[Francis Naumann]

Douglas Vogel: Squirrels & Potatoes Revisited” will open at Francis M. Naumann Fine Art, New York, on September 13, 2006.

The subject of this show originated in a show organized by Thomas Askman and Lynn Gray in 1970 called “Squirrels & Potatoes,” an invitational to which Douglas Vogel was asked to participate.  Askman—a former student of Vogel’s—managed to solicit contributions from some twenty artists, and the show he organized toured over twenty museums and university art galleries throughout the mid-west and southern United States for three years (from 1971 through 1973).

Almost thirty years later, Vogel discovered that the work he lent to this show—the collaged image of an oversized potato on a railroad car superimposed on a postcard reproducing Edward Hopper’s House by a Railroad (Museum of Modern Art, New York)—was irretrievably lost, so he decided to reconstruct it.  It was at this time that he discovered that the original postcard of the oversized potato was printed in many versions—beginning in 1911 and continuing to the 1950s—and that the differences in each image were the result of various printing processes.  With the help of the internet (mainly ebay), he was able to acquire 13 of these cards, which he cut out and glued to postcards reproducing Hopper’s painting.  The collages were completed by the addition of 13 potato stamps, revenue seals that were issued by the US government in the 1930s as a tax on farmers who had produced an overabundance of potatoes.  Since these stamps were issued during the height of the Depression (compounded by a catastrophic drought that caused the Great Dust Bowl), the issuance of these stamps was considered punitive, found to be unconstitutional, and almost immediately thereafter revoked (adding a political element that Vogel has subtly integrated into his work since the 1960s).  As luck would have it, Vogel discovered that the potato stamps were issued in 13 denominations, each marked by a different color, so he gradually acquired all 13 stamps and affixed one to the base of each collage (in a fashion that closely resembles a practice first employed by Marcel Duchamp in issuing signed reproductions of his work).

Douglas Vogel received an MA degree from San José State in 1965, and a BS from Wisconsin State College in 1961.  He taught painting and multi-media arts at the University of Colorado, Boulder, from 1965 through 1969, after which time he moved to New York to pursue his career as an artist.  Since the 1960s, he has shown his work regularly in group and solo shows throughout the United States.

One Pound, 2001
Collage, 5 ¾ x 6 ¼ inches

Five Pounds, 2004
Collage, 5 ¾ x 6 ¼ inches

Twenty-five Pounds, 2004
Collage, 5 ¾ x 6 ¼ inches

Fifty Pounds, 2005
Collage, 5 ¾ x 6 ¼ inches

One-hundred Pounds, 2005
Collage, 5 ¾ x 6 ¼ inches

One-hundred Fifty Pounds, 2006
Collage, 5 ¾ x 6 ¼ inches

Two-hundred Pounds, 2006
Collage, 5 ¾ x 6 ¼ inches

Hopper’s Hook, 1970/1995
Acrylic and collage on canvas, 48 x 29 inches