This is an archive of the ArtCat Zine, 2007-2009. Please visit our new project, IDIOM.
Larissa Goldston Gallery - 530 W. 25th St, New York NY
29 February - 29 March 2008
On initial viewing of Amy Vogel's “World Go One Way, People Another,” currently on view at Larissa Goldston Gallery, I was greeted with that sense of tranquility that comes from a storied Sunday drive down a meandering country road. Majestically tall old growth trees reach to the heavens; highly saturated harmonizing colors proliferate in multiple cross-hatched water-laden strokes, showcasing a breadth of naturalist access to a jaded urbane existence. But these are not back roads leading to a vacation home for mid-summer. They are inroads to a realm entirely foreign to the numbed city dweller, completely accustomed to the erosion of privacy in daily life.
Another fascinating object of reference that appears throughout Vogel's craftsmanship is her insertion of mobile homes lying amidst depictions of the rural blue collar of Upstate Michigan. There's certainly no Matthew McConnaugheys (read: celebrities) vacationing in Airstreams here. These are homes of residents that are a recluse's dream come true. A trailer lies at the bottom of a lavender and leafy crimson ravine, a single door leading to open air. A spare tire lies long abandoned next to the aluminum doorway; a protective barbed wire fence lies at the edge of the property. But is this truly a protection from the dangers of nature, or that of outsiders?
Vogel's work aims to romanticize the simplistic, but looking at these images I didn't feel that these were “bucolic settings” by any means. There's an extremely sad, lonesome quality at play here. Somewhere along the way, a connection, has been severed. The residents use the rural setting as an attempt to provide a stable refuge in an increasingly unstable world. But the trees, on several second looks, no longer appear to be majestic pines reaching to the heavens, but perhaps victims of forest fires. They appear singed by leaping flames, their remains standing as skeletal remnants of the dry season.