John Vogt: Sculpture Revisited
May 28, 2010 – September 13, 2010
Hyle Family Gallery
John Vogt (1930-2009) was on the faculty of the K-State art department from 1963 until his retirement in 1991. A sculptor, Vogt grew up in the Kansas City area and studied at the University of Missouri-Columbia before earning a BFA from the Kansas City Art Institute. At the Art Institute he received the Margaret Allen Barnett Memorial Plaque, an annual honor recognizing the highest ranking member of the senior class. Vogt’s work should already be familiar to observant museum visitors. His fifteen-foot high, stainless steel outdoor sculpture of 1991, Untitled, is installed on the south side of the building, just to the right of the arch. Evoking a weathervane and related meteorological instruments, this gleaming and playful kinetic sculpture is part of a gift of Vogt’s work from the artist’s family.
Vogt’s work is highly imaginative and a testament to the artist’s mastery of a wide range of materials. Pyramid, a five-sided, elongated pyramid standing just over seven feet tall, is constructed of wood and nails. The juxtaposition of the ancient pyramidal form, esteemed for its permanence, against Vogt’s choice of everyday materials imbues Pyramid with a subtle wit. The artist often uses humor to temper a work’s slightly menacing character. Consider, for example, Vogt’s Muck-Raker, an elegant, jewelry-like piece in steel and stainless steel. It is not clear whether the intended function of this fanciful, filigreed device is related to yardwork or something more sinister.
“Sculpture Revisited” features a selection of Vogt’s three-dimensional work from the museum’s holdings and from the collection of the artist’s family.