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Editors pick from AD 20/21: Wendy Wolf

During a visit to the BAC’s annual AD 20/21 at the Boston Cyclorama, Kim Poliquin, Director of SHIFTboston, discovered the organic, nature inspired work of Wendy Wolf.  Wendy, an artist who has completed residencies at both Taliesin West and the Contemporary Artist Center at Woodside “establishes a tenuous connection with the natural world..”.  Her print making and installation art, embodies gentle plant-like textures, capable of softening the hard lines of the urban environment.

Meghan Maupin, a writer for SHIFTboston spoke with Wendy to learn more about her work:

Wendy creates obsessive repetitive artwork that draws inspiration from language and leaves. Her paper installations create records of fleeting moments. She uses leaves altered by natural processes and preserves them by reproducing their forms with translucent yupo paper. By making these paper leaves, Wendy “neutralizes nature” and recalls both the life of the plant and her own interactions with nature. In a phone interview, Wendy explained that she is allergic to most leaves, which makes her personal relationship with nature distant, while her work brings her back.  It becomes safe for her to experience nature through the repetitive fabrication of the leaves because it removes the aspect of danger. Wendy reiterates this thought in her artist’s statement, saying she intends to “establish a tenuous connection with the natural world by bringing my manufactured leaves as a mimisis of nature in dialogue with the landscapes of human construct.”


All of Wendy’s work is as much about process as it is product; the acts of mark making, cutting, assembling, and movement are obsessively repeated in her painting and sculpture. Her constructed landscapes are usually temporary, but with some aspect of permanence. Structural lines made out of cotton thread that will disintegrate over time are used to “create tenuous and visual connections” in the installation pieces.

In some situations, like the recent “Flora and Fauna” exhibit, Wendy is given a few parameters and has to work creatively within them to create her installation. In this instance, she was asked to work within 2000 sq ft and could not adhere to the ground. She re-used support systems and hardware from old shows in order to make a moveable, temporary installation that was off the ground.  For all of her paper pieces, she pulls from an extraordinary collection of cut leaves and scrap paper from other shows- to include even the cutouts from what bugs ate out of the leaves- and re-assembles them in various ways.

Keeping a studio in Philadelphia, Wendy now lives in Newton, MA and will part of a much-hyped exhibition happening in Boston at the end of June*.  In addition to about 20 other artists, she will be participating in “OccupyING the Present” at HarborArts, a waterfront sculpture park on a working industrial sea-going harbor. The show features temporary, site-responsive art and focuses on ephemerality and change. Wendy has proposed working with the seaweed growing in the docks, which the show’s curator, sculpter Elizabeth Michelman, says will be “visibly vulnerable to the elements and as a food source for insects will break down during the course of the exhibition. ” She adds Wendy has ” an elegant sense of composition and space, which will highlight the scale, color, patterns and other aesthetics features of the buildings on which her art is sited.”  Wendy is extremely interested in how her pieces interact with the built environment and create informal space; she hopes in the future to scale up and collaborate with architects to create huge, permanent installations and replace disintegrating thread with cables and wires.

*”OccupyING the Present” is expected to run June 29-September 21. There will be an opening celebration to meet Wendy and other artists of “OccupyING the Present on the afternoon of June 29.  Time of events and tours will be on the HarborArts website

Please visit Wendy Wolf’s website:

Edited By: Kim Poliquin




Categories: Art/Fun, Urban Ecology

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One Response to “Editors pick from AD 20/21: Wendy Wolf”

  1. Wendy Wolf Says:

    Thank you for the lovely article! I’d also like to thank FitzRoy Knox Gallery for bringing my work to AD 20/21!


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