Victoria Wagner


My eye generally and naturally tends toward tessellation and pattern, seeking a rhythm that mimics regular pulse. On the one hand, visual order provides a place for the senses to rest, while color relationships create problems for the brain to solve. I like this simultaneity.


There is something confusing to the senses in combinations that vacillate between interval and tone, allowing for optical engagement and a perceptual unpredictability.


White space rushing….like moving quickly past a picket fence that appears to pulsate in rhythmic visual beats. I imagine deep space being very much like this, an interpretive time signature, vibrating and arching indeterminately.


Every painting begins with an inquiry, usually very simple and related to a gradientjourney. I ask the paint to dictate the measurement from one tone to another across spectrum. The spectrum is generally limited by the scale of the paper. I keep a clean white space between each stage sothat it can be clearly viewed, a visual marker of each stage as completed. Gouache is the most matte paint available with a full range of strongly pigmented hues with none of the visual tricks that can result from the addition of luster or sheen. Yet, somehow, there still exists a vibration.



The sculptures resulted from my reading of two books, The Golden Bough by Sir James Frazer and The Secret Life of Plants by Peter Tompkins and Christopher Bird.


Both pseudoscientific works that examine sentience among carbon-based life forms and human revelation, practical and metaphysical. Both books forced a recognition in my life-of my own personal reverence for the trees being downed in the forest surrounding my studio. Resulting,  have been small jewel-like sculptures from scavenged wood that are cut to reveal growth rings and then preserved and embossed with gradient spectrums. My due diligence to the tree.



I see the painting or the object in my mind as a pure form, perfect and without blemish moving from one tone to another in a ceaseless vibration as it dazzles the eye and awakens the senses. However the reality of creating that piece, in rubbing up against all that is earthly, becomes somewhat imperfect, responsive and non-archival. It becomes a part of a cadence of physical actions that need to be performed, tasks that love to be executed, part of my domestic fabric and a reflection of less remarkable daily activites.


I am interested in visual order that has the capacity to become more than the sum of it’s parts, arrays of visual experience that result from remarkably simple and subtle variations to tone, gradient, cadence and pacing.