Thursday, February 2, 2012

Prowess: How to Talk to an Art Critic

Gwyneth Leech Hypergraphia Cup Installation, evening
Prow Artspace, Flatiron Building, NYC

I was outside the Flatiron Prow the other day with my bottle of Windex and paper towels, cleaning finger marks off the plate glass windows. Grown ups often touch the windows when pointing out their favorite cups to each other; kids will press their noses and palms right against the glass. I am not complaining - it is wonderful to have enthusiastic viewers! But Angel, the usual window cleaner, is here just once a month. so I play janitor in between.

Getting a positive review
Renoir girl outside my window.
 View from the Flatiron Prow
A man came up to me carrying his takeout coffee (small brown cup, flat lid, wrapped in a napkin).
He asked rather belligerently, "What exactly is the point of this installation?"
I drew breath. He actually looked kind of angry.
"Well," I said, "it is about the inventive potential of the human spirit. The artist has saved all her used paper coffee cups for years and she has drawn and painted on each one by hand. There must be almost 800 cups hanging in there. And each one is a different."
"Oh!" He said, and stalked off, apparently satisfied. 
And I went back to cleaning the glass. 

Angel on a monthly window cleaning visit.
Yes, 60 degrees on February 1st, 2012!
Photo by Caroline Nye

A whole lot of glass to keep clean.
Gwyneth Leech Hypergraphia Cup Installation 
Prow Artspace, Flatiron Building, NYC


  1. This is absolutely great. A woman/artist who does consistently brilliant work, keeps her exhibit space clean, defends her output with subtlety and rigor, then blogs about it. As you said, "Whew!"