At the end of 2008, the Academy Art Museum
was selected to receive fifty works of art from New York collectors Dorothy and Herbert Vogel as part of a national gifts program entitled The Dorothy and Herbert Vogel Collection: Fifty Works for Fifty States. The Vogel Collection has been characterized as unique among collections of contemporary art, both for the character and breadth of the objects and for the individuals who created it. Herbert Vogel (b. 1922), spent most of his working life as an employee of the United States Postal Service, and Dorothy Vogel (b. 1935), was a reference librarian at the Brooklyn Public Library.
The Vogel gift, and the resulting exhibitions such as this, was many years in the making. The National Gallery of Art has worked closely with Dorothy and Herbert Vogel since 1991, when it acquired a portion of their collection, through partial purchase and gift from the Vogels. "Gifts such as this and its subsequent display are energizing to the community," says Academy Art Museum curator, Brian Young. "As our audience well knows, the Vogel gift changed the future of the Academy Art Museum and other re¬cipient institutions by strengthening its collection of contemporary holdings."
The best-known aspects of the Vogel Collection are minimal and conceptual art, such as the numerous sheets by Richard Tuttle or the sculptural work of Richard Nonas and André Cadere. But as this exhibition makes clear, there are many figurative and expressionist works by artists such as Claudia de Monte, Michael Goldberg and Moshe Kupferman to name just a few. After this exhibition ends, these works will blend and energize the Museum's other strong contemporary holdings.
It is a great honor and responsibility to be recipients of such a prestigious gift and we thank the Vogels, the National Gallery of Art, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Institute of Museum and Library Services and all those behind the scenes for all the hard work that made this possible. For a Museum whose permanent collection is primarily modern and contemporary works on paper, this collection is a particularly good fit for our institution. We are thrilled to have the Vogels with us to celebrate this Fridays opening Fifty Works For Maryland: Collecting the Vogel Way. We sincerely hope our audience will find this collection as simulating as we do. Juliet McIntosh, Academy Art Museums Director of Marketing and Development.
To compliment Fifty Works For Maryland: Collecting the Vogel Way the Acdemy Art Museum presents Michael Patrick Harrigan: Balancing Drawings and Sculpture. Michael Patrick Harrigan was born in Ann Arbor, Michigan, in 1954. After receiving a BFA from Alma College, in Michigan he went to the Cranbrook Academy of Art where he earned an MFA in 1980. Following his formal education, Harrigan has enjoyed signifi¬cant experience in the field of contemporary art. In 1980, while at Cranbrook, Harrigan worked with the architect Daniel Libeskind to print a suite of ten collotype prints. Follow¬ing that he held professional positions at the Midland Center for the Arts, in Michigan; Gemini G.E.L, Los Angeles; the Downey Museum of Art, Downey, California; and the Tamarind Institute, University of New Mexico. From 1985-90, Harrigan was the curator for Graphicstudio at the University of South Florida. Currently, Harrigan is the cura¬tor for James Rosenquist Inc. in Aripeka, Florida. However, Harrigan resides in Trappe, Maryland, with his family. Throughout his career, Harrigan has worked extensively with some of the best known American artists of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries including Roy Lichtenstein, Jim Dine, Chuck Close, Robert Rauschenberg, Nancy Graves, and many others.
While many of the aforementioned artists might be strongly associated with the figure or realism, Harrigan might be labeled a post-minimalist. As such, his work is characterized by simplicity of form and subtly expressed content. In his drawings, we see an underlying grid structure and harmony with the blank space of the paper. In Harrigan's three-dimen¬sional work, there is a search for refinement in the geometric forms.
"I am fascinated by the visual world. A dark room slightly illuminated through a cracked door, the odd appearance of a water tower seeming to float against a midday sky and the eerie quietude of a rusted offshore buoy are all sights that intrigue me. I make drawings and sculptures in part as a response to these kinds of visual sensations Michael Harrigan