example, are often rimmed by suggestions of buildings and trees, with blocks and wedges of textured color suggesting rather than representing landscape elements.
The majority of his work seems to be landscape, but I was particularly taken with his still life paintings. Many of them are of somewhat typical subjects, wine bottles, fruit, plates, etc, but enlivened by Vogel’s touch for suggestion, interpretation and abstraction (in the true sense of “abstract”, which means “to distill the essence of”, rather than “to create something non-representational”).
Link courtesy of Cliff Drane