David Pagel

Professor of Art Theory and History

Spring 2014 Office Hours

Tuesdays 5:00-7:00 p.m., and by appointment


MA, Harvard University, Art History, 1987
BA, Stanford University, Modern Thought and Literature, with Honors and Distinction in the Humanities, 1985


David Pagel is an art critic who 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 1998-2001. He is also an adjunct curator at the Parrish Art Museum, in Water Mill, NY, 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. 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). 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. Pagel has also written the wall plaque texts for the art in Cowboys Stadium. An avid cyclist, he is a five-time winner of the California Triple Crown.



Current Projects

Pagel recently completed an essay on Nicolas Shake’s multimedia works, a catalog essay for Judy Pfaff’s “The Art of Flower Arranging” at Azusa Pacific University, and a essay about the relationship between punctuation and painting for Gary Lang’s exhibition at the Lancaster Museum of Art.  He is working on an essay about the betrayal of American democracy and Lari Pittman’s new paintings as well as catalog essays for Kathy Butterly, Leslie Wayne, and Tim Bavington.

Selected Publications

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

“Meat & Potatoes and Mushrooms on Speed,” in Stone Gravy exhibition catalog, Ameringer/McEnery/Yohe, New York, 2012

“Trust,” in Michael Bishop exhibition catalog, BC Studio, Istanbul, 2012

Interviews with Michael Brewster, Tom Eatherton, Ed Moses, and John M. White, in It Happened at Pomona: Art at the Edge of Los Angeles, 1969-1973, Pomona, 2011

“What’s So Funny About Exuberance, Joy, and Satisfaction? Or, The Necessity of Excess,” in Feast: Michael Reafsnyder exhibition catalog, Ameringer/McEnery/Yohe, New York, 2011

“Pop Goes Underground,” in Underground Pop, Parrish Art Museum, Southampton, NY, 2010

“Mongrel Formalism: Clay and Paint in California,” in Electric Mud exhibition catalog, Blaffer Gallery, the University of Houston, 2009

Recent Lectures

“Newspaper Criticism in Theory and Practice,” University of North Dakota, October 24, 2013

“Curatorial Propositions,” Chaffey College, Sept. 10, 2013