David Pagel
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  • Degrees
    MA, Art History, Harvard University
    BA, Modern Thought and Literature, with Honors and Distinction in the Humanities, Stanford University
  • Research Interests
    Art, Art media, Painting, Contemporary Art, Art Criticism, Museums and Creativity

David Pagel is a professor of art theory and history in Claremont Graduate University’s Art Department. In addition to his teaching roles, Pagel is known as an art critic and art curator in circles much bigger than CGU’s own. His rich career with these roles has led to his CGU courses, which include Studio Art, Survey of Contemporary Art, and the Written Statement.

In addition to his position at CGU, Pagel is an adjunct curator at the Parrish Art Museum in Water Mill, New York, where he has organized EST-3: Los Angeles Art from the Beth Rudin DeWoody Collection, Underground Pop, and Damaged Romanticism: A Mirror of Modern Emotion. He also writes regularly for the Los Angeles Times. Since 1988, he has published reviews, features, and essays in Artforum, Art in America, Flash Art, frieze, and Art Issues, where he was reviews editor from 1998 to 2001.

Pagel’s other exhibitions, which typically emphasize pleasure’s place in intellectual inquiry, include Painting from Another Planet (Deitch Projects), The Dreams Stuff Is Made Of (Art Frankfurt), Radar Love (Galleria Marabini, Bologna), Tripod: Kyla Hansen and Dion Johnson (Claremont Graduate University), and The 10th Circle (Western Project). Pagel’s recent publications include “Inside-Outsider” in Ralph Humphrey, Paintings 1972-83; “Full Circle” in Albert Contreras; “Nagle: in His Own Context,” in Nagle, Ron; “Fast Times, Slow Looks” in Wendell Gladstone: D.O.A., S.O.S., ETC., and “The Handmade Imagination of John Frame,” in Three Fragments of a Lost Tale. He has also written the wall plaque texts for the art in Cowboys Stadium.

Pagel recently completed an essay for a book on Robert Zakanitch’s magnificent paintings, an essay for an exhibition of Viola Frey’s groundbreaking ceramics, and an essay for a monograph on Lee Mullican’s influential yet still underrated art. He also organized Unfinished Business: Paintings from the 1970s and ’80s by Ross Bleckner, Eric Fischl and David Salle, an exhibition that appeared at the Parrish Art Museum in summer 2016. He is working on a book with painter Joseph Raffael titled Talking Beauty; its subject is the uneasy relationship between experience and knowledge, particularly when it comes to art, beauty, and truth.

Co-authored with Lanie Goodman and Betsy Dillard Stroud. Moving Toward the Light: Joseph Raffael. Suffolk, UK: Antique Collectors Club, 2015.

“Ingenious Adaptation.” In Decade: Contemporary Collecting, 2002–2012. Buffalo, NY: The Albright-Knox Gallery, 2012

Contributor. Three Fragments of a Lost Tale: Sculpture and Story by John Frame. Los Angeles: Huntington Library Press, 2011.

“Meat & Potatoes and Mushrooms on Speed.” In Stone Gravy exhibition catalog. New York: Ameringer | McEnery | Yohe, 2012.

“Trust.” In Michael Bishop exhibition catalog. Istanbul: BC Studio, 2012

Studio Art
Survey of Contemporary Art
Written Statement