Congolese artist Aimé Mpane’s work Mapasa has been awarded the Dorothy and Herbert Vogel Award. The gift, presented by Gallerist (an online art platform unrelated to this site) and the (e)merge Art Fair (held last weekend in Washington, D.C.), was made in the amount of $5,000 to the Phillips Collection with the stipulation that the institution acquire a work at the art fair to add to their collection.
The award, which launched this year, is inspired by the spirit of legendary collectors Dorothy Vogel and the late Herbert Vogel (who died in July), and aims to raise awareness of how important it is for major institutions to collect work by emerging artists. Thus far, the Dorothy and Herbert Vogel Award (the amount of which changes depending on the price range of works at any given fair), has been made twice—first to the Dallas Museum of Art in the amount of $15,000 at the Dallas Art Fair in April, and next to the Brooklyn Museum in the amount of $15,000 during NADA New York in May.
The Vogels, who, despite their modest incomes (she is a reference librarian and he was a postal clerk), collected work by some of the world’s most renowned Minimal and conceptual artists like Sol LeWitt and Lynda Benglis, but often before they became celebrated artists. The art-loving duo started collecting in 1962 and never strayed from their cardinal rules: “It had to be inexpensive; it had to be small enough to be carried on the subway or in a taxi; and it had to fit inside their one-bedroom apartment.”
While Mr. Mpane isn’t a total unknown (the artist is on the roster at Chelsea’s Skoto Gallery), this may be a sign that like the artists that the Vogels collected, he’s on the up-and-up.
Congratulations to Mr. Mpane.