Crystal Wagner - artist

Crystal Wagner

United States 1982

Installation, Drawing

Crystal Wagner
Crystal Wagner
United States
October 12, 2015
Aya received her MA in English Language and Literature in 2012. She likes dancing, traveling, cycling and spending time with her pets.

The expansion of forms through space is what triggers Crystal Wagner the most and marks her artistic practice being perceived in as an installation art. The constant struggle of two and three-dimensional forms in this particular case is an advantage; a ground zero from which the whole concept develops. By using different techniques such as printmaking, Wagner constructs massive site specifics which seem to be reflecting the artist’s interest in the living world we are often not capable of perceiving. As a matter of fact, the spaces are being transformed into mysterious living entities which are devouring different elements of architecture and street infrastructure.

The artist is currently on the residency in san Francisco and has an exhibition in London gallery
Crystal Wagner – Arboretum, 2013

The Escape From Academia

Crystal Wagner was born in 1982 in Baltimore, Maryland. She attended Keystone College, a private liberal arts school in Pennsylvania where she earned her Associate Degree in Fine Art. Afterward, Wagner received her BFA from the Atlanta College of Art in 2004 and an MFA from the University of Tennessee in 2008. Interestingly, her thesis exhibition led to the purchasing of one of her large sculptural forms by the Knoxville Museum of Art. Crystal Wagner taught as an art professor at Georgia College of Liberal Arts for five years, but then she decided to focus exclusively on her artistic career and quit her job since her artistic work was becoming increasingly popular.

Distinct approach to color and material

The press and especially juxtapoz magazine published story about the use of life forms in her work
Crystal Wagner – Immersion, 2014

Drawing The Inspiration From Nature

Wagner’s interest in art began from early impressions on the natural world. As a child she started drawing imaginative birds, while years later during her studies, she spent four months in Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming, experiencing the diverse terrain of the elevated landscape, studying and drawing from nature in the backcountry. Therefore, her amorphous installations are filled with a vibrant array of colorfully unique shapes, details, and textures. They are all manually processed, designed and prepared specifically for a particular place which is practically being taken over by the work. Besides the installations, the artist has been producing peculiar shadow boxes respectively paper sculptures.

The massive, immersive forms of Crystal Wagner overwhelm the space

Wagner is known for drawing tremendous inspiration from music nature and peculiar every day materials
Crystal Wagner – Biotica, 2015

Commissioned Works of Crystal Wagner

Her most recent commissions include a large-scale installation for the internationally recognized band The Flaming Lips. a large shadow box for GNU a snowboard company out of Portland, a large-scale installation piece for NIKE, presented in the Shrine Auditorium for The KOBE X Blackout Experience, and most recently two installations for Viacom, one of which is called Wild Efflux and located at their headquarters in Times Square. It is the 117-foot-long piece, accompanied by what the artist calls terrariums – small, framed paper sculptures that resemble portable worlds.

The whimsical and immersive body of works

She fully devoted her life to art draws five days per week and searches for good galleries
Crystal Wagner – Spire, 2016


In 2016 the Polish UNIQA Art Łódź organization commissioned the installation from Wagner. The concept she delivered was embodied as a wild exterior growth that wraps around the art nouveau façade of a 100 years old building in Lodz. The apparent fascination with the site led the artist on creating the dialog between architecture and organic forms and structures found in nature. Namely, this is an extension of her exploration aimed to question juxtaposition and context of our relationship with cultivated spaces/structures and the natural world. The work is made of thin metal, wire and UV and waterproof Ripstop material, which is used on professional kites.

This beautiful piece changed and enriched the facade of an old building

The artist is represented by Hashimoto gallery but has showed works elsewhere in the country and abroad
Crystal Wagner – Hyperbolic, 2016

The Success of Installations of Crystal Wagner

In the last few years, the artist had several solos and participated in various group exhibitions. Wagner’s rising career was additionally flavored with received grants among which the important ones are the Pollock-Krasner Grant from 2015, as well as Awesome Foundation Art Grant in the category Awesome Without Borders. The artist was honored with the Sculpture and Installation Award of the SEE.ME, Art Takes Paris, international art competition. Without the doubt, the outstanding approach to installation well-thought concepts and minutely executions are characteristics which make the art practice of Crystal Wagner quiet authentic and on the height of the task.

Crystal Wagner lives and works in Philadelphia.

All images used are courtesy of the artist

YearExhibition TitleMuseum/GallerySolo/Group
2016FluxBedford Gallery, Oakland, CA Solo
2016Crystal WagnerHashimoto Contemporary, San Francisco, CA Solo
2016Crystal WagnerFort Wayne Museum of Art, Fort Wayne, INSolo
2016Crystal WagnerVirginia Museum of Contemporary Art, Virginia Beach, VASolo
2015WanderlustNational Museum of Singapore, SingaporeSolo
2015Biotica108 Contemporary, Tulsa, OKSolo
2015Tide Pools Rymer Gallery, Nashiville, TNSolo
2015Wild EffluxViacom Lobby, Times Square, NYCSolo
2015Something-NothingVertigo Gallery, Denver, COGroup
2015PlayGalerie C.O.A, MontrealGroup
2015SpectrumStolenSpace Gallery, London, UKGroup
2015Large-scale installation FallSouthern Graphics Council International Conference, Knoxville, TNSolo
2015ElasticityBagwell Art Gallery, Pellissippi State University, Knoxville, TNSolo
2015ImmersionRosemary Berkel and Harry Crisp Musuem, Cape Girardeau, MOSolo
2015Large-scale installation, Commission for the Flaming LipsWomb Gallery, Oklahoma City, OKSolo
2015Pseudo-FormsP-M Gallery, Toronto, CanadaSolo
2015Visiting ArtistSyracuse University, NYSolo
2014Boxes of DeathRoq La Ruem, Portland, ORGroup
2014Large-scale installation Bio Interloper - ArtPrizeUrban Institute of Contemporary Art, Grand Rapids, MISolo
2014Visiting Artist-PanelistHartford's School of Art Distingushed Artist Symposium, Hartford, CTSolo
2014Somewhere Between Creation and DestructionJoseloff Gallery, Hartford, CTGroup
2014Paper CutsSpoke Art Gallery, San Francisco, CAGroup
2014Space-SquaredWhite Walls Gallery, San Francisco, CAGroup
2014Visiting ArtistUniversity of South CarolinaSolo
2014Visiting ArtistUniversity of IowaSolo
2014McClelland Scultpture Award and Survey ExhibitionMcClelland Art Musuem, AustraliaGroup
2014SynesthesiaHashimoto Contemporary, San Francisco, CASolo
2014VestibuleAnn Wright Wilson Gallery, Georgetown College, KYSolo
2013Deluge, large-scale installation, a part of Flirting with AbundanceArtspace, Raliegh, NCGroup
2013Beyond Eden Art FairThinkspace Gallery, with Spoke Art Gallery, Los Angeles, CAGroup
2013Scope Art FairArt Basel Miami Beach, FLGroup
2013HyperplasticFountain Gallery, Purdue University, West Layfayette, INSolo
2013Urban Kudzu II, The Color WheelHereArt Gallery, Soho, New York, NYGroup
2013A Paper AffairKennesaw State University, GAGroup
2013The ArboretumUniversity of Sounth Carolina, BeaufortSolo