Lena Wolff grew up living semi-communally with her family at the Zen Center in Los Angeles in the 1970’s and then moved to Paris and outside of Amsterdam as a young person before returning to the US. Based now in the San Francisco Bay Area since the early 1990's, she works in a range of approaches including drawing, paper collage, sculpture, murals, text-based pieces and public art, in fluid practice that extends out of American craft and folk art traditions, while at the same time being connected to the modern and contemporary movements of geometric abstraction, minimalism, social practice, Op art and feminist art.
Wolff received a BA in English and Creative Writing from Mills College (1995) and an MFA in Printmaking from San Francisco State University (2003). She has exhibited at the Headlands Center for the Arts, the Legion of Honor Museum, The San Francisco Arts Commission Gallery, Needles & Pens, Southern Exposure, Johansson Projects, Traywick Contemporary, CULT / Aimee Frieberg Exhibitions and New Image Arts among other spaces. In addition to private collections, her work is in the public collections of the One Archive, the San Francisco Arts Commission, the Alameda County Arts Commission, Stanford University, Facebook, the Cleveland Clinic, the University of Iowa Museum and the Zuckerman Museum of Art..
In addition to independent studio activities, Wolff frequently collaborates with other artists, craftspeople, designers and makers across disciplines. Since the 2016 presidential election, she’s been actively engaged in several new projects and collaborations developed in direct response to the political moment. For the last two years Wolff has hosted regular monthly Solidarity Sundays gatherings at her house with her wife Miriam Klein Stahl to engage in community-based activism. Her first music project FUTURE CHORUS came out of her 2017 residency at the de Young Museum, The Song is Love. Made up an ensemble of over 25 artists, musicians, and friends, FUTURE CHORUS sings unexpected resistance themed cover songs and original arrangements in public and cultural spaces throughout the Bay Area. In another vein, Wolff created a series of text-based posters for people’s windows made in collaboration with graphic designer Lexi Visco. Beginning with ‘Berkeley Stands United Against Hate’ in 2017 and a series of ‘VOTE!’ posters ahead of the 2018 midterms, over 120,000 of these posters have been printed at local union shop Autumn Press and distributed within the Bay Area and across the country over the last two years. Wolff is also one of the primary organizers of Dine Out for Democracy, a growing project established to raise funds for voting rights and voter engagement in US elections.
Lena Wolff lives with her wife, artist and illustrator of Rad American Women A-Z and Rad Women Worldwide, Miriam Klein Stahl and their daughter in Berkeley, California. Together Wolff and Stahl have been a steady force in the broader art scene and queer community of the Bay Area, placing their home at the center of social, art and political gatherings for over two decades.