Victoria Wagner | Broken Hallelujah
Victoria Wagner’s paintings and sculptures masterfully blend shape, line and color. Working on two levels, her paintings offer both high impact optics at first glance, while simultaneously drawing the viewer in to examine supple gradations of color and intricate intersections of lines. Shapes morph into each other and overlap in unexpected ways, offering themselves up for interpretation. The artist deploys more muted pastel tones in contrast to the saturated and jewel-like hues of past work. Punctuated by smooth planes of iridescent mineral gold that pool in contrast to her pastel delineation, the compositions glimmer with mystery. Wagner addresses both human perspective and human perception through a cartographic approach to understanding and recording the feeling of the human experience, she states:
“The sculptures and paintings in this body of work are maps of circles and lines and collections of intersecting realities. The maps track the process of me trying to organize my thoughts and feelings around experiences that have broken time, yet left enough space for the pieces that remain to show me a better path.”
Working beyond the two dimensional plane, Wagner fuses sculpture and painting together in her three dimensional wood works. Rendered from the redwoods and other conifers of Sonoma County where she resides, rock-like wood shapes are transformed into stacks of colorful geodes resembling totems and other enchanted talismans. The artist brings her art practice directly onto the flattened facets of the salvaged wood, extending the language of her painting by providing another material context in which to view her brushstrokes. The wood sculptures of Broken Hallelujah are a little more organic in their form, reminding us of their origin as life-having, life-bearing entities and the trauma they’ve endured from the scorched fires of climate change. Wagner’s artistic intervention preserves the wood just a little while longer from its inevitable entropy, another of the artist’s endless nods to the circles of life and time.