new-york

Paul Pagk

Thread Waxing Space

Paul Pagk’s abstract paintings show that the renewal of painting depends upon the renewal of what is fundamental to it: primitive sensory experience articulated through texture and elementary structure. The former is innate to surface, the latter marks it as the universal ground of presentation. Painting can never die as long as what pyschoanalyst Thomas Ogden calls “the autistic-contiguous mode” of experience, through which the subject first integrates sensory input, remains basic to all experience. At its best painting evokes “the rhythm of sensation” that forms the fundament of our self. The ground of experience is “sensory contiguity”—connections between “sensory surfaces ‘touching’ one another.” Those who are sick and tired of painting are sick and tired of what is most fundamental in their sensory experience. Their insensitivity suggests its anxious repression, if not an underdeveloped,

Sign-in to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. If you are a subscriber, sign in below.

Not registered for artforum.com? Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW for only $50 a year—65% off the newsstand price—and get the print magazine plus full online access to this issue and our archive.*

Order the PRINT EDITION of the Summer 1993 issue for $17 or the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.