An Overview of Seymour Fogel's Career

Seymour Fogel

Welcome to the first and most comprehensive site dedicated to the artist, Seymour Fogel.

Seymour Fogel was a pioneer of modern and abstract art during the mid-twentieth century.

Born in 1911, Seymour Fogel’s artistic career spanned nearly six decades exploring concepts, developing new techniques, teaching, and defining the field of modern and abstract art. In fact. Fogel's work was very much a part of the only art movement developed in America, Abstract Expressionism.

A graduate of the Art Students League in New York, Seymour Fogel was always guided by his own inner compass and incessant work ethic. Sketching, painting, and creating from sun up to sun down, Fogel developed his unique skills – catching the eye and respect of Diego Rivera. Invited by Rivera to work on the now infamous mural, Man at the Crossroads, at Rockefeller Center in New York, Fogel gained the experience and reputation to masterfully contribute to the Works Project Association (WPA) across the country.

As an artist, Fogel created nearly a dozen WPA  murals around the United States - from New York to Washington, D.C. to Arizona. Many of these mural remain today within high-profile U.S. government buildings and are adamantly preserved.

In 1946, Seymour Fogel moved to Texas, initiating a major shift toward teaching. As a Professor at the University of Texas at Austin, Fogel continued to explore new materials (including tile, sand, etc.), techniques (creation of new textures, conveyance of movement, etc.), and an increasing shift toward non-objective work. During his eight years living in his home named Southwind and teaching in Texas, Fogel was influential in defining the Texas Modern Art Movement. During Fogel’s residence in Texas, his work won multiple awards including first prizes at the D.D. Feldman Collection of Contemporary Texas Art, the Texas General, the Texas Circuit, and the Gulf Caribbean Art Exhibitions. However, Fogel’s interest in teaching did not end in 1958 as he subsequently accepted positions at Michigan State University and the Springfield Art Museum in Missouri.

In 1959, Fogel returned to New York where he further focused upon non-representational work. During this period, Fogel’s use of pronounced colors and movement-oriented forms became his preferred expressive vehicle as he sought a quasi-primitive, purely visual form of communication (later named “atavistic”). Fogel’s post-Texas work is particularly impactful and powerful.

Between 1950 and his death in 1984, Fogel continued to advance the “art of art,” creating additional murals in New York, New Jersey and Texas.

Fogel was represented by the Graham Gallery in New York. Importantly, his work was widely recognized through repeated exhibitions at The Whitney Museum of American Art; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; Metropolitan Museum, New York; Corcoran Gallery; Carnegie Institute; and numerous others.

Without question, Seymour Fogel was an exceptional artist, advancing modern and abstract art concurrently with renowned artists including Milton Avery, Philp Guston, Willem de Kooning, and Robert Motherwell.


Recent News
September, 2015: "What It's Like to Fall in Love with Seymour Fogel" by Christina Rees
If you're wondering why so many art collectors love the work of Seymour Fogel, then all you need to do is read this article by Christina Rees.

It's the perfect summation of Cy's work: world-class quality and innovation sans the recognition (well, not yet).
These are my favorite two favorite quotes from the article:

"I would rather spend an afternoon with two Fogel paintings from the 1950s than 30 paintings from most any painter working today."

"And I love these paintings, and with a sense of revelation and sadness I wondered how my eye might have been honed, growing up, if I’d seen his work in our Texas and New York museums and public spaces to the extent that I saw the work of artists like Kline and Motherwell and Rothko."

October, 2014: Fogel At Christie's
One of Cy's paintings is currently for sale at Chrisite's in the UK. It's a 30" x 20" acrylic on board entitled "Geologic Form 3" created in 1971.

Geologic Form 3 by Seymour Fogel

It is great to see Cy's work appearing at top auction houses where it rightfully belongs.

December, 2012: Fogel (Not) At Auction
The last three paintings by Cy that went to auction were passed. Why did this happen? Who is advising the sellers of the proper price range? Where is the leadership for the Fogel loyalists? Something here is amiss.
  • September 12, 2012: Untitled Oil on Board via Heritage Auction -- Passed
  • December 1, 2012: Newspaper Collage #1 via Treadway -- Passed (again)
  • December 13, 2012: The Bridge via Leslie Hindman Auctioneers -- Passed
It is indeed disheartening to see such great work fail to attract interest of collectors. For what seems to be the tenth time in as many years, our members continue to call for a focused effort to help re-introduce Fogel's work to the art world. After nearly a decade of inactivity, we're all eager for a shift to outward, proactive activity.

October 18, 2012: Recent Fogel Works at Auction

Visit the updated "Fogel at Auction" section to view recent sales of Cy's work.

May 1, 2012: Estate Takes Control of Cy's Work

Gayle Laurel and Jessica Jones, the daughter and granddaughter of Seymour Fogel, respectively, announced they will actively promote and sell his work. We are delighted to see positive movement.
April 3, 2011: Fogel Newspaper Collage sells for $2,100 at Auction

An innovative, untitled newspaper collage by Cy sold for $2,100 (excluding the Buyer's Premium) by William J. Jenack Auctioneers. The signed collage measures 30" by 40" and was created in 1977. Given the performance of Cy's work at auction (this work was listed with an auction estimate of $4,000 to $6,000), the need for change could not echo any louder as many Fogel enthusiasts have stated.
February 1, 2011: New Web Links Citing Seymour Fogel

December 5, 2010: Fogel's painting, "Dawn Flight," sells for $16,000 at Auction
A beautiful 1953 oil on masonite entitled "Dawn Flight" sold for $16,000 (excluding the Buyer's Premium) -- below the estimated auction range of $25,000 to $35,000. The painting is large, 60" by 48", and carried a label of Graham Modern Gallery on the reverse. Without question, this is one of Fogel's better works and the price is modestly disappointing to Fogel enthusiasts given he created such world-class work. A change is long overdue as Cy's work continues to be relatively unknown, under appreciated, and under valued.

October 13, 2010: Seymour Fogel at the Wendt Gallery
Seymour Fogel's work is included in the upcoming Modernism Exhibitionin New York City at the Wendt Gallery. Cy's two Mondrian-influenced oil paintings will be accompanied by the works of Rudolf Bauer, Rolph Scarlett, Xanti Schawinsky, and Hilla Rebay.

September 12, 2010: Member Inquiry for Appraisals
We recently received a request to locate an unaffiliated, unbiased appraiser to value of one Cy's previously authenticated 1959 paintings. We were delighted to provide three ISA or AAA registered appraisers who specialize in 20th Century and Modern Art.

As stated in the inquiry, "It seems that everyone either inflates or deflates their estimate depending on their agenda" which is why valuations must be performed by qualified appraisers who are not involved with the sale of Cy's work; neither low appraisals which understate value nor inflated appraisals that leave works unsold benefit Cy or the collectors of his work.

August 23, 2010: Detailed Fogel CV
A member recently forwarded the most comprehensive fact sheet we have ever read regarding Seymour Fogel's impressive career. This is a must read. The document is attributed to Ms. Chelsea Weathers and Mr. Robert Summers who authored it in 2004. Followers may also appreciate their presentation at the CASETA Spring Symposium in 2005 entitled The University of Texas College of Fine Arts Department of Art and Art History: A Modern Institution. Keep the good information coming as it helps promote Cy's world-class work.