Metropolis, 2017
ink and oil on canvas
52 x 44 inches






Virginia Wagner makes paintings set in zones of conflict between human progress and the natural world. This tension plays out in the paint, as rigid grids contrast swampy pools and violent spills. Raised in a family of biologists, she has a unique perspective from which to observe the psychological and physical effects of our quickly changing planet. Wagner, with a literary degree from Oberlin College, uses narrative to expand and populate her visual worlds. Her interests in the figure and mythology aligned her with Neo-Expressionist and Leipzig School painters and led her to join the Agora Collective in Berlin. After receiving her MFA from MICA’s Hoffberger School of Painting, she worked in the studios of feminist, figurative artists Wangechi Mutu and Julie Heffernan. She received the 2016 Lotos Prize in Painting and has been granted residencies at the Edward Albee Foundation, Jentel Foundation, Ucross, Vermont Studio Center, and Yale Norfolk. Wagner currently teaches fine art at Pratt Institute and Montclair State University and lives in Brooklyn, NY.


Related News

Graeber, Laurel. "What Struck These Artists? Meteorology Itself," New York Times, 23 March 2017.

Hoffman, Anne. “Watching and Being Watched,” The Cultural Frontline, BBC Radio. 4 Sept. 2016.

“The Gender Line,” Documentary short featuring my Outlaws portrait series, Directed by Joe Rubenstein, 2016. Premiered at the Williamsburg Independent Film Festival. (LINK:

Nunes, Andrew. “’30 Under 30ish’ Art Show Sends Up Arbitrary Lists,” The Creators Project, Vice Media 5 Aug 2016.

Buhmann, Stephanie. “Far Far Away...,” The Villager 29 July 2015.

Make/shift Magazine, Issue 17: Summer/Fall 2015. Print.

Joseph, Martha. “Virginia Wagner,” Blisss Magazine 6.1, 2012: 40. Print.