"Like some of the old print masters
(Toulouse-Lautrec and Bonnard, for example), Nagel was influenced by the
Japanese woodblock print, with figures silhouetted against a neutral
background, with strong areas of black and white, and with bold line and
unusual angles of view. He handled colors with rare originality and freedom;
he forced perspective from flat, two-dimensional images; and he kept
simplifying, working to get more across with fewer elements. His simple and
precise imagery is also reminiscent of the art-deco style of the 1920s and
1930s- with its sharp linear treatment, geometric simplicity, and stylization
Elena G. Millie
former curator of the poster collection
at the Library of Congress.
successful commercial artist and painter, Nagel's work ranged over the
spectrum of media illustration, advertising, print magazine illustration, and
even record albums. His cover for Duran Duran's double-platinum Rio was
a sensation. His work retains a strong influence on 21st century illustration
and digital photography.
Nagel's legacy is iconic in two ways:
The paper-white skin of a 'Nagel Woman' with a minimum of shaping strokes and
unusual color perspectives, and the eyes... a mirroring depth of shape framed
with a squared outside line.
Patrick Nagel died in 1984 at the age of 38.
— Danin Adler