Zürcher Gallery is very pleased to re-discover the work of Regina Bogat (born 1928 in Brooklyn, NY). Bogat’s first solo show at Zürcher Gallery, The New York Years 1960 – 1970, was held in the autumn of 2013. This exhibit continues that retrospective, focusing on her paintings, paper works, sculptures, and objects from 1967 to 1977.
A product of the Art Students League, Bogat was influenced early
on by the theory of “Aesthetic Realism” and worked as an abstract impressionist. By 1960, she had developed her own unique style of abstraction. Bogat took an active part in New York’s art scene, frequenting 10th Street openings and the famous Cedar Bar. She developed close friendships with many art world luminaries who influenced her life and work, including Eva Hesse, Elaine de Kooning, Donald Judd, Sam Francis, Ad Reinhardt, Mark Rothko and Alfred Jensen, whom she married in 1963.
She shared Eva Hesse’s inventiveness in utilizing unconventional materials in her paintings and objects, working with wooden strips, dowels, and other versatile materials like Sculp-metal (Stardate, c. 1964). Bogat took the step of “materializing” separations between colored planes, placing them in relief on segments of wood glued to canvas. In the late 1960s, she became more interested in pushing these separations toward bending space on the visual plane. She exercised constant pressure through repeating colored sections (a minimalist trait), and through the breaking points of lines (obvious in Luxor, 1966). She achieved a similar effect in other pieces by limiting the use of color only to the strips of wood glued to canvas (Revere or Saval, 1967).
In the late work of this period, a new stage was reached when Bogat introduced nylon rope to her extensive list of materials (Untitled, 1971), as well as cord and enamel on canvas (Untitled, 1973). Untitled 1971 was shown in the seminal exhibit Women choose Women which took place in 1973 at the New York Cultural Center, NY. She continued to study line through her use of these new materials, and found the “rigid” and “hard-edged” qualities of her wooden strips replaced by the “fluid” and “flexible” traits of the rope and thread. Furthermore, by pushing these fabric lines through the works’ surface, rather than gluing them onto the works’ surface, Bogat began to confront the notions of inside vs. outside. In this way, her Threaded Pieces are reminiscent of Hesse’s Ennead (1966), with the major difference being Bogat’s trademark use of bright multicolors. However, what truly ties these works together is the reference to a kind of “feminine work”– the weaving, the sewing – as well as strong sexual connotations; in works like The Cord Paintings 14 & 15 (1977), these traits take on a monumental scale.