Exploring the intersection of art and public service
NYU Wagner at the Puck Building is home to the Gallery Space at Wagner. Our mission is to bring artwork into a public-accessible workspace to further engage the NYU community and local audiences in dialogues on contemporary art, culture, and public service. In exploring this intersectionality, we prioritize partnerships that foster social justice, human rights advocacy, and political activism, as well as projects that promote Wagner’s commitment to IDBEA values—inclusion, diversity, belonging, equity, and access.
Since its debut in November 2005, the Gallery Space has hosted a variety of dynamic and innovative exhibits featuring both established and emerging artists. Painting, drawing, photography, pottery, collage, textiles, printmaking, digital video, and mixed media are among the multifarious disciplines showcased in the space.
Matumaini — Photography by Mauricio A. Rodriguez
On view through January 31
Matumaini (“hope” in Swahili) documents the wildlife and pastoral scenery of northern Kenya, a place Mauricio A. Rodriguez calls a second home. Employing his signature multiple exposure technique, the artist has created a series of images that capture the beauty of the Kenyan landscape and its stunning fauna, while poignantly conveying the urgency of the region’s wildlife and ecological crises. His time in Africa exposed Rodriguez to the horrific world of poaching and exotic hunting, but also to the unwavering conservation work being done to counter those practices and repopulate the continent’s iconic species. The tireless efforts of those scientists, activists, and community leaders inspired him to create this photographic project and launch a series of fundraising events.
re:tratos urbanos — Paintings and mixed-media portraits by Rodríguez Calero (RoCa)
This two-decade survey exhibit showcases Rodríguez Calero's signature acrollage and fotacrolé techniques—two innovative processes that fuse painting, printmaking, photography, and collage to spellbinding effects. The resulting portraits masterfully combine religious iconography, classical and Byzantine patterns, and elements of hip hop and street art. RoCa’s artwork is predominantly informed by her Puerto Rican heritage and the diverse communities that enrich New York City’s Lower East Side.
Inescapable Truths: Work in Progress — Mixed-media paintings by Bradley McCallum
These selections from Bradley McCallum’s nationally acclaimed series are based on previously unpublished source materials from the late James Foley’s photojournalistic archives. Conceived as a counter narrative to the violence and impunity in the mass media coverage of Mr. Foley’s heroic and untimely death, the works explore such issues as freedom of the press, the pitfalls faced by war-zone photojournalists, and the activist/journalist dynamic that defined James Foley’s career.
Selgas & the Escher Effect, 1974-2018 — Paintings and works on paper by Cepp Selgas
We proudly join NYU’s celebration of Latino Heritage Month with this retrospective look at the art of acclaimed queer artist Cepp Selgas. The exhibit focuses on the artist’s body of work inspired by graphic art master M.C. Escher. The selected pieces highlight Selga’s meticulous application of tessellation techniques to a variety of iconographic imagery from his native Cuba.
Foreigner — Photography and short film by Daniel Castro Garcia
The selected works are part of John Radcliffe Studio’s ongoing multimedia project documenting the experiences of refugees and migrants from the Middle East and North Africa arriving in Europe. The series originated in response to the sensationalist and violence-infused coverage of these communities by the European media.
Frankie Crescioni-Santoni, Curator