“A woman was so moved that she wept in front of my painting.”
The story of the postal worker and the librarian and their art collection is the stuff of legends. Over a 50 year period Herb and Dorothy Vogel amassed an art collection of nearly 5000 works by over 170 artists which they stored and displayed in their one bedroom New York apartment. Local folklore has it that “When curators come from Europe they visit the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney and the Vogel’s' apartment."
Amongst the artists they collected was the American abstract painter Lisa Bradley. The Boston University’s Professor of Art History, Carl Chiarenza wrote about Bradley when she was in her early 20’s "Lisa Bradley is an exceptional human being. Whatever she encounters she encounters poetically, creatively, and perhaps more importantly with compassion, patience, and understanding. She is a gifted, natural artist ... The paintings are about human existence, the marshaling of forces that are strong and self-sustaining, and yet humble before a larger dominant power..." Prophetic words indeed as Bradley’s career has proved with her work being collected by not only the Vogel’s but by museums across America.
Described as “profound and evocative” Bradley’s paintings, with a palette restricted to white, blue, Black and grey, are a balancing act between motion and stillness with her brushstrokes conducting the performance. About her works the art critic Carter Ratcliff said “seeing merges with every other aspect of being.” Whilst Bradley has said “When I paint, everything be[comes] clear . . . at a certain point one goes beyond emotion – everything fits, each stroke is right, perfect with itself.”
The exhibition Lisa Bradley: The Fullness of Being is currently on show at New York’s Hollis Taggart Galleries until the 28th of February.