It is with great pleasure we announce the representation of Wendy Letven, the most recent addition to the gallery’s roster and a recipient of a 2023 Fellowship from The New Jersey State Council on the Arts in Sculpture. A multi-disciplinary artist, Letven’s extensive introductory exhibition of abstract abstract sculptures, wall reliefs, wall installations and mobiles of cut paper and laser cut aluminum opens with a reception for the artist in our 15 Central Street Wellesley gallery on Friday, April 28, from 4 – 7 pm and continues through Saturday, June 17.

John Michael Cohen, critic for The Brooklyn Rail, contributed this insightful review of Letven’s works featured in the 2018 exhibition ‘Site:Brooklyn’ Artists’ which helps to convey the artist’s extraordinary ability to channel complex abstractions, both colorful and black and white, which are indicative of nature’s influences upon her and the mind’s and body’s thoughtful and visceral integration of a myriad of elements:

Letven makes her works out of colored paper cut by lasers according to computer-made designs, then puts them together into remarkably complex but precise assemblages. These tend to resemble something halfway between a machine’s inner workings and snapshots of the various stages of an explosion. Each of the colored paper (or aluminum) components is attached to or threaded through one or several of the others. Their shapes – fractals, loops, webs, hexagons – evoke associations with a number of natural and artificial patterns: gears, piping, circuitry, and metal grilles, but also snowflakes, molds, crystals, string, mushrooms, shells, corals and sponges.

Her best piece, ‘Spin Out,’ makes a radical rejection of abstraction’s typical flatness its central concern….it’s Leven who comes closest (in the 2018 ‘Site:Brooklyn’ exhibition) 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….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….for me, the real discovery of the exhibit was Wendy Letven.

(John Michael Colon from The Brooklyn Rail)

Through my sculpture practice, I am working through a deep impulse to make material and concrete, the sense of energy and vitality I observe in daily life. Inspiration can come from the weather, a ripple on the surface of a lake, from botanicals and insects, as well as from architecture, urban infrastructure and media. I find, collect, and develop fragments of observations as sketches. Over time I have amassed a large index of bits and bytes of imagery and motifs I return to again and again. All is processed and refined digitally and translated into sculptural form through my chosen materials of paper, wire, sheet metal and paint. These I bend, fold, cut into and paint, creating works that allow for a dialogue between color, substance, light and shadow. They retain a connection to the immediacy, energy and simplicity of my primary activities, which are observation through drawing and working with materials by hand. I am interested in blurring the boundary between drawing, sculpture and painting in this way.

(Wendy Letven)

Wendy Letven was raised in Philadelphia. She received a BFA from the Tyler School of Art and an MFA from Hunter College. In addition to her recent Fellowship from the New Jersey Council on the Artist, Letven is also a MacDowell Colony Fellow and a recipient of a Workspace Grant from Dieu Donne Papermill in New York. Currently she is working on a permanent public sculpture for the lobby of PS at Schermerhorn in Brooklyn, funded by New York City’s Percent for Art program. Her work is in private collections worldwide as well as in such public locations as The Riverside Park Conservancy, Brookfield Properties, Art on Paper Fair, Market Art and Design, and The Sheila R. Johnson Gallery at the New School among others. Letven’s work has been featured in over 60 one-person and group exhibitions in the US and abroad. Her studio is in New Jersey and she teaches Art and Design at Parsons School of Design and at Montclair State University.