Paul Mogensen

American, b. 1941

131 followers

Paul Mogensen

Bio

American, b. 1941

Followers
131
Biography

Over a fifty-year career, Paul Mogensen has explored painting through mathematical progressions and classical ratios in structured arrangements of squares, rectangles and lines; through an engagement with the wall and negative space; and through color straight from the tube. Initially a student of mathematics and chemistry before he discovered art, he says, “I use arithmetic to find the form.” His works are precise with Morse-code-like sequences, unmediated by associative or narrative props, or by any sign of the artist’s hand in the paint’s application. The works are unobstructed even by the storyline of Mogensen’s own personal development—most are untitled and undated, drawing attention away from these constructs and instead towards the immediacy of the works themselves. As longtime friend Lynda Benglis has said, “He’s a philosopher purist, very logical in terms of accepting the most direct means of making a painting with great clarity… He is stringent in his approach, as stringent as a mechanic might be with a Ferrari. There are no accidents.” Mogensen arrived in New York in 1966 already associated with such peers as David Novros and, through Novros, Brice Marden. Like many of his peers of the era, he rejects the terminology that such art has generated, particularly the labels “minimalism” and “abstraction.” Mogensen resists the metaphorical and conceptualist explanatory language of the generation associated with such notions, and contrary to the tendency of the genre towards an escape from history, he has a deeply researched and highly individual appreciation of historical art. In recent years, Mogensen has engaged with N+1 progressions, spiraling cubic forms that play with the mind’s tendency to complete visual patterns that are merely insinuated. The artist is very much still pushing his practice forward—as Roberta Smith wrote: “It would be too simple to say that Paul Mogensen is doing the best work of his life right now.”

Related Categories
Career Highlights
Learn more about artist insights.
Established
Established representation
Represented by industry leading galleries.
Group
Group show at a major institution
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 1 more
Institution
Collected by a major institution
Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)
Publication
Reviewed by a major art publication
Artforum
Biography

Over a fifty-year career, Paul Mogensen has explored painting through mathematical progressions and classical ratios in structured arrangements of squares, rectangles and lines; through an engagement with the wall and negative space; and through color straight from the tube. Initially a student of mathematics and chemistry before he discovered art, he says, “I use arithmetic to find the form.” His works are precise with Morse-code-like sequences, unmediated by associative or narrative props, or by any sign of the artist’s hand in the paint’s application. The works are unobstructed even by the storyline of Mogensen’s own personal development—most are untitled and undated, drawing attention away from these constructs and instead towards the immediacy of the works themselves. As longtime friend Lynda Benglis has said, “He’s a philosopher purist, very logical in terms of accepting the most direct means of making a painting with great clarity… He is stringent in his approach, as stringent as a mechanic might be with a Ferrari. There are no accidents.” Mogensen arrived in New York in 1966 already associated with such peers as David Novros and, through Novros, Brice Marden. Like many of his peers of the era, he rejects the terminology that such art has generated, particularly the labels “minimalism” and “abstraction.” Mogensen resists the metaphorical and conceptualist explanatory language of the generation associated with such notions, and contrary to the tendency of the genre towards an escape from history, he has a deeply researched and highly individual appreciation of historical art. In recent years, Mogensen has engaged with N+1 progressions, spiraling cubic forms that play with the mind’s tendency to complete visual patterns that are merely insinuated. The artist is very much still pushing his practice forward—as Roberta Smith wrote: “It would be too simple to say that Paul Mogensen is doing the best work of his life right now.”

Career Highlights
Learn more about artist insights.
Established
Established representation
Represented by industry leading galleries.
Group
Group show at a major institution
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 1 more
Institution
Collected by a major institution
Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)
Publication
Reviewed by a major art publication
Artforum
Get the Artsy iOS app
Discover, buy, and sell art by the world’s leading artists
To download, scan this code with your phone’s camera