Image credit: Esther Levine for the Village Voice
Gwyneth Leech is a painter whose subject matter is the visual drama of construction sites in Midtown Manhattan, where she is recording the incremental yet rapid building process as New York City undergoes major physical and demographic changes.
"In 2015, construction began right outside my studio window in Midtown Manhattan on what would become a 42 floor building. Overcoming a sense of loss and the desire to flee, I made a decision to stay and record the process from the foundation up. I realized then how fast construction sites change, with new shapes, patterns, light effects and human dramas daily. It set my work on a new path. Now everywhere I look, I see a city in a state of dynamic physical transformation and a sense of urgency drives me out on site to witness through painting as much of it as I can."
"Construction Paintings", her first exhibition of this new artwork, was on view in Fall 2016 at the head office of Sciame LLC, a construction company in New York City. In February and March 2018 she exhibited “Construction Series” in the Kaufman Arcade, a public art space in the Garment District, NYC. Her paintings were also included in group shows that year at the Pierro Gallery in South Orange, NJ and Geoffrey Young Gallery in Great Barrington, MA. In 2019, "Constructions Sites" was on view at the Clinton / Hell's Kitchen Studios Gallery in New York City. Sixteen of her paintings were included in "Picturing Space", a group shows in the Art and Design Gallery at FIT, November 2019-January 2020. She is currently exhibiting in City Perspectives III, a group show at CRG Realty on 125th Street in Harlem, curated by Suzanne Randolph Fine Art, and in the UPS Art Project at the Pelham Art Center in Pelham NY and the Ely Center of Contemporary Art in New Haven CT. A solo exhibition of paintings depicting the rise of One Vanderbilt is now public in a Kunstmatrix virtual gallery at www.gwynethleech.com/one-vanderbilt-rising-exhibition.
Her construction site artwork has been featured on NY1 television news, in The Village Voice, on multiple real estate blogs and in international media and is the subject of an award-winning short documentary, The Monolith, from New York City director Angelo Guglielmo. Scroll down to view. For more in-depth background on the artist's construction artwork, click HERE to read an expansive interview with the artist published on AllArts.com.
Gwyneth Leech has exhibited her drawings, paintings and installations in the United States and the United Kingdom in museum, commercial gallery, public art and alternative spaces. She holds degrees from the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, and 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, a University of Colorado's President's Fund Grant, an Elizabeth Greenshields Memorial Award and a Thouron Fellowship, Leech's artwork resides in private and public collections.
Leech's construction site paintings are increasingly sought after by corporations in the real estate and construction sectors. Recent corporate acquisitions include Brookfield, Cimolai Italia, Despé Italia, Metropolitan Walters, NYC Constructors/Banker Steel, Sciame LLC, SL Green Realty and Stonebridge Inc.
View the Monolith here:
Pioneering NYC artist, Gwyneth Leech, enters a midtown art studio only to find that her skyline view will soon be blocked by the construction of a high-rise hotel. But as the perspective out her window permanently shifts, so does the artist's point of view.
The Monolith is directed by Angelo J. Guglielmo, Jr. (The Woman Who Wasn't There), produced and shot by Andy Bowley, EP'd by Andrea L. Smith. Rosie Walunas adeptly employed the Adobe Creative Suite to bring over 200 pieces of Leech’s beautiful artwork to life using Animation, Motion Graphics and Compositing.
DIRECTOR: ANGELO J. GUGLIELMO, JR.
PRODUCERS: ANDY BOWLEY, ROSIE WALUNAS
EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS: ANGELO J. GUGLIELMO, JR., ANDREA SMITH
DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY: ANDY BOWLEY
EDITOR: ROSIE WALUNAS
COMPOSER: ABRAHAM CLEMENTS
SOUND MIXER: DAVID WILSON
ART DIRECTORS: ANGELO J. GUGLIELMO, JR. AND ROSIE WALUNAS
STILL PHOTOGRAPHY: BEN KESSLER
ADDITIONAL PHOTOGRAPHY: GWYNETH LEECH, SARA KERENS, MARIANNE BARCELLONA
COLORISTS: BEN BROOKSBY, SAM WILES
GRAPHIC DESIGN/POSTER: STEVE KIRWAN