Artscope Revisits: John Pagano

John Pagano's studio in Worcester, Massachusetts.

John Pagano's studio in Worcester, Massachusetts.


By J. Fatima Martins

Worcester, Mass. – Worcester, Massachusetts-based abstract expressionist painter John Pagano, who was featured in Artscope’s March/April 2013 issue, has his next solo exhibition, “Accentuated Gestures,” this September 4-27 at the Sprinkler Factory Gallery in Worcester.

Earlier this summer, I visited with John on a muggy evening at his Worcester studio to view the new paintings. I decided that it would be fun to photograph him casually in process of “curating” his show. At the time of my visit, John did not have a title for his show, and was engaged in selecting which paintings to feature.

Many works remained unframed. We talked about the challenges and rewards of organizing an exhibition exclusively without gallery support. I didn’t take interview notes, at the time, because it was not suppose to be a “formal interview.” Later, recalling everything we talked about, I framed up three questions that best expressed the various topics and ideas that we chatted about in John’s sweltering studio.

JFM: HOW IS THIS SOLO EXHIBITION DIFFERENT FROM YOUR LAST SOLO AT SPRINKLER FACTORY IN 2013?

John Pagano: If you are familiar with my work, I think you will see a broader language. A stronger narrative. Stylistically more confident. They are stronger and in some ways bolder paintings. I have also varied the scale of the work for this exhibition.

WHAT’S THE MOST CHALLENGING ASPECT OF ORGANIZING YOUR OWN EXHIBITION WITHOUT GALLERY ASSISTANCE OR CURATORIAL HELP?

To produce the work, curate the show’s images,create a postcard to cover your friends, mailing list, frame your pictures —- did I say frame your pictures (laugh)? It’s a relatively large challenge overall. I can’t help but love it. Honestly, I do rely on the opinions and advice from a few folks whom I respect. The end game for me is to present a show viewers will remember — in a good way I hope.

WHAT DID YOU HAVE FOR BREAKFAST THIS MORNING?

Today I’m afraid to say, I had a Balthus breakfast: a cup of coffee and one cigarette. Sorry kids (laugh). I know — ‘Don’t give up your day job.

(“John Pagano: Accentuated Gestures” runs from September 4 through 27 at The Sprinkler Factory, 38 Harlow St., Worcester, Mass., with a reception on Saturday, Sept. 12 from 5:30-9 p.m. and closing reception on Sunday, Sept. 27 from 4-8 p.m. Gallery hours throughout the show — including Labor Day Weekend — are Friday from 5-8:30 p.m., Saturday from 11 a.m.-6 p.m. & Sunday from 1-6 p.m.)

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