A public garden & cultural center

Lina Puerta

Prickly, Tender and Steamy: Artists in the Hothouse 
Glyndor Gallery | April 8–May 18, 2014 

Lina Puerta utilizes a wide variety of media in her sculpture—clay, resins, wood, found objects, fabrics and artificial and live plants. With these materials, she creates ecosystems that include human and botanical forms, drawing the connection between the appearance of the human body and plants. At Wave Hill, Puerta focused on the succulents. She was attracted to their “weirdness and fleshiness,” choosing plants that had shapes and characteristics that seemed human-like. Through observational drawings and photography, she studied several plants, which resulted in mixed-media sculptures that incorporate manufactured materials to portray natural forms.

I was attracted to the Wave Hill Conservatory’s extensive collection of plants for its rare and unique forms and qualities, which I had not had the opportunity to experience in person before. The cacti and succulent collection are to me a wonderful group of living sculptures that would quietly surprise you day by day. They seem static but are in continuous transformation as all living things are.

Previous to my residency at Wave Hill, I had been thinking about using concrete in my work but had not had enough time and space to experiment with it. Having six weeks of allotted time allowed me to focus on realizing my project while I experimented with a material that turned out to be so versatile it has become prominent in my recent body of work.

—Lina Puerta

Puerta has shown her work in Spain, Mexico and the United States, including recent exhibitions at Praxis International Art, El Museo del Barrio and Northern Manhattan Arts Alliance, all in New York, NY, as well as at Socrates Sculpture Park, Long Island City, NY. She is currently in the Artist Studio Program at Smack Mellon, Brooklyn, NY. She is the recipient of an Emerging Artist Fellowship from Socrates Sculpture Park and the Urban Artists Initiative NYC Grant. Puerta earned a BA from Wells College and an MS in art education from Queens College, City University of New York.

Euphorbia Stellata, 2013, Polystyrene foam, concrete, paint, fabric, lace, fiberfill, wire, notions, beads, chain, cotton thread, acrylic form artificial moss and wax, 12” x 6 ½” x 5 ½.” Courtesy of the artist.

 Arenaria, 2013, Polyurethane and polystyrene foam, concrete, paint, lace, leather, rhinestones, notions, beads, chain, sequins, pins, feathers and artificial moss, 13” x 10” x 5.” Courtesy of the artist.

Hawthorthia, 2013, Polystyrene foam, concrete, mirrored glass, resin, paint, gold leaf, fabric, lace, fiberfill, model tree, trims, beads, chain, vinyl, artificial plants, flocking and moss, 9 ½” x 7” x 6 ¼.” Courtesy of the artist.

Lithopsia, 2013, Polyurethane and Polystyrene foam, concrete, paint, fabric, fiberfill, model trees, rhinestones, notions, beads, chain, leather, cotton thread, acrylic rods, artificial plants and moss, 14” x 4” x 4.” Courtesy of the artist.

Winter Workspace 2013
Glyndor Gallery | January 2 – March 24, 2013

Click here for more information about the artist.


The Arts at Wave Hill are supported by the Lily Auchincloss Foundation, Inc.; Michael J. Shannon; Milton and Sally Avery Arts Foundation; the National Endowment for the Arts; New York City Department of Cultural Affairs; New York Community Trust Edward and Sally Van Lier Fund; New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature; The Pollock-Krasner Foundation; The Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation; and by the Cathy and Stephen Weinroth Commissioning Fund for the Arts.