For Immediate Release
Gwyneth Leech: Split Vision
An exhibition of paintings
July 1st - September 1st, 2021
For the last six years, my focus has been upwards, towards the Manhattan skyline, documenting the rapid change manifesting through the high rise construction process.
During the Covid crisis, my perspective shifted downwards. As construction sites came to a halt, I became acutely aware of another kind of building going on around my neighborhood; informal and ephemeral living places were growing in number and size on sidewalks near my studio. Built from scavenged materials, they were often in the literal shadow of luxury high rise construction.
10% of the sale price of each painting in this collection goes to the NY Coalition for the Homeless.
To view the exhibition in portfolio form, including additional paintings,
I am a painter living and working in New York City. For the last six years, I have been making paintings of skyscrapers under construction around midtown Manhattan. I work in series spanning months or years, capturing building phases in accurate detail and rich color. My paintings document change and the in-between stages of buildings, capturing temporary shapes that New Yorkers may live with as part of the cityscape for long periods of time. This focus on construction began in 2015 when a 42 story building went up directly outside my art studio window in the Garment District. I was losing a view I loved, but decided to give this unwanted change my full attention and I made drawings and paintings of the whole construction process from the foundation up. By the time the building topped out, building construction had become an enduring fascination.
During the Covid
pandemic, my artwork took a new turn as I became aware of informal and
ephemeral living places growing in number and size on sidewalks near my studio.
Built from scavenged materials, they were often in the literal shadow of luxury
high rise construction. I began to make paintings of these improvisatory
structures and became acquainted with some of the people building and
sheltering there. The persistence and resilience of these builders through a harsh
winter and in the face of repeated removal of their structures by the city, filled
me with awe. I was moved to document this other kind of built structure that is
increasingly part of the New York cityscape and to follow the questions these
Gwyneth Leech’s artwork has been exhibited across the United States and Great Britain in galleries including Zürcher Gallery, Susan Teller Gallery and the Flatiron Prow Artspace in NYC, Geoffrey Young Gallery in Great Barrington MA and in museums including the Pearl Fincher Museum of Art in Houston, TX and the Aberdeen Art Gallery and Museum in Scotland. She has been featured in the New York Times, the Village Voice, international print media and on NY1 News. She is the subject of a multi-award winning short documentary, The Monolith, by New York filmmaker, Angelo Guglielmo. In November 2019, her construction paintings were featured on 1700 video kiosks across all five boroughs as part of Link NYC’s “Art on Link” public art project.
Leech holds a BA from the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, and a BFA and Post Graduate Degree from Edinburgh College of Art, Edinburgh, UK. The recipient of numerous awards and grants, including a Hell’s Kitchen Foundation Grant, several Scottish Arts Council awards, and a Thouron British/American Exchange Fellowship, Leech’s artwork resides in private and public collections. Recent corporate acquisitions include Brookfield, Cimolai, Despé Italia, Metropolitan Walters, NYC Constructors / Banker Steel, Sciame LLC, SL Green Realty and Stonebridge Inc.
Gwyneth Leech, “Hudson Yards Rising: View to the North”, 2021, oil on canvas, 10” x 20”
Gwyneth Leech, "Encampment, West 38th Street", 2021, Oil on canvas, 15” x 30”