“Wahl uses materials often labeled for craft and pushes them into a contemporary extreme somewhere between art and object." Anna Hammond, ARTnews
“In subtle interplay of fixed and fluid elements, Wendy Wahl carves out small meditative plots for the body and soul." Akiko Busch, Metropolis.
“Wahl finds different ways to reconfigure the pages of the Encyclopedia Britannica; the leaves may be stacked into forms that suggest an alternative forest of knowledge or tightly scrolled and packed within a frame, making for a composition that suggests a cabinet of hidden knowledge, those archives of information that are at once visible and concealed, at hand and remote.” Akiko Busch Browngrotta arts the 10th Wave III,
"If a majority of my time was expended in energetic wandering, the rest was passed in suspended contemplation of one work. I anticipated Wendy Wahl’s contribution, “branches,” with cautious curiosity. Touted as a “Monumental Installation” featured prominently in the entryway, ‘branches” was the obvious hype piece; it would either sink or swim. It swam. An arresting black and white tree greeted guests upon arrival; to me, it was texturally reminiscent of tightly tiered cocktail napkins. Wahl’s choice of both subject and materials—not napkins after all, but discarded and deconstructed pages from the Encyclopedia Britannica, aptly conveyed her “ hope [that the piece] will resonate with the viewer...I want [people] …to question their relationship to the natural world…How does a multitude of new ways to communicate alter our understanding of meaning and significance?” For some, the Britannica is a symbol of the past, an arduously constructed, and expensively printed, multi-volume tome of Western knowledge. It is a compendium of everything that publishers knew at the time, and of sufficient editorial and physical breadth, until the 21st century Age of Technology, to insure a healthy shelf life. Our newfound ability to deliver a constant multi-media maelstrom; of sound, audio and video news, sourced and delivered to the minute—scurrilously or not—has drastically altered the role of print in modern society. The definition of “late-breaking news” has never been kept on such a short leash. In Wahl’s tree, I discovered two possible interpretations; one of the times, and one for the Times. To the former, Wahl’s tree represents print media’s mummified corpse, a figure strangled beneath its own, dead weight. The latter, however, provides hope. Wahl’s tree is no longer a requiem but and ode to language as a living organism. The experience of print; the subtle rustling of the turned leaf, the heavily inked and bleeding margin, the earmarked page, to me are represented here. “Branches” actively promotes the confederacy between the page and the reader, calling us all to invest in words with extended, rather than protracted, meaning. Leave late-breaking news and superficial novellas to technology. I saw life in Wahl’s tree, and I’m not sure that it would have been half as beautiful had it been constructed with iPads." Natalie Fasano, Curated Object
Wendy Wahl is an artist and educator with 35 years of experience. Her work has been exhibited internationally and is in a number of private and public collections including the Cooper-Hewitt Museum, NY and the Museum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design. In 2010 she was selected for Networks, a project documenting RI artists through video and exhibition. She was commissioned to create a piece for the entrance of SOFA at the Park Avenue Armory, NY. Her work has been the subject of exhibitions at the Grand Rapids Art Museum, Michigan, the Newport Art Museum, Rhode Island and Fuller Craft Museum in Brockton, MA. She has received artist fellowship awards from the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts and the US Ambassador to Tashkent, Uzbekistan selected her work for his residence through the Art in Embassy Program. She has been recognized in numerous publications including Art News, Boston Globe, Casa Vogue, Providence Journal, Metropolis, New York Times, Architectural Digest, The New Yorker, the Britannica blog, the Curated Object and the WSJ.
Wendy is on the steering committee of the RI Arts and Health Network, on the staff of the Healing Arts program at Hasbro Hospital, a yoga teacher in outreach with Shri Service Corp and a board member of the Hera Gallery and Educational Foundation. Since 1985 she has taught for RISD in Continuing Education and has been a part time lecturer at the URI, CCRI and most recently in the School of Constructed Environments at the New School, Parsons. She received an MAE in Textile Art from the Rhode Island School of Design and a BA in Art from California State University at Northridge.