For over thirty years Catherine Wagner has been observing the built environment as a metaphor for how we construct our cultural identities. She’s examined institutions as various as art museums and science labs, the home and Disneyland. Ms. Wagner’s process involves the investigation of what art critic David Bonetti calls "the systems people create, our love of order, our ambition to shape the world, the value we place on knowledge, and the tokens we display to express ourselves."
While Ms. Wagner has spent her life residing in California, she has also been an active international artist, working photographically, as well as site-specific public art, and lecturing extensively at museums and universities. She has received many major awards, including the Rome Prize (2013-2014), a Guggenheim Fellowship, NEA Fellowships, and the Ferguson Award. In 2001 Ms. Wagner was named one of Time Magazine’s Fine Arts Innovators of the Year. Her work is represented in major collections nationally and around the world, such as the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, SFMOMA, The Whitney Museum of American Art, MOMA, MFA Houston. She has also published several monographs, including American Classroom, Art & Science: Investigating Matter, and Cross Sections.
Ms. Wagner is a Professor of Studio Art, as well as the Dean of the Fine Arts Division at Mills College.