Spotlight

Bram Bogart

Vigo, London, H11

Bram Bogart, Call-Girl, 1964, Mixed media, 203 ×  × 202 × 10 cm, Courtesy of Vigo Gallery

Bram Bogart, Call-Girl, 1964, Mixed media, 203 ×  × 202 × 10 cm, Courtesy of Vigo Gallery

Vigo gives a solo presentation by Bram Bogart (1921–2012), an artist who explored the material possibilities of painting. Like his contemporaries Jan Schoonhoven, Alberto Burri, and Lucio Fontana, he challenged and blurred traditional notions of painting and sculpture by building three dimensional paintings comprised of mostly natural ingredients including various oils, glue, varnish, pigment, siccative, powdered chalk, and water.

Bogart’s investigation into the sculptural possibilities of paint led him to use increasingly thick layers and create a nuanced textural surface, exploring balance and disorder, two and three dimensionality, colour and structure. He worked on a scale that was very rare in Europe during this period and refused to be pigeon-holed into any school or grouping but was an artist’s artist influencing many of his contemporaries and swapping works with Fontana, Schoonhoven and others. As a young artit, his heroes were Rembrandt, Piet Mondrian and Vincent Van Gogh and this Dutch lineage is evident in his work.

Vigo presents rare works created in the 1950s and ‘60s alongside one ‘90s painting to show Bogart’s continuity and progression in pushing the medium to its limits. The contrast between the classic 1959 work Agglomeration and the 1993 Russian-way illustrates this evolution.

Highlights include Printemps Neerlandais (1959), the nearest work in date and style to his masterpiece Absolution (1959, Tate Modern) and the sublime Call Girl (1964) a painting that encapsulates Bogart’s skills as an artist.

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