3.23.2011

Arrangement in Gray and Cups


Not your usual window display in the Garment District


The gray would be the artist, Gwyneth Leech, dressed in a fashionable version of sweats. The cups would be her art, painted white to-go cups assembled in a waterfall of vessels. You can see both in the Fashion Center Window Space at 215 West 38th Street through April 1.

The exhibition, called Hypergraphia, is presented by Cheryl McGinnis Projects. Leech spends 90 minutes in the window each weekday (11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.) drawing and painting on ever more cups—recycled, by the way—which she stacks as they are completed and then adds to the installation; the window remains illuminated once she has left for the day.

Views from the street, above and below



Hypergraphia is right. Designs flow out of the artist’s pen like the house blend out of a deli spigot at breakfast. Leech is prolific. The results suggest Italian pottery, Greek vases, paisley prints, tattoos, cuneiform script and more—a range of contemporary abstraction.  And, if I may say so, the installation is really fun. It’s interactive in that people on the street stop to look at the cascade of cups, then spying Leech in the corner, painting, call their friends over to come and look.  “She musta drunk $900 worth of coffee,” said one hip-hop homie to another (I’m guessing more), as they paused to take in the range of graphic expression. But others are drawn in by the artist drawing. Those of us “in the life” forget just how fascinating it is to watch someone make something out nothing, or in this instance, a white paper cup. 


Leech at work, above and below; I entered the building for these views



Sometimes the window is crowded with viewers, but I opted for  a shot that focused on the art


 Creating more art supplies


The back story: Leech, a New York artist and coffee connoisseur, had an idea for this show, scouted around and found a location, and then approached McGinnis, who has a gallery nearby on Eighth Avenue at the northern fringe of Chelsea. The result: a pop-up project, which extends the reach of both artist and dealer. Maybe this is an only-in-New-York story, but it’s a good example of what happens when the artist is thinking outside the cup, and the dealer is thinking outside the box. 



Follow Leech’s first-person report of the project on her blog, Gwyneth’s Full Brew. Get more info about the project at the Cheryl McGinnis Gallery website.


14 comments:

anne mcgovern said...

So clever! This is what I miss about New York.

Cherie Mittenthal said...

Lovely!

Patricia said...

You're 100% correct. This installation is FUN. Five of us stopped by a couple of weeks ago, not really knowing what to expect. What happened was that we could not stop smiling - it is a beautiful installation.

Anonymous said...

I love it, it has a great spontaneous feel to it.

Gwyneth Leech said...

What a pleasure to see my Hypergraphia drawings-on-cups project through your eyes, Joanne! I am so glad you were able to stop by and visit during the craziness of Armory week in NYC. The drawing continues and the new cups are mounting up. Forget the caffeine - I am now addicted to all the great interactions with people right outside my window studio. How will I be able to go back to working alone?

Bill said...

What a blast!

Linda said...

I love the many levels of the display: the cascading cups, the artist tucked inside, and the reflections of the city in the window.

Nancy Natale said...

Such a good idea: an artist and gallery thinking outside the white box. Those cups are fun to look at and the installation is great. How good of Gwyneth to work with an audience and participate in the street scene that makes New York so lively. Thanks for posting this, Joanne.

Kristin Nicholas said...

Wish I were going to NYC soon so I could see this. Nice to see it here on your blog Joanne!

Hannah said...

Thank you so much for covering this Joanne. I feel like I've had a trip to New York & its ebulliant artistry through Gwyneth's work. Love the variety; the combination of kinetic and calm.

deesha said...

What I great surprise as I walked by the window early last week. So many people stopped to have a good look.
Thanks, Joanne for this post.

deesha said...

What a great surprise walking by early last week. So many people stopped to enjoy. Thanks Joanne for writing about it.

km said...

How fortuitous that I read this post just before I left home for a short trip down to NYC. I thoroughly enjoyed the installation yesterday and speaking for a few minutes with Gwyneth. (She mentioned the installation will be up a few days after April 1.) Thanks so much for posting about this gem I never would have known about otherwise.

Agata said...

What a fabulous idea!