The Oberlin Review
<< Front page Arts April 20, 2007

Senior Show Explores Art Patterns and Process
Subconscious Spaces: Julia Vogl’s 260 drawings describe her artistic process. 

Infused with bold color and animated forms, Julia Vogl and Deborah Brundy’s senior studio exhibition, Subconscious Spaces opened at Fisher Gallery last Friday. 

Brundy’s work included four large oil-on-canvas paintings, a series of six colored marker drawings and a large acrylic wall drawing done in collaboration with College senior Brynn Birkhann. The paintings displayed varied handling of brushwork, palate and painting technique. The highly graphic quality of Brundy’s paintings owed some to the startling and vibrant forms of graffiti. The sources of Brundy’s inspiration were broad, however, and sustained an artful manipulation of technique that created uniquely sophisticated abstractions.

By refusing figurative representation, Brundy’s abstract works show an interest in surface and pattern. This was apparent in the incredibly detailed and animated forms of the colored marker drawings. Brundy stated that her interest in two-dimensional forms was central to the intuitive and instinctual process of creativity, driven by bold color, fascinating rhythms of pattern and an interest in using these to create fictive three-dimensional spaces. Though oil painting is a relatively new medium for Brundy, she was unabashed in exploring the possibilities of oil and in investigating the serious questions of foreground, background and depth in studied and confident works.

This show coincided with Vogl’s impressive transformation of Mudd Library’s fa&ccedil;ade.Vogl presented two complimentary series of works that informed the aesthetic and conceptual foreground of the Mudd Library Project: a series of 260 drawings on disposable CD slipcases and Stencil Chair. Each of the 260 drawings was given a title that reflected the state of mind or focus of the artist as she worked. Over time Vogl realized that collecting and presenting the drawings together could be interpreted like the pages of an artist’s journal. This is an important aspect of the subjective and dynamic psychological process central to Vogl’s work. Unfortunately, the drawings seemed uneven and haphazard in execution.

Stencil Chair was a chair and ensemble of sculptural objects that originated in the stencils used for the Mudd Project. Like Brundy, Vogl enjoys the play and excitement of using color and form to generate lively three-dimensional forms on a flat surface. Realizing these ideas in Stencil Chair was an unexpected and welcome compliment to the Mudd Project.

Subconcious Spaces aptly portrayed the fervent and subjective creative process that fuels both artists in creating organically inspired and exciting forms. Their work is obsessively formal and focused on clear aesthetic choices. Both are compulsively systematic, yet allow the intuitive force behind their passion to push and pull them throughout their process.


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