Photography: Melba Levick

About Lena Rivkin

After many years as an abstract painter, I was compelled to expand the scale of my work beyond the canvas.  In my paintings, I strove to pull the viewer into the intricate structure of the canvas, yet at the same time I wanted the freedom to create line drawings in the air. I was feeling a pull towards making larger pieces that could command the space around the work in an alternative way.  

Moreover, after many years of working to achieve control of the various painting materials - brush, paint, squeegee, etc.- I was ready to relinquish that control.  My recent drawings and paintings have been more architectural and inclined towards three dimensions.  So the transition into sculpture mirrors my own ever-expanding creative process.

Then, when I met the sculptor, Stuart Silverman, who offered to let me work in his studio, the desire to sculpt became a reality. When I began working in various metals and learning the art of welding, the sensibilities inherent in my drawings and paintings took on a whole new complexity. 

The creative flow I relied on from years of painting and drawing is challenged by the demands of a visual landscape reliant on structure merging with material.  And in making the transition from painter to fabricator, the essential differences are informing and significantly altering my output.  I’m enjoying the freedom of thinking and creating in three dimensions.