Recent paintings reflect an intentional turn towards beauty in the face of the tension and uncertainty of recent years. Bringing plants and flowers into my studio to serve as subjects—and companions—has been a kind of celebration of vibrant life and fleeting pleasure. My attention has been rewarded with quiet stirrings. I delight in the delicate unfurling of a tender leaf and the gentle turn towards an open window, as flowers seek warmth and stretch towards sunlight in the space of a painting session. Through nourishing periods of focused observation, I have allowed myself to delight in jubilant color, playful pattern, and sensual gesture. To me, this work is insistently joyful. They are small luxuries, defiant acts of care and gestures of hope. I want these paintings to feel lush, verdant, and abundant, a restorative balm by way of visual indulgence.
Alongside this work, I have been making portraits and staged still lifes that mark time and reflect direct encounters within the site of the studio. They are paintings about painting, referencing not only the act of making but also my relationship to the rich history of the medium as I consider my place within its continuum. Through all my work, I prioritize slowing down and looking closely, considering the space between seeing and describing, interpretation and invention.
Based in Chattanooga, Tennessee, Christina Renfer Vogel holds an MFA from the Massachusetts College of Art and a BFA from Tyler School of Art, Temple University. She has been featured in solo exhibitions at Spalding Nix Fine Art (Atlanta, GA) and the David Lusk Gallery (Nashville, TN) and included in the 2021 Atlanta Biennial at the Atlanta Contemporary Art Center (Atlanta, GA). Vogel’s work has been curated into group exhibitions at the Asheville Art Museum (Asheville, NC), LABspace (Hillsdale, NY), and THERE (New York, NY). She has participated in artist residencies including the Vermont Studio Center (Johnson, VT), the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts (Amherst, VA), and JSS in Civita (Civita Castellana, Italy). Her work has been featured in New American Paintings, and she is a recipient of an Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation grant and a Lighton International Artists Exchange Program grant, among other awards. She is currently a member of Zeuxis, an association of still life painters. Vogel serves as associate professor of painting and drawing at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.