We are pleased to present recent paintings by Sarah Leahy. Her new exhibit PORTRAIT started with the intention to make interior images, and give form to things recognizable. From this effort grew a series of black and white paintings that are parts of a whole, like pages in a book. The connection between the close-up, the large scene, the past and the present, is the sense of reflecting the solitary moment. These paintings are aspects of a portrait.
The paintings are made through a labor-intensive process of applying permanent black ink on a 1/4” clear sheet of plexiglass. Using paper towels, water, ink and fine grade sandpapers, the plexiglass is repeatedly painted with an ink wash and sanded, slowly building up to the embedded image. The rubbed surface has a luminous depth and density, darkness is the accumulation of ink, while light is the white wall viewed through the translucent glass.
What may appear to represent an image or photograph, especially reproduced in digital form, is entirely different in person. Looking at the image and surface the viewer can see every pass and touch that the painting received. Even the original preparatory work of sanding down the surface is evident. The artist’s process emphasizes a tremendous compression of time and attention, gradually the image develops, becomes focused, and comes forward.
Sarah Leahy is a New York based artist that has been with the gallery for over a decade. She has been the recipient of a grant from the New York Foundation for the Arts, and a studio recepient from the Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts. Her artwork has been reviewed in the New York Times, and juried into the book New American Painters and 173rd annual exhibit at the National Academy of Design. For further information, please contact the gallery.