Crystal Wagner Treats Her Art as a Drawing in Space

Paper artist Crystal Wagner combines 2-dimensional and 3-dimensional forms to create large paper installations that have an otherworldly feel to them. Her alternative use of materials, hybrid approaches to printmaking, and massive site-specific installations have led to her artwork being exhibited extensively in the U.S and abroad.

Her huge installations appear to be sprawling across walls and floors – a sort of alien creature made of paper. “Installation work is just drawing in space,” explained Wagner in an interview with Juxtapoz. “For me, it is important that I am comfortable with my visual vocabulary.”

But as opposed to drawing on paper, working on an installation is (quite naturally) a much more intense experience, usually with 12 hour days that span over a week. “Each installation and each drawing is a different conversation I am having,” she explains. “The gesture is the introduction, the first impression, and everything else tumbles out.”

Aside from her artistic work, Wagner also works commercially. Notable commissions include a large-scale installation for The Flaming Lips; a large-scale installation piece for NIKE; and two installations for Viacom, one of which is a 117 ft piece at their headquarters in Times Square.

“Every ink drawing I do helps me understand how I organize marks, situate shapes, and is an extension of the way I see,” she says. “The only difference I feel when I am working on large installations is that instead of alluding to space, I get to utilize it. Which to me… is awesome!”

Take a look at the incredible ways she utilizes space:

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Each paper sculpture has its own atmosphere

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