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b. 1941, USA

Paul Mogensen 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 colour 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.'

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Mogensen arrived in New York in 1966 already associated with such peers as David Novros and, through Novros, Brice Marden. His first solo exhibition, at the Bykert Gallery (backed by Jeff Byers and run by Klaus Kertess), came the following year. 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. Mogensen will often reference Russian artists and poets such as Mayakovsky, Rodchenko, and Tatlin, along with the less evident influence of fourteenth century Sienese painting. In recent years, Mogensen has engaged with N+1 progressions, spiralling 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 last year: 'It would be too simple to say that Paul Mogensen is doing the best work of his life right now.'

Born in Los Angeles in 1941, where he attended the University of Southern California. In 2019 the artist received the American Academy of Arts and Letters Award in Art, and his work has been the subject of a solo exhibition at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX and was featured in a group exhibition at the Vienna Secession, Vienna, Austria. Mogensen’s work is represented in the collections of major museums in the U.S. and abroad, including: Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, CA; Harvard Art Museums/ Fogg Museum, Cambridge, MA; High Museum of Art, Atlanta, GA; Kunstmuseum Winterthur, Switzerland; Menil Collection, Houston, TX; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX; Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY; New York Public Library, New York, NY; Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Hartford, CT; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN; and Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, CT.

Paul Mogensen Featured Artworks

no title (cadmium orange, three rectangles) by Paul Mogensen contemporary artwork
Paul Mogensenno title (cadmium orange, three rectangles), 1967Cadmium orange water-based acrylic
45 x 45 inches
Blum & Poe Contact Gallery
no title (pale gold bronze powder, four rectangles) by Paul Mogensen contemporary artwork
Paul Mogensenno title (pale gold bronze powder, four rectangles), 1967Pale gold bronze powder in acrylic lacquer on panel
112 1/2 x 69 1/2 inches
Blum & Poe Contact Gallery
no title (graphite and acrylic lacquer, four rectangles) by Paul Mogensen contemporary artwork
Paul Mogensenno title (graphite and acrylic lacquer, four rectangles), 1966Graphite and acrylic lacquer on canvas
132 x 84 inches
Blum & Poe Contact Gallery
no title (cadmium yellow light, sixteen part separated rectangles) by Paul Mogensen contemporary artwork
Paul Mogensenno title (cadmium yellow light, sixteen part separated rectangles), 1973Cadmium yellow light acrylic on panel
96 x 96 inches
Blum & Poe Contact Gallery
no title (cobalt violet and cadmium yellow, sixteen square progression on the edges) by Paul Mogensen contemporary artwork
Paul Mogensenno title (cobalt violet and cadmium yellow, sixteen square progression on the edges), 2019Cobalt violet oil and cadmium yellow medium oil
72 x 72 inches
Blum & Poe Contact Gallery
no title (cadmium yellow and dilute carmine, eight square progression around the
edges) by Paul Mogensen contemporary artwork
Paul Mogensenno title (cadmium yellow and dilute carmine, eight square progression around the edges), 2019Cadmium yellow stand oil and dilute carmine ink on canvas
48 x 48 inches
Sold
Blum & Poe

Paul Mogensen Recent Exhibitions

Contemporary art exhibition, Paul Mogensen, Paul Mogensen at Blum & Poe, Los Angeles
Closed
23 January–6 March 2021 Paul Mogensen Blum & PoeLos Angeles

Paul Mogensen Represented By

Blum & Poe contemporary art gallery in Tokyo, Japan Blum & Poe Los Angeles, New York, Tokyo

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