Catherine Wagner: BUILDINGS + HOMES + CLASSROOMS: perception and imagination

Event Date(s)
Ticket Price
Poster Image
Absence and presence in the built environment have occupied Catherine Wagner’s practice for over thirty years. This exhibition includes examples of her early black-and-white works in the Museum’s permanent collection, including stage-like images of California landscapes and architecture in the mid-to-late 1970s, and photographs of classrooms, labs, blackboards, and desks taken at educational facilities across the United States in the mid-1980s. These works have a rigor and casual elegance that can be appreciated in relationship to peer photographers—including Robert Adams and Lewis Baltz—associated with the 1975 exhibition New Topographics

Also on view are recent color photographs that document interventions by the artist while in residence at the Mary Heaton Vorse House in Provincetown, Massachusetts. Wagner used blue painter’s tape to articulate the dimensions of walls, windows, doors, and landings in the eighteenth-century home. Her blue lines reference architectural blueprints while temporarily adding new geometries to the idiosyncratic spaces of the historical home. She has written, “The photograph finalizes the process by flattening the architectural space and drawing together. The in-situ drawing is erased and the image becomes evidence.”

Catherine Wagner has exhibited her work extensively at galleries and museums around the world, and she has received awards including the Rome Prize, Guggenheim Fellowship, and a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship. Her photographs are in the collections of museums including the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Whitney Museum of American Art, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and Museum of Modern Art, New York. She is Professor of Studio Art and the Nancy Cook Endowed Chair of Photography at Mills College at Northeastern University.
IMAGE: Catherine Wagner, Torch Bearers, 2022–23, archival pigment print. Courtesy of the artist.
Created 06/18/2024
Last Updated 06/20/2024