Photo: Eat the Cake NYC

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 Brush Creek, Byrdcliffe, VCCA, the Edward Albee Foundation, Jentel Foundation, Ucross, Vermont Studio Center, and Yale Norfolk. Wagner currently teaches at Pratt Institute and lives in Brooklyn, NY.




2011        Maryland Institute College of Art, Baltimore MD

                Master of Fine Arts, Hoffberger School of Painting & Certificate in the College Teaching of Art

2008        Oberlin College, Oberlin OH

               Bachelor of Arts in Studio Art, Graduated with Honors & Bachelor of Arts in Creative Writing

2007       Studio Art Centers International, Florence Italy Semester program



2019 Brush Creek Artist Residency, Saratoga WY

2019 Byrdcliffe Colony Artist Residency, Woodstock NY

2018       VCCA Residency, Amherst VA

2016       Edward F. Albee Foundation Visual Arts Fellowship

2016       Lotos Foundation Prize in Painting, New York NY

2015       Ucross Foundation Residency, Clearmont WY

2015       Jentel Artist Residency, Jentel WY

2011       Artist’s Grant, Vermont Studio Center Residency, Johnson VT

2011       Member, AGORA Art Collective, Berlin Germany

2008       Fulbright Scholarship Finalist, Berlin Germany

2008       School of Visual Arts Summer Residency in Painting, Chelsea NY

2006       Ellen Battell Stoeckel Fellowship to Norfolk Summer School of Music and Art, Yale University, Norfolk CT



2019        Portal, Governor’s Island Art Fair, Governor’s Island NY (Upcoming)

2019 Change, Permanent exhibition aboard Lindblad Expedition and National Geographic ship, curated by Zaria Forman (Upcoming)

2019 Ruin, Royal Society of American Art, Brooklyn NY

2019  Lookout, Google Headquarters, New York NY

2019 More Than Landscape, Curated by Leonard Yang, Parsons School of Design, New York NY (Upcoming)

2018        Constructing a Praxis, Columbia University, Teachers College, New York NY

2018        The Strangeness of Structure, Adelphi University, Garden City NY

2018        Benders, Real Estate Gallery, Brooklyn NY

2018        Natural Proclivities, Shirley Fiterman Art Center at BMCC, New York NY 

2017        Metropolis, Solo Show, Kate Oh Gallery, New York NY 

2017        Object/Objectified, Gallery Petite, Brooklyn NY 

2017        All in One, Kate Oh Gallery, New York NY 

2017       Weather or Not, Children’s Museum of Art, New York NY

2017       Body / Head, Curated by Jacob Rhodes of Field Projects at Be Fluent NYC, New York NY  

2017       Edgy Elegance, Buddy Warren Gallery, New York NY

2017       Uprise: Angry Women, Untitled Space, New York NY 

2016       Soiled Garden, Buddy Warren Gallery, New York NY

2016       30 Under 30(ish), Victori+Mo Gallery, Brooklyn NY

2016       Earth Speaks II (2-D Juried Award Winner), Pocono Arts Council, Stroudsburg PA

2016       Postcards Home, Eckhaus Gallery, Kutztown PA

2015        Faculty Exhibition, George Segal Gallery, Montclair State University, Montclair NJ

2015       Repose: Sleep and Autonomy in Hypercapitalism, 184 Project Space, Curated by the Baroque Power Group, Brooklyn NY

2015       Garage Sale, Buddy Warren Gallery, New York NY

2015       In Bloom, Mark Moore Gallery, Los Angeles CA

2015       Far Far Away... The Children’s Museum of Art, New York NY

2014       (e)merge Art Fair, Victori Contemporary, Washington DC

2014       Summer Preview, Victori Contemporary in collaboration with Birnam Wood Galleries, New York NY

2014        New York Tibetan Art Studio Presents: New Voices, Active Space, Brooklyn NY

2014       Emerald City, Project For Empty Space and Solo(s) Project House, Gateway II Gallery, Newark NJ

2014       Art from the Boros, Denise Bibro Gallery, New York NY

2014       Through the Looking Glass, Project For Empty Space and Solo(s) Project House, Gateway II Gallery, Newark NJ

2014       Art Wynwood, Victori Contemporary, Miami FL

2013       Uncanny Valley, PPOW Gallery, New York NY, In collaboration with Julie Heffernan

2013       Beasts and Bodies, Schema Projects, Brooklyn NY

2013       (e)merge Art Fair, Victori Contemporary, Washington D.C.

2012       SCOPE Miami, Victori Contemporary, Miami FL

2012       New Paintings, MIMA Music, Brooklyn NY

2012       Art for Tibet, Annual Auction, Tibet House, New York NY

2012       Restrictions, Limitations, Confinements, Casita Maria Center for Arts and Education, Bronx NY

2011       Benefit Auction, Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art, Robert Miller Gallery, New York NY

2011       Academy 2011, Conner Contemporary, Washington D.C.

2011       First Look III, Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art, Peekskill NY

2011       Sleeping Beauties, Canterbury Salon, Baltimore MD

2011       Paintings on Mylar, Montenegro Musik Raum, Berlin Germany

2011       Outpost, Decker Gallery, MFA thesis show at MICA, Baltimore MD

2011       Align, Gallery 500, MICA, Baltimore MD

2010       A Friend in Need, American University MFA Invitational, Washington D.C.

2010       Out of Order, Maryland Art Place, Baltimore MD

2010       Animal Attraction, Whole Gallery, Baltimore MD

2009       Here or There, Camper Contemporary, Miami FL and Baltimore MD

2008       Five Colleges of Ohio Student Juried Biennial Exhibit, College of Wooster Art Museum, Wooster OH

2006       Yale Norfolk Summer School of Art Exhibition, Norfolk CT



2016-present      Pratt Institute, Visiting Instructor, Brooklyn NY
                            Foundation Department: Light Color Design
                            Pratt Integrative Course Program: Another Earth, Bestiary

2018-present      Marymount Manhattan College, New York NY
                            Studio Art: Painting I

2015-2018          Montclair State University, Adjunct Professor, Montclair NJ
                            Dept. of Art and Design: Drawing I, Painting I, Intermediate Drawing

2018       Guest Lecturer, Hoffberger School of Painting, MICA, Baltimore MD

2018       Artist Talk, Adelphi University, Garden City NY

2018       Panelist, Natural Proclivities, BMCC, New York NY

2017       Guest Speaker, The New School, Lecture on figurative painting for a Drawing and Imaging course, New York NY

2016       Visiting Artist, Pace University, New York NY

2016       Panelist, Postcards Home, Kutztown University, Kutztown PA

2015       Guest Artist, LeAp Public Art Program, Met with New York public middle school students at my studio, New York NY 

2015       Panelist, Professional Practice, Montclair State University, Montclair NJ

2015       Lecturer, John Swihart’s Artist Lecture Series, Santa Monica CA

2014       Panelist, Through the Looking Glass, Gateway Center, Newark NJ

2011       Visiting Artist, Maryland Institute College of Art, Baltimore MD


Nemett, Barry. "Virginia Wagner's Landscapes of Exquisite Dread," Hyperallergic, 2 Dec 2017.

The Turnip Truck(s), Destruction: Vol. 3 No. 2 fall/winter 2017, Interview and images (Upcoming)

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.

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.

“Bat City Review,” ISSUE 10, University of Texas, 2014.

"Juxtapoz Painting: High Low and Pop." Gingko Press. Spring 2013.

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

Jenkins, Mark. “Academy 2011 at Conner Contemporary Art,” The Washington Post 21 July 2011.

Hodara, Susan. “The Voices Emerging From College Studios,” The New York Times 1 July 2011.


“Paper Heart: Arcmanoro Niles discusses his work with Virginia Wagner,” ArtCritical, 29 May 2019.

The Matrix: Tim Kent at Slag Gallery,” ArtCritical Magazine 7 October 2018.

“Painters on Paintings,” Online publication, Editor and Co-Founder with Julie Heffernan, January 2014-Present.
Texts on Doron Langberg, Wangechi Mutu and Anselm Kiefer