Hilde Vogel-Michalik, a painter, was born in Germany, where she studied English, German, and Art History at both Heidelberg and Berlin Universities. In 1939, she began taking evening lessons in drawing and painting at the Folkwang School in Essen, where she studied painting under Professor Joseph Urbach and worked with fellow artist Anton Felderhoff.
In 1955, Hilde moved to the U.S. with her husband, sculptor and master carver Harold C. Vogel. The structure of Hilde’s life involved painting, reading, making bread, walking with her dog, and traveling with her sister Friedel Michalik. Hilde’s paintings reflected where they had been – in colors, in medium, in light or dark, and in forms, but not in shapes that we could necessarily recognize as being Egypt or Easter Island, the Grand Canyon, Greece, or Guatemala. Hilde painted for herself, and her paintings are abstract and rarely titled: they might best be seen as her conversations with the world around her, its places, light, colors, and forms. She worked in watercolor, oil, acrylic, or encaustic, a mixture of hot wax and pigment, which was perhaps her favorite medium, with its brilliant opaque colors.
Hilde played with colors and with forms. There is order, structure, and strength in her paintings, and also mystery. You will see a hint of the reds of Chaco Canyon, of the stone paving of a village in southern France, of brilliant Greek sunlight, or a moonlit landscape. Some of the pictures are intricate and linear. Others have strange black armatures surrounded by depths of gray and gold. And others look like exploding suns with big shapes and powerful colors.
Hilde’s works were a bequest to George Mason University from Harold C. Vogel.