Catherine Wagner, Pomegranate Wall, 2000. Ten light boxes with printed duratrans, florescent lights, metal frame; 96 × 480 inches; Collection of the San José Museum of Art. Acquired from the artist upon the completion of the San José Museum of Art artist residency fellowship, awarded to the artist in 1997; 2001.40.
Catherine Wagner (born 1953, San Francisco) has an analytic eye—an impulse to examine and organize information. Like a scientific researcher, she imposes order on a chaotic world. Photographing within institutions of learning—classrooms, laboratories, and museums and archives—she isolates and reclassifies objects, abstracting them from their original meaning. This exhibition presents Wagner’s monumental installation Pomegranate Wall (2000) in SJMA’s permanent collection, the glowing 8-by-40-foot arc of photographs taken with an MRI machine and made during an artist residency fellowship at the Museum. Shown with black-and-white photographs of plant and animal matter from Wagner’s visual investigation of science laboratories, the immersive installation explores life from the inside out.