Everglow is a selection of the artist’s mixed media wood sculptures and paintings made with repurposed and sometimes scorched redwood from the 2017 Northern California wildfires. Wagner’s work melds saturated jewel-toned color spectrums, geometric constellations and pieces of salvaged redwood to create gem-like meditations on climate change, the California wildfires that continue to rage for the fourth year in a row and the resiliency of the communities that come together to help each other in the face of disaster.
Victoria Wagner | Left: Finding Peace Under the Banner of Night | Center: We Are All Reaching Toward the Sun | Right: Up for Air
Conceptually, Victoria Wagner’s work explores the environment, climate collapse, and the role of beauty in art and human perception. Formally, the work offers a visual spectacle through the use of tonal vibration, materiality, rhythm, form and color. Sourcing damaged redwood trees from a local arborist in West Sonoma County where she lives amidst a redwood forest, Wagner carves raw chunks of tree into faceted gemstone shaped orbs. The contours of her shapes are often determined by the damage to the tree itself; she slowly shaves the charred weak spots in an intuitive process that she says highlights the “sentience of the redwood tree.” The newly formed planes are then enhanced with the artist’s signature color fields of vibrant oil paint from natural pigments and then sealed with shellac. For Wagner the subject matter becomes the medium and it carries a complicated message: caution and warning, beauty and resilience.
Victoria Wagner | At Play in the Moon Shadow | Oil on redwood | 57 x 17 x 17 inches
About the Artist
Victoria Wagner is an artist based in the North Bay Area. Her studio is located in a building formerly inhabited by a military boys school and Air Force training facility and her woodshop is in a small shed at her home within the forests of Occidental. She has exhibited at Bedford Gallery at the Lesher Center for the Arts, Southern Exposure, the Lab, Headlands Center for the Arts, Don Soker Contemporary Art, Andrea Schwartz Gallery in San Francisco, Blankspace Gallery in Oakland, Sonoma County Museum, DiRosa Art and Nature Preserve, Brewery Project in Los Angeles and Dose Projects in Brooklyn, New York. She is now exclusively represented by Maybaum Gallery and is a senior adjunct lecturer at California College of the Arts.
Victoria Wagner | Four More Days, Said the Mountain | Oil on redwood burl | 14 x 14 x 15 inches