Mary Wagner

Mary Wagner

Chicago, IL, United States

About Mary Wagner

Going round-and-round is the central principle and action of Mary Wagner’s drawing practice. At the core, these drawings are simple, curvilinear paths arching about some absent center like an interstellar object flirting about a gravity well. The rigorous lines warm and complicate through repetition. Patterns pile on top of each other. The slim edge takes on form and depth, like cotton candy wisps or subatomic particles, cohering into something a bit more solid. Value and texture suggest dimension and movement. These things coax and combine into a sort of non-subject; or a subjective subject matter, inviting the viewer to project themselves. They are exercises in minimal purity, or expressions of chaos and order. They are complicated networks or psychedelic dreamscapes.

Wagner was born and raised in rural Wisconsin. She lives and draws in Chicago. Her artwork is in private collections around the world.


BFA University of Wisconsin Milwaukee


Exhibitions and Events (selected)
Unified Theory, solo exhibit, Sharjah Islamic Arts Festival’s 22nd edition, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates
The Print Shop pop-up, MoMA Design Store Soho, New York City, NY
Amalgam, Oggi Gallery, Chicago, IL
Manifest Grand Jury Prize Finalist Season 14, Manifest Gallery, Cincinnati, OH
SPIN, Solo exhibition, The Bernard Gallery, Calumet College of St. Joseph, Whiting, IN
Pen & Ink, Union Street Gallery, Chicago Heights, IL
Regional Showcase, Illinois, Juried exhibition, Manifest Creative Research and Drawing Center, Cincinnati, OH
Seeing Red, ARC Gallery, Chicago
A Show of Hand, David Lusk Gallery, Nashville
Geometric Drawing, The Studio Gallery, Odense, Denmark
The Base Line: An Exhibition on Drawing, ARC Gallery, Chicago
Scientificous, Manifest Gallery, Cincinnati, OH
Transcendere, (solo exhibition) RTKL Chicago, Open House Chicago, Chicago
DRAWN, Manifest Gallery, Cincinnati, OH
Crossing Over, Chicago Artist Month, Pop-Up Gallery, Chicago
Abstract III, Brickton Art Center, Park Ridge, IL
Creativity As Identity, Chicago Artist Month, Pop-Up Gallery, Chicago
Creativity As Identity, panel discussion, Chicago Artist Month, Chicago
Drawing Process, live drawing session, Chicago Artist Month, Chicago
ArtFutura Art In Motion, juried by James Rondeau, Northwestern University Lurie Research Center, Chicago
Parametric Drawing, solo exhibition, J. Lawton Thies Architects, The Fine Arts Building, Chicago
Voting With Your Pocketbook, collaboration with Mark Wagner, Western Exhibitions, Chicago
C3, Wicker Park Bucktown Festival of Arts, Gallery #314 Flat Iron Arts Building, Chicago
Current Works, Chicago Hand Bookbinders, Northwestern University, Evanston

International Drawing Annual, Volume 12, Manifest Creative Research and Drawing Center
Manifest Exhibition Annual, Season 11, Manifest Press
A Show of Hand, review with featured drawing, by Amy Eskind, Nashville Arts Magazine, June 2016
Round It Out, by Chelsea Evers, Better Homes & Gardens, 2016
Manifest Exhibition Annual, Season 10, Manifest Press, 2017
Infinitely Curving, Looping and Circling, interview by Will Kitson, Seymour Magazine, November 2014
Drawing, Drawing, Drawn, review by Jonathan Kamholtz, AIQAI Journal, June 2014
365 Artists | 365 Days, Greymatter, Milwaukee, WI, Frank Juarez, Sheboygan, WI, September 2014
Agriculture Reader, Issue 6, featured artist, X-ing Books, 2014
Geometri, DILLA Magazine, November 2013
Collect Original Art, Whatever Your Budget, Betsy Wills, Style Blueprint, June 2013
Bound for Success, Big Idea Magazine, March 2005