Treasures from the Vogel Collection
A Visible Sounds, by Edda Renouf
Becky James, Intern - 2/17/2010
Hello, I’m Becky James, and intern at the New Mexico Museum of Art. Recently I’ve been working on researching a large gift to the museum from the collection of Dorothy and Herbert Vogel. The Vogels have been collecting art since their wedding in 1962, and had amassed a collection of over 4,000 works of modernist and contemporary art, representing more than 170 artists.
In the early 1990s, the Vogels teamed up with the National Gallery of Art, in Washington, D.C., to donate 2,500 works from their collection to American museums across the country. Through a program called The Dorothy and Herbert Vogel Collection: Fifty Works for Fifty States, the Vogels decided to donate fifty pieces from their collection to one institution in each of the fifty states. Fortunately, the New Mexico Museum of Art was selected as the recipient for our state.
Through my research of this collection, I have become especially fond of one of the works: A Visible Sounds, a work on paper by Edda Renouf. In this work, I am drawn to the juxtaposition of the simple process with which the work was made, and the artist’s preoccupation with rendering invisible and intangible forces visible. In Renouf’s artist statement, she states that her work often relates to "the four natural elements; time and memory; and that of sound and music." In A Visible Sounds, Renouf incised the paper then covered a rectangular area with a cloud of blue and gray pastel. The raised edges of the incised lines in the paper are saturated with the pastel, and from this matrix of lines, the color flows and dissipates outward towards a thin graphite border. Through this process, I believe Renouf meditated about air and water, and about the harmony between the lines and pigment as a visible manifestation of aural harmonies.
At the bottom of this work is written, in graphite, “for Herb and Dorothy - best wishes for 1978, love Edda.” This note adds a very personal and sentimental quality to the work, and I am thankful that it has come to stay here in New Mexico.
A Visible Sounds is one of three works by Renouf given to the Museum through this program, and one of over seventy works by the artist in the The Dorothy and Herbert Vogel Collection: Fifty Works for Fifty States program.of the fifty states. Fortunately, the New Mexico Museum of Art was selected as the recipient for our state.
(above) A Visible Sounds,1978
Incisions and blue and gray pastel chalk on Arches paper with fixative
8¾ x 7¾” (irregular)
To view more of the Vogel’s collection, please visit the website for the Fifty Works for Fifty States program at http://vogel5050.org.
To view more works from the collection that have found a new home at the New Mexico Museum of Art, please visit http://vogel5050.org/#institutions/31.