Richard Pagán

Post image for Rekindling the Legacy of a Puerto Rican Painter

When the little-known artist Richard Pagán died in 1989, he was at the precipice of a promising artistic career. Pagán had just recently become the first Puerto Rican to win the Pollock-Krasner Foundation’s Jackson Pollock Award for his large expressionist canvases, and his circle of friends included the likes of Willem de Kooning. A new body of work was slated for exhibition at the Institute for Puerto Rican Culture, but the show was derailed when the 35-year-old tragically died after inhaling gas leaked by his apartment’s defective heating system. Over time, his work was forgotten.

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