Six hundred miles off the coast of Ecuador lay the Galapagos Islands, a lush, otherworldly cluster of extraordinarily diverse and unique flora and fauna that have transfixed scientists, artists and authors for hundreds of years. Professor of Art Michael Bogin, however, is drawn to the islands for another reason altogether – for the strata of water, land and sky.
“In the Galapagos, the bare horizon and the rock walls of the Islands give no indication of the flamboyant carnival of sea life just below the surface,” explains Bogin. “The surface of the ocean is the dividing line between the bare gray world above and the teeming rainbow world below. As if suspended from the taut line of the surface, color shapes like islands seen from an airplane animate the fields of my paintings conflating perspectives from far above and from below.”
Bogin will display these recent paintings centered on the Galapagos and their divided worlds at the Davis Gallery in Houghton House beginning Saturday, Sept. 3. The series, parts of which have been displayed at the Colleges in the past and now contains more than 130 pieces, will be exhibited through Monday, Oct. 10. An opening reception will be held in the gallery on Friday, Sept. 9 from 7 – 9 p.m.
The exhibit will expose the viewer to the evolution inherent in Bogin’s work – each painting containing a vibrant spirit and fond memory. “When I paint, the experience of the Galapagos joins with memories of the great paintings that I have loved for years,” reflects Bogin. “In the evolution of each painting, visual ideas and influences appear, set off in a direction – only to be redirected by more appearances until the moment when I recognize the arrival of the spirit of the work.”
Bogin served with the Peace Corps in Ghana from 1968 to 1970, after completing his B.A. at Antioch College, and before earning his M.F.A. at Indiana University. A member of the HWS faculty since 1975, Bogin has been a visiting artist at the Chautauqua Summer School, and has taught with the Environmental Studies Summer Youth Institute on the HWS campus, served as an honors project adviser and has been honored with a Saltonstall Foundation Grant. His work has been displayed extensively throughout New York and in galleries and universities throughout New England.
The Davis Gallery is located in Houghton House. The gallery’s hours are Monday through Friday 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Saturday 1 – 5 p.m. The gallery is closed Sundays and holidays.