Mark Hagen, born in 1972 in Black Swamp, Virginia, is a visual artist who foregrounds the interplay of materials, process, and form in his geometric, minimalistic paintings, sculptures, and installations. Artist finds inspiration in the breakdown of history, vision and hierarchies and creates works by pushing common and utilitarian materials in directions which reveal the process of making.
Hagen’s paintings are made by pushing black and white paint through lengths of rough burlap onto glass planes supporting sheets of wrinkled wrapping plastic, lengths of packing tape, geometric configurations of cut tile, and other material. Once the paints dries, the fabric is pulled from the textured surface, taking its negative imprint on what will be its facing side. Making a negative, a positive aspect of his paintings, Hagen toys with the concept of the seen and the unseen, addressing the natural limitations of human vision and the rendering of a picture in the brain.