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VORTEX, 2009 Viscosity Print 12 X10" © CADDEN
Quick Facts
Manchester, NH
Birth year
Lives in
New Mexico
Works in
New Mexico/Calfornia

WENDYN CADDEN is a printmaker, writer and activist who has exhibited nationally and internationally including the Pacific States National Print Biennial in Hilo, Hawaii, the Parrish Museum in Southampton, NY, the Triton Museum of Art in Santa Clara, California, Cabo Frio Print Biennial Brazil, The Albuquerque Museum of Art and History, Taller Gallery Fort in Barcelona, Spain, Addison Contemporary Arts and the Handsel Gallery of Santa Fe, New Mexico and the Forum Gallery in New York City.

CADDEN has been a visiting artist at the California College of Arts and Crafts, the San Francisco Art Institute and the Institute of American Indian Art in Santa Fe, New Mexico.  She has given lectures at the University of California, Berkeley, The College Art Association and the Women’s Caucus for Art, Out/Write Conference and Capp Street Project in San Francisco and served as Adjunct Professor of Printmaking at New Mexico Highlands University. Her work is in many public and private collections including The Harvard University Collection, Cambridge, Massachusetts, The Oakland Museum, The Albuquerque Museum, The McCune Collection of Rare Books and Prints, Vallejo, California, The Institute of American Indian Arts and the Museum of Fine Arts, Santa Fe, New Mexico.

WENDYN CADDEN received her BA at Antioch College in Ohio and studied printmaking at the Art Students League of New York, the Chicago Art Institute and Laney College of Oakland. Among her many teachers and mentors are Ben Shahn, Mauricio Lasansky, Joyce Cadoo, Robert Gwathmey, Joe Zirker, Nathan Oliveira, Charles Chavez and Pele de Lappe.

CADDEN made her living for many years as an illustrator for archeologist Cynthia Irwin-Williams, producing drawings for Anasazi and Salmon River Research Projects in New Mexico. She participated in the civil rights and peace movements of the 50’s and 60’s. As a photographer, writer, printer and publisher throughout the 70’s and 80’s she was active in the media movements that followed the Occupation of Alcatraz, the Black Panther Party, demonstrations to free Los Siete de la Raza, the AIDS crisis, the Free Speech Movement, the legal defense of Inez Garcia, the anti-war, gay and lesbian, and Feminist movements. She was a contributing writer for Art Week and Arts and Entertainment.

A founding member of The Women's Press Collective, a lesbian, feminist printing and publishing organization, Cadden was a custom printer for KALA Institute of Berkeley and taught art programs for youth in Oakland, Vallejo and Richmond, California. She had a brief stint playing rhythm guitar at The Ash Grove and Great American Music Hall with the group "Wailing Pat and The Tear Drops". She was a Tear Drop. 

She currently maintains a studio on Mare Island, Vallejo, California at the Coalshed Studios and a printshop in Falls Creek, New Mexico.


In my art I search for the unfragmented, integrated self.  I am intrigued by strong female roles, multiple sources of lineage and by the diversity of human experience. Through the themes of mask, mime and music I am exploring life’s drama, our collective history and passage. Working fluidly and rapidly in monoprint I am exploring, through the tension of line, the rhythm and charge of existence. The immediacy of a mark enables me to capture an instant of emotional intensity and honesty and like an X-ray, illuminate the inner landscape. 

My work is based in motion and emotion, the rhythm and movement of perception. Working in many forms of graphic media including etching, lithography, relief and viscosity printing, I often draw from the face, the center of psychic revelation, of emotional and social expression.

In order to confront notions of fixed boundaries, irreconcilable conflicts and unalterable dichotomies, I am examining the dialectic between political and psychological imprints, questioning the boundaries between

inside and out,

             animal and human,

                     science and fiction,

                              male and female,

                                   intelligence and intuition. 

Where, I am asking, is the fine line between travesty and transfiguration, truth and illusion, art and life?