Candida Pagan, b. 1982, is an interdisciplinary artist who was raised in Iowa. She wandered widely throughout her twenties, holds an MFA in Book Arts from the University of Iowa Center for the Book, and is currently based in Iowa City. She creates research and experience-based works of art through the performance of experiments, installation, drawing, letterpress, and bookbinding. These works often include letterpress, line drawings, and prose or labeling. She also makes limited edition fine press books and ephemera through her imprint, Digraph Press, and works as a book and paper conservation specialist in the University of Iowa Libraries’ Conservation Lab.
Artist’s Statement: “I ask a lot of questions on a wide range of subjects. Frequently the questions sound something like ‘Why does that happen when I do x or y to a and b?’ In following lines of inquiry, I sometimes find answers. Sometimes, I find more questions. The artwork I make is often quite literally a reflection of the steps I take and the process I go through while exploring new ideas. What I produce is hardly ever an answer to the questions; it is more often a mindful presentation of the beginning stages of an answer.
I frequently consider the effect of abstract concepts, such as time or will, on the physical world. I perform investigations in search of answers. My artwork frequently unites text and analytical thinking with installations or Events. Through observation and logging what happens over a period of time, I create a body of material that I can use to compose a finished piece. I make unique, variable edition, or small edition books and works on paper-driven by research and unpublicized Events. Finished work often incorporates letterpress, line drawings, and prose or labeling.
In addition to working in an investigative, performance-related manner, I also make work under a literary fine press imprint, Digraph Press. I seek to unite the writing and conceptual foundations of a writer/collaborator with my visual and formal values in a fine press book or broadside. As a publisher, I am drawn to thought-provoking prose and poetry that walks a line between humor and confusion, lost-ness and wonder.”