A Site-Specific Installation by Crystal Wagner
June 26 – August 28, 2016
Bedford Gallery has commissioned internationally renowned artist Crystal Wagner to create a large-scale, immersive site-specific installation. In searching for an artist to conclude the season of Art + Play, Curator Carrie Lederer was interested in someone who could “take” the gallery and transform the space. Wagner does just that, uniquely morphing her installation spaces into surreal environments that appear to grow organically from the walls. Playing with scale and bold colors found in everyday materials, like plastic tablecloths and cut paper, Wagner blends the natural and artificial to examine our relationships with each other and with the world. “Our current modern landscapes are synthetic, mass-produced and manufactured,” says Wagner. “The table-cloth is the quintessential disposable, one time use stand-in for the flimsy consumer culture that we surround ourselves with. This artifice permeates every aspect of our physical relationship as our fingers spend more time touching smooth surfaces… our senses atrophy to the new world of device driven psychology and physiology.”
Formally trained in printmaking, Wagner’s two-dimensional and three-dimensional forms create rich textures, intricate details, and dynamic structures shaped to fit each space. Drawing is an integral part of Wagner’s process as she shared with Juxtapoz Magazine: “It’s not that I translate specific drawings into my installations, I’ve never really done that. I draw every day, building my vocabulary as an artist. This helps me dig deep and understand how I make work. The installations and the drawings are similar in that they both start with a gesture and then grow from that first mark. It’s intuitive, which is the most honest--the most raw--that I can be as an artist.” Wagner is represented by Hashimoto Contemporary in San Francisco where Director Ken Harman has supported her work for years.
Wagner will work over the course of two weeks, using the gallery as a studio to construct her installation specific to the Bedford’s round architonic form. She prefers to make decisions on-site, observing the architecture and energy of the space to create an exotic landscape that feels very “alive.” FLUX will be on view at Bedford Gallery from June 26 – August 28, 2016.
Crystal Wagner received her MFA from the University of Tennessee in 2008, her BFA from the Atlanta College of Art in 2004 and her AFA from Keystone College in 2002. She currently lives in Philadelphia, PA and exhibits art internationally. Notable projects include a solo exhibition at the National Museum of Singapore, a large-scale installation with rock band The Flaming Lips, and two pieces for Viacom headquarters in Times Square. For more information on Wagner, visit www.crystalwagner.com.