Gwyneth Leech has the coolest studio in New York. Through February 18, Leech is at work in "the prow" of The Flatiron Building adding to her installation Hypergraphia.
I stopped in to see Leech on my way back from lunch. From Tuesday through Saturday, 11:30-2pm, Leech can be found working on a small chair and side table in the corner of the prow.
Hypergraphia consists of hundreds of used disposable cups, mainly salvaged by the artist over the years, recast into an imaginative array of patterns, landscapes, and other references all drawn in pen, dipped in an encaustic preservative, and suspended by fishing line in the prow. Dancing around in the uplighting and circulating air of the space, the cups are in one sense a fanciful play on a disposable (and highly caffeinated) culture. But Leech's presence also makes this an installation about the process of making art and turning trash into treasure. Leech calls this her "studio in the prow."
Everyone who passes through the area is invited in, at least to peer in from the sidewalk, but Leech also welcomes interested visitors inside the prow. She says her most frequent visitor is a 2-year old girl who has taken a particular shine to the work.
We have Sprint to thank for turning the "Prow Art Space," attached to their flagship store, into a rotating series of exhibitions. Sprint's contribution speaks to the commercial sector's increasingly imaginative use of public space and real estate. Nearby on Park Avenue, for example, the light artist Carol Salmanson recently turned the windows of a condominium conversion into pseudo stained glass, which she called "Neo-Gothic Rockets."
Any one of Gwyneth Leech's cups may be purchased for a small fee through her gallery Cheryl McGinnis, and Leech says she has made up small Plexiglas dioramas to display them.
Hypergraphia will remain on view at the Flatiron building through February 18. Stop by and take a sip of the biggest coffee klatsch in New York.