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.