Geoffrey Pagen approaches clay with passion and adroit skill. His love of nature and drawing affects this ancient art form in a synergistically powerful and primal way. His contemporary aesthetic ties his work to the richly diverse and charged history of clay, from artifacts to building materials to civilization’s search for meaning. Pagen’s vast experience experimenting with glazing and raku allows him to deftly choreograph the chaos and control of his medium. His active process combines cuneiforms, drawing, and geometric and organic forms with translucent, opaque, and iridescent glazing. The clay slabs develop into arousing single steles or modular elements of continuing and interlocking design, their power augmented by their scale. Originally trained as a potter, Pagen’s interests actually lie towards the physicality of clay rather than its functionality. Much of his work is meant to hang on the wall, although he also explores draping clay into freestanding basin forms. Pagen’s aesthetics and distinctive bravura reveal a modern urbanity that retains a primal sensibility, a combination that is striking, lusty and relevant.
Geoffrey Pagen received his MFA from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1975. He has received awards from both the Oregon Arts Commission and the National Endowment for the arts. He has been the Director of Ceramics at Reed College in Portland since 1979. His roster of commissions and public projects is impressive and includes Eastern Oregon State College, LaGrande; Heathman Hotel, Portland; Kaiser Permanente Hospital, Vancouver, WA; Nissho Iwai American Corp., Portland; Port of Seattle, Sea-Tac Int'l Airport, WA; Portland State University, OR; Rhode Island School of Design, Providence; Stanford Hospital, CA; and University of Oregon, Eugene.