Wendy Letven is a multidisciplinary artist working in sculpture, installation and painting in the New York area. Recently she created site-specific installations in New York for Art on Paper Fair, the Flatiron Prow Artspace, and The Sheila R. Johnson Gallery at the New School. Wendy is a MacDowell Colony Fellow and a recipient of a Workspace Grant from Diee Donne Papermill in New York. Raised in Phildelphia PA, Ms. Letven received a BFA from Tyler School of Art in Elkins Park, PA and an MFA from Hunter College in New York. At Hunter she studied with conceptual artists Robert Morris and Joan Jonas and painters Robert Swain and Vinnie Longo. Ms. Letven teaches Art and Design courses at Parsons School of Design in New York and at New York University.
In both painting and sculptural forms my process always starts with drawing and sketching. I have always been inspired to create art in response to the beauty and mysterious variety of forms and patterns found in nature. In one work I may reference bee hives patterns, electric circuitry, skeletal structures, and striated rock patterns among other things. In transitioning and transforming one into the other, I seek to reveal the invisible forces of nature. One form blends into an another, and is subverted or redefined in new ways. I have culled a growing vocabulary of evocative abstractions that are a personal, yet universal language and form the syntax of my work. In sculptural forms I translate my drawings in planar materials, such as aluminum and paper, and bend, fold, layer, and attach them to form volumetric structures. I think of my installation work as drawings suspended in physical space. In paintings I explore space in a similar manner, however with overlapping, repeated lines and patterns that suggest the warp and weft pattern of the space-time continuum. Pattern, is often regarded as decorative, and by extension, frivolous, or “designed”, however, for me, questions about nature and design are anything but “frivolous”. While one definition of design includes the word “decoration”, another includes the following phrase... “purpose, planning, or intention that exists or is thought to exist behind an action, fact, or material object”.
From a Spring 2018 BROOKLYN RAIL REVIEW...
"... it's Letven who comes closest to charting a viable new path for abstraction. Light and heavy, flat and full all at once, her work uses color not just to imitate space but to play with the very idea of it, to marvelous effect.
But it was her laser-precise paper cut-outs which left me thinking hardest. By consciously juxtaposing patterns drawn from technology and nature against each other in a highly stylized manner, all while employing high-tech implements, Letven seems to be interrogating humanity’s relationship to the world from which it sprang, discovering forms which blur the distinction we tend to make between ourselves and our ecology. " –John Micheal Colon
More information about specific bodies of work can be found in each sub category on this site.