I feel as though what I have in front of me is mental architecture seeking its place in space.

– Olivier Kaeppelin

 

Paul Pagk is an abstract painter whose painterly language is one of dualities and discovery. His work invites the viewer to slow down the act of perception, that is to ‘look’, ‘feel’, and perhaps ‘see’. While his compositional style communicates a minimalist approach to form, Pagk plays with the flatness of the picture plane through his use of free hand linework and gestural abstraction, subtle though it may be in places. And yet, it is neither on spatial illusion, nor on process that Pagk insists in his practice. The object that is the painting itself is the form of expression, as are the finely-tuned oppositional forces and personal geometries he creates to relay flattened, deconstructed subjects, each one held in suspension amidst lush fields of singular color.

 

The pictorial rhythms inherent in Pagk’s paintings and drawings are unmistakable. The artist’s brushstrokes, both broad and finite, have a deliberateness that manifests a fluid mind and breathing hand at work. Like architectural blueprints that have shed their skin and rearranged themselves from within, Pagk’s offbeat graphic compositions are structurally sound, but not in any rigid or mechanical sense. Whatever illusions and sensations his canvases might produce, Pagk’s stated intent is for viewers to “inhabit” his paintings and the spatial constructs therein.

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Paul Pagk (b. 1962, Crawley, UK) lives and works in New York. Institutional surveys of his work were held at the Centre d’Arts Plastiques, Royan (2022), the Fondation Fernet-Branca, Saint-Louis (2021) and C.R.A.C. Montbéliard (1999) all in France. He had solo exhibitions at Miguel Abreu Gallery (2023), Galerie Eric Dupont, Paris (2019, 2016 & 2014), Baukunst Galerie, Cologne (2008), Markus Winter, Berlin (2007), CRG Gallery, New York (1995 & 1994), Thread Waxing Space, New York (1993 & 1991), Galerie Jean Fournier, Paris (1987), among others. Recently, his work was included in Singing in Unison: Artists Need to Create on the Same Scale That Society Has the Capacity to Destroy, Part 6 curated by Phong H. Bui at Miguel Abreu Gallery, New York (2022). Pagk’s work is in the permanent collections of the Fonds National d’Art Contemporain (FNAC), Paris; Les Abattoirs, Toulouse; FRAC Picardie, Franc;, Springfield Museum of Art, OH; Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, NH, among others.