Upheaval 2006
Upheaval 2012
Created for HATAK
By Wendy Letven

Artist’s statement about the work:
“These two works mark the times my family was impacted by violent storms. These events caused very minor upheavals in my own life… the effects on other people’s lives caused losses that were severe to devastating.

Thinking about the attic environment of North Willows I was inspired to consider encounters with these works as cobwebs, those signs of nature that invade our space that we consider to be a minor nuisance. On the other hand, they might remind us of the proverb “caught in a web of one's own making”.


Upheaval 2006
Driving home a succession of falling trees and branches narrowly missed our car during a rare meteorological event… a microburst. With two small children in the car it was terrifying. Numerous healthy older trees were sheared and downed causing damage to roofs, blocking roads and causing power outages.
Upheaval 2012
During Hurricane Sandy our family was among more than 8 million to lose power for days. It hit our neighbors worse and longer so we opened our home to them. Over 600,000 lost their homes. More than 125 people lost their lives, It was recorded as the most expensive storm to hit the US, with cloys to $70 billion in damage."

Wendy Letven is a multidisciplinary artist working in sculpture, installation and painting in the New York area. She has created installations for Art on Paper Fair, the Flatiron Prow Artspace, Market Art and Design, and The Sheila R. Johnson Gallery at the New School, among others. Wendy is a MacDowell Colony Fellow and a recipient of a Workspace Grant from Dieu Donne Papermill in New York. Raised in Philadelphia, she received a BFA from Tyler School of Art and an MFA from Hunter College. She teaches Art and Design at Parsons School of Design in New York and at Montclair State University.

Artist Statement:
My approach to making art involves the development of a growing vocabulary of shapes, patterns and gestural marks through which I might communicate my ideas. I organize my drawings through a naming and filing system that I reference over and over. These are my materials. I look for universalities, similarities and specificities in things, always observing, decoding and translating through drawing. Working with a visual language in this way makes it possible for me to arrange and combine to create works that touch upon larger themes, emotions, and narratives. The abstract/symbolic nature of the work and the way it combines parts to create a whole offers an open-ended decoding experience for the viewer. In my paintings I layer and embed elements from “the vocabulary” so they intermingle with mark-making, gestural and lyricism inherent in the painting process. By contrast, my sculptural work uses these components as planes through which light and and location are the determinants of their spaciality and effect. In three dimensions I paint surfaces to mirror their surroundings, so they interact with changing light levels, foliage, sky and surrounding architecture. I think of them as environmental interventions to augment an experience of a space through a dialogue with it.

Social Media: @wendy_letven