Mamie Holst & Paul Pagk

Mamie Holst and Paul Pagk

March 31 – May 8, 2016
Opening reception: Thursday, March 31 from 6:00 – 8:00 pm

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Jane Kim is pleased to present “Mamie Holst and Paul Pagk,” a two-person exhibition of recent paintings. The exhibition opens Thursday, March 31st at 6:00 pm and is on view through May 8, 2016.

Paul Pagk and Mamie Holst are known for creating abstract paintings, with a strong emphasis on structure and materiality. A year ago, “On Paper: Mamie Holst and Paul Pagk,” (January – March, 2015) was presented at 33 Orchard. With more than 60 drawings, the show juxtaposed a visually dynamic conversation between two different artistic styles. Continuing the exchange, the exhibition of small-to-medium-sized canvases by Pagk and Holst, attempts to examine their distinct approaches to painting. Holst’s acrylic on canvas and Pagk’s oil on linen investigate the boundless physicality of paint. Furthermore, they question how those possibilities affect the sculptural quality and intense visual life of a work.

Paul Pagk’s series of small oil paintings on linen demands the viewer’s concentration to fully envelop themself within the works, whichfeature geometric lines and curves amidst varying blocks of color. The canvas itself becomes a geometric form, containing, framing, and interacting with the shapes on its surface. Pagk’s both calculated and unrestrained practice as a painter is evident in these works made in his Tribeca studio in New York, where lines connect and overlap, sometimes forming a single interconnected configuration. Tight and loose, the paintings feel independent, and Pagk gives each a life through the colors, partnered with a deep contemplation of space and light.

Mamie Holst presents six black, white, and grey paintings, titled “Landscape Before Dying” with a subtitle in parenthesis, dating from 2010 to 2015. The series begun in 1997, eight years after she was diagnosed with Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, is a reference to her illness. As she asked herself “How long will I have to live with this condition?, Is it life-long?,” and she found that the question also became the answer. Each painting becomes it’s own being, energized through a transformation, allowing the viewer a deliberation of life’s mysteries. The patterns and textures recall images already within our world, including landscapes of nature and space. But they also give a tangible, visual representation of the often times invisible inner workings of the humanmind, which can burst in layers of thoughts and processes.

Through an external experience of the works, one can understand the internal process of Holst and Pagk. There is a handmade quality present. For example, Pagk, makes the stretchers of his smaller paintings, therefore not one is linear. Both artists give off a feeling that the paint has been handled, touched by hand, giving off a primitive quality, and a nod to styles of African, Muslim, Art Brut, and indigenous origins. While Holst engages a dialogue of canvas as sculpture, Pagk engages in one of canvas as object. Pagk and Holst have created a stylistic modus operandi that harnesses rather than hides the general imperfections in their work. Ultimately, content or subject matter become secondary to the act, and the ego disappears into the canvas.

For further inquiries and images on Mamie Holst and Paul Pagk, please contact Jane Kim at or +1 347 278 1500.


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