Meet Wendy Letven

@ her studio in New Jersey


Tell us about yourself & how you became an artist

As far back as memory allows, I loved drawing, painting and photogrpahy. Both of my parents are artists, so making art was an important part of every day life. Upon entering college I began to examine this activity more closely as my purpose in life. Over the years my studio practice has given me so much joy.

What is your art addressing? What kind of message do you want to convey through your art?

I am fascinated by natural phenomenon and interpreting them through my materials through process-driven work. Organic and the geometric patterns are combined, suggesting a collision of varying energies, rhythms and frequencies, with cast shadows that add a layer of etheriality to the materiality of the work. I seek to create work that is charged with a sense of motion, the exuberance of line, texture, color and form.

 Wendy Letven artist Wendy Letven artist


“I seek to create work that is charged with a sense of motion, the exuberance of line, texture, color and form.”

What kind of emotions do you want to stir in your audience?

I am interested in eliciting a state of both wonder and well-being in the viewer, through recollections of sensations buried deep within. In larger works, I look to create an immersive experience with color and line, to envelop the viewer.

What is your creative process?

Everything that I do begins with a drawing, often as simple as a thumbnail sketch. A dynamic sense of flow and an overall Gestalt is paramount to me. With a composition in mind, my paintings begin with a gesture, or mark and develop from there. In my sculptural works I work from a vocabulary of patterns and symbols, combining them and compounding them to create layered works in both paper and aluminum. For larger works I create small models in paper and even in aluminum.

Wendy Letven artist

3 words to describe yourself as an artist

passionate, inquisitive, bold

3 words to describe your art

colorful, lyrical, sensuous

Your go-to music for when you're working?

I listen mostly to Indie Rock bands and an eclectic mix of favorite singers such as Nick Cave, Sharon Van Etten, Billie Eilish, Ron Sexsmith, Nico, David Bowie, and Nina Simone.


Favorite movie or show?

Recently I've enjoyed alot of foreign series such as The Dark, Babylon Berlin, and Fleabag. Lost is an all time favorite of mine.

Favorite color?

I try to be democratic about color and say that I love all colors equally as long as they are accompanied by the colors that complement them the most. Lately, though, I have been very drawn to reds and violets in my work. I absolutely love a strong dose of the brightest yellow and I identify it as a color that matches my best self. In the past, I went through a green and earthy phase and as well as a blue.

Wendy Letven artist

Do you have a routine or ritual for when you're working?

As long as my studio is clean, I am able to enter, turn on my music and get right to work. If the studio is in a big enough disarray, which happens often after a large proejct, I do a full cleaning and organize things to start up again. If I am starting a new series, I tend to move all older works out of the way to clear the way.

Where / When / How do you get inspired?

I am inspired by both natural phenomena and my urban environment, so travelling, hiking in nature and walking the city are important to me. Often, even before I take a trip I see the influence a place has on my work. An entire series of paper cuttings I made starting in 2014 were inspired by a cacaphony of wires, cables and bits of architecture I saw on one day during the construction of Hudson Yards. Recently I visited Iceland, where I saw an active volcano and a glacier, among other natural wonders and I am still processing those experiences. I take alot of photographs wherever I go and even if I do not work directly from them, the act of framing, helps me see.

What makes you happy?

On a very basic level, a sunny day makes me very happy. As an artist I am happiest if I make something that feels like it might have a life of it's own. It doesn't always happen, but the potential for it is what really drives me.

Wendy Letven artist

What impact does living in New York have on you?

The culture of New York is just unparalleled. Here, I am able to see the most outstanding art being created today that both inspires me and challenges me, helping me to understand the context of the era in which I'm working. But it is really the diversity of people and the opportunities that keep me here.

How has your art changed throughout your career?

When I first began seriously making work I was immediately interested in painting large and exploring color, organic form and abstraction. I went though a brief period, after the attacks of 911, in which I painted in a more figuratively, even exploring hyper-realism. I'm so glad that I explored that avenue because I learned so much from it and became a better artist, but ultimately, I felt compelled to return to the freedom and pure joy of abstraction.

Wendy Letven artist

What do you want people to know about you or your art that we haven't asked?

As a multi-disciplinary and process-driven artist artist I love the chance to work with new materials. This has lead me to create drawings, collages, paintings, cut paper sculptures, metal sculptures and more. My ideas stem directly from the process of making, regardless of the medium.



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