Maggie Wong (b.1988, Oakland, CA) is a visual artist attuned to materiality and sculpture’s disciplinary capacity to shape social space. With an eye toward post-minimalism, Maggie creates social and sculptural forms that unpack the sensation of materials, archives, and inheritance – pursuing where love undergirds study and touches the political in the affective edges of objects and texts. As a teacher, she is interested in the interplay between informal and experiential education amidst formal art ecologies. She holds an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) and recently worked as the Educator-in-Residence at the Luminary and a lecturer at SAIC. Her exhibition history includes being shown at the Chinese American Museum of Chicago, Iceberg Projects, Mana Contemporary Chicago, Comfort Station, Annas Projects, take care (LA), Temple Contemporary, YBCA, and 99cent Plus, while her work has been written about in The Chicago Reader, ArtForum, and Sixty Inches from Center. Her writing has been published by Yale University Press, Viral Ecologies, and the Journal of Art Practice.
In a letter to an inquiring art appreciation student, curator, and museum educator, Katharine Kuh emphatically claimed, “I don’t think there is such a thing as appreciating art; there is only loving it.”
As an artist and educator, I stand by Kuh’s enthusiasm but am drawn to ask: how can we learn from love? Rather than defining love, I accept it as a relational phenomenon that draws me to objects and ideas. With an eye toward post-minimalism, I create social and sculptural forms that play with the affective edges of objects and texts. I treat research like a love language that unpacks personal encounters with structures that define difference. I seek out where love undergirds study and touches the political and ask how sensation transforms how one inherits and interprets chunks of knowledge that get thrust through time. While individual works demonstrate different characteristics of materiality and formal outcomes, you’ll find an enthusiastic and amorous logic across my entire practice.
Enthusiastic logic “drives us to fill the spaces that we know can never be filled.” – Johanna Burton