Gay Leonhardt

Leaves Over Water, 2009
Exterior: oil on canvas + book cover. Interior: archival digital pages. 8 x 9 inches, unique. $300





This Year’s Summation, 1995
Offset printing. Boss Books, 6 x 4.5 inches. Edition of 500. $20.

Sand On Sand on the Wall, 2010
Digital archival prints with actual sand. 5.5 x 7 inches, unique. $125.





The Overriding Story, 2010
Microscope slides, plastic, self hardening clay (three slides with text are set into clay) 3 x 4 x 1 inches, unique. $150
One Story, 2010
Microscope slides, plastic, self hardening clay (three slides with text are set into clay) 3 x 4 x 1.5 inches, unique. $175

Statement

I’ve been making artists’ books since 1979, combining images and text or creating series of images. I like to work across media, often ending up in Photoshop to combine media.

My current subjects are the beach (imaginary seas, close photos of sand collaged with actual sand), and fall foliage in the Woodstock area. The books are created with oil paints, cardboards, archival papers, canvas, glue, etc. Each is hand bound. Some have short texts. Both the “Beach Books” series and the “Leaves” series celebrate the intimate and expansive in landscape.

The “Beach Books” series is the outcome of combining my study of nearshore oceanography with a personal passion for the beach. The ocean provides a formal set for the playfulness of the images.

In 2010 I worked with text in some new ways: a) putting text on microscope slides and arranging them in clay, b) combining poems and visual images, c) putting text on transparent plastic and paper to be held by clothespins, and d) working with crumpled paper. I made a new artist’s book called One Story that is centered on one sentence that was visually repeated.

I seek to make work that is playful and to create new ways of seeing books such as my book on the wall series. Those works hang on the wall and open by themselves.

Biography

My initial showing was in various juried shows in the Woodstock, NY area and at the Jack Tilton Gallery (N.Y.C.). Shows and works in the 1980’s included: the publication of Waiting On Godot (available through Printed Matter), a show of assemblage sculpture in a Saugerties, NY storefront and paintings in the Grand Union supermarket with The Floating Gallery, a show called “The IRS Forms” at the Women’s Studio Workshop of oil stick drawing and collage using the standard tax forms and a show of assemblage at the Kleinert Gallery called “Art For No One” in which people could “win” the art by filling out a form saying why they liked it.

In 1991 at the Center for Photography at Woodstock I showed a picture story called “A Day Alone”. In 1993 Boss Books published a picture book using photo collage and text called My Laundry and My Life or My Life in My Laundry. Two years later Boss Books published This Year’s Summation, an accordion book using photos and text that was installed in restaurant bathrooms.

In 1996 I had a solo show of digital and physically manipulated photography at the Center for Photography at Woodstock. In 1997-98 I collaborated with Richard Edelman to create a series of manipulated photographs, which were shown at the Kleinert, Woodstock, NY, the SUNY/Westchester Gallery, in The Digital Salon at The School of Visual Arts in New York, and the Circule De Bellas Artes, Madrid.

In September 2007 I had a one-woman show of hand–made books at Donskoj & Company in Kingston NY entitled Artists’ Books: Up and Over. In 2009 I published A Fall Walk, a 24-page book of text and full color collage images made from actual fall leaves, and Swash: A Beach Book, a 40 page book of photo images and text. In 2010 I had selected work at Kalamazoo Book Arts, The Creative Arts workshop in New Haven, Whitewash Studio in Amagansett, and The Center for Photography in Woodstock. An earlier work was used by the San Francisco Opera as the basis for a set for Werther staged in September 2010.

Gay Leonhardt Website