Wendy Rolfe juggles reverence and irreverence in paintings constructed to suggest portable altars. Dealing seriously with creation myths, nature, the cosmos, spirituality and art, Rolfe nevertheless maintains a light, wry, mischievous touch in her imagery. In “Natural Meditation,” a figure with the upper body of a Madonna by Giotto is given the shapely legs of Botticelli’s “Venus,” painted bright green and entwined with a human-headed serpent. Her bare-chested consort looks like Ulysses in a painting by Primaticcio, another Italian old master. Rolfe appropriates more than art historical imagery as she also mingles contrasting styles, from the highly finished to the faux-naive, in the same painting. These and other unexpected twists in her work make it fresh and visually rich.
-Marie Louise Kane Des Moines Register
Wendy S. Rolfe paints opulent, fantastical vignettes on curved panels that feel baroque and surreal at once. She often includes little quotes or messages in them as well, which makes the experience of viewing them even more like a discovery – or like decoding some sort of richly designed riddle.
– Phantasmaphile Art, Culture, Mirabilia
Rolfe’s heavily symbolist, Giorgionesque female nudes in lush, liturgical landscapes, recall the brilliant and bizarre paintings of Philipp Otto Runge. For all the panels’ eclecticism, Rolfe’s accomplished technique and skill as a colorist and draughtsman present the viewer with lucid, cohesive images that veil personal meaning, yet still convey the human aspiration that shaped them.
-Richard Tobin, The Magazine, Santa Fe