Sprint and Cheryl McGinnis Projects Presents:
Hypergraphia: Gwyneth Leech, The Cup Drawings—Studio in the Prow September 19 – December 31, 2011 (Prow is a public art space, exhibit viewed 24 hours a day)
Gwyneth Leech will be in the space working Tuesday – Saturday, 11am – 2pm
Reception with the Artist: Saturday, September 24, 2011 11-2 pm
Prow Art Space Flatiron Building 175 Fifth Avenue (at 23rd Street) New York, NY 10010
Cheryl McGinnis Projects is thrilled to partner with Sprint to open our 2011-2012 season with an expanded look at Hypergraphia: Gwyneth Leech, The Cup Drawings—Studio in the Prow. Since 1997, Sprint has occupied the retail space in the building, including the prow on the ground floor. Sprint has converted the glass-walled, ground floor exhibit space adjacent to its Flatiron retail store into a gallery. The Flatiron Prow Art Space houses artwork that is as unique and engaging as the building itself, with an emphasis on pieces that reflect the company’s commitment to eco-friendly living, technology and interaction.
Traveling from her solitary art studio to pop-up spaces in the garment district’s Fashion Center window in February, and the upper east side’s BuckHouse window in June, Gwyneth Leech now emerges with daily drawings on upcycled, take-out paper coffee cups at the crossroads of lower Manhattan to engage a wider range of passers-by to experience her process and compelling urge to draw wherever she is. Across the street from Madison Square Park’s “museum without walls,” the historic Flatiron Building, itself an iconic encyclopedia of design, is the perfect location to continue our dialogue about mark making and surface, and how art and environment affect each other. Since people are no longer tethered to homes and offices due to the rapid advancements in wireless and computer technology and the nonstop pace of 21st century life, this exhibit explores how, instead of giving up that domestic sensibility, women create a new one wherever they find themselves.
The exhibit can be viewed 24 hours a day from September 19 through December 31. Gwyneth Leech will be in the space working Tuesday through Saturday 11am – 2pm. Inspired by the nearly extinct art of letter writing, an integral extension of this project is Leech’s blog, Gwyneth’s Full Brew, which can be followed online at www.gwynethsfullbrew.com. The blog features the daily cup drawings along with her vivid New York slice of life stories, her experiences from the window, and interactive comments and images from viewers.
With Leech’s diverse background in painting, video, ceramics, calligraphy, and wood engraving, the cup series began as a casual outgrowth of her compelling urge to draw. One day, without a sketchbook handy, Leech used what was available in the moment: the ubiquitous coffee cup. The curved form, challenge of working with existing shapes, colors, and text, and the infinite possibilities of expressive variation became as addictive as the caffeinated beverage the cup once contained.
In addition to raising issues of consumerism, post-consumer waste and environmental concerns the cups are essentially about what drawing is: building, layering and obliterating through memory, observation and working from within, this meditative process begins with an initial response to each cup and takes on a life of its own. Leech’s range of subject has no boundaries. Her interest in fractal pa#erning and the fragmenting and meandering of memory and life itself offers an expansive, flowing, bo#omless well of imagery, from figurative cityscapes, flora, fauna, mythological winged creatures, and dance performance to jazzy abstracted aerial marsh views, biomorphic forms and purely non-objective design. The list is endless because the work is infinite and ongoing. Unlike working on a flat plane, drawing in the round also affords a connectivity of shapes and continuous movement. Before any drawing begins, Leech records the date, location and related circumstances on the bo#om of each cup a!er it has been rinsed. Combining traditional and non-traditional materials including Faber Castell brush pens, gel pens, white-out pens, Sumi ink, oil or acrylic paint with encaustic and/or polymer varnish with ultra-violet protection, Leech transforms the ubiquitous coffee cup into a chance to hold her imagination and her New York City in the palm of your hand.
Continuing our commitment to arts education, (adults and children) we will host a series of seminars, workshops and visual thinking dialougues in the Prow. We feel strongly that the more we expose children to art, not just the making of art in school, but the viewing of art in museums and galleries the be#er the chance we have of creating future generations of cultured, critical-thinking adults.
Which is desperately needed in a time when young people are spending hours surfing the net and watching reality television. Workshop and seminar schedules will be available at www.cherylmcginnisgallery.com and on the Cheryl McGinnis Facebook page.
Gwyneth Leech earned her BA at the University of Pennsylvania and a BFA and Post Graduate DA at Edinburgh College of Art, UK. The recipient of numerous awards and grants, including a Glasgow District Council’s European Capital of Culture Project Grant, Sco#ish Arts Council Time Based Media Award, University of Colorado’s President’s Fund Grant and Elizabeth Greenshields Memorial Award, Leech’s work resides in important private and public collections such as the American Museum, Bath, UK; British Broadcasting Corporation; Dumfries and Galloway Regional Council, UK; Edinburgh City Art Galleries; Royal Bank of Scotland; Strathclyde University, UK and the Theater Royal, Glasgow. Museum shows and gallery exhibitions include the Southwest Minnesota State University Art Museum, Marshall, MN; La MaMa La Galleria, NYC; Ayr Art Gallery and Museum, UK; Kilmarnock Art Gallery and Museum, UK; Dundee Museum of Natural History, UK; and the Gallery of Contemporary Art, University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, CO.