Abby Leigh

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Abby Leigh (born June 26, 1948) is an American artist whose work has been described as recalling Yayoi Kusama and the "visionary abstraction of Arthur Dove".[1] Her work is held in public collections internationally, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Guggenheim Museum and the Whitney Museum.[2] She is represented by the Betty Cunningham Gallery in New York.

Education[edit]

Leigh was born and grew up in New York City. Her mother was a mathematician.[3] She attended Brandeis University where she majored in Theater Studies before attending Guildhall School of Music and Drama. She worked briefly as an actress, touring with the National Company of Butterflies are Free, and making numerous commercials.[3] She began to take drawing lessons at the Art Students League in New York, where her teacher, Will Barnet, encouraged her to become a painter.[3]

Work[edit]

Leigh's early career flourished in Europe, where she showed extensively in France and Italy, as well as Denmark and Belgium, beginning with her exhibit at the Chapelle de Pénitants Blancs in Vence, France. In the decade following this first solo exhibition in France, Leigh's work was shown in solo exhibitions in Europe thirteen more times, and her career in New York began with a series of solo exhibitions at the Maxwell Davidson Gallery. When Leigh's first solo exhibition with the Betty Cunningham Gallery opened on January 27, 2005, the concentration of her career shifted to America, where her solo exhibitions have been concentrated in recent years.[4]

Collections[edit]

According to the Betty Cunningham Gallery in New York, which represents her, Leigh's work is held in the following public collections:[5]

  1. Accademia dei Georgofili, Uffizi Galleries, Florence, Italy
  2. Citibank, New York, NY
  3. Collezioni Communali, Bari, Italy
  4. Collezioni Communali, Sabbioneta, Italy
  5. Deloitte & Touche LLP, New York, NY
  6. The Farnsworth Museum of Art, Rockland, ME
  7. Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA
  8. Guggenheim Museum, New York, NY
  9. Armand Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, CA
  10. Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX
  11. Hunt Institute of Botanical Documentation, Pittsburgh, PA
  12. Industrial Solvents Corporation, Rye, NY
  13. The Israel Museum, Jerusalem, Israel
  14. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY
  15. Midtsønderjyllands Museum, Gram Slot, Gram, Denmark
  16. Montclair Art Museum, Montclair, NJ
  17. Museum of Contemporary Art, Issoudun, France
  18. Grey Art Gallery, New York University, New York, NY
  19. Progressive Art Collection, Mayfield Village, OH
  20. The New York Public Library, New York, NY
  21. Sterling Memorial Library, Yale University, New Haven, CT
  22. The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY
  23. Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, CT

Critical response[edit]

″Abby Leigh's recent paintings and ink drawings (2005–07), brought together under the title "The Eye is the First Circle," cast Yayoi Kusama's obsessive infinity nets over the visionary abstraction of Arthur Dove….”Landscape for the Profoundly Myopic” …might well herald myopia as a condition to be cultivated by 21st-century artist-visionaries." --Art in America[1]

"What is perhaps most remarkable about the drawings in My Personal Atlas is the balance between the lyrically private and the analytic. The unfolding biomorphic flow of these drawings inevitably evokes the introspective surrealism of an artist like Arshile Gorky…"—The Brooklyn Rail[6]

"The results resemble…pregnant Robert Ryman canvases that delicately balance the scientific and the artistic”—Artnews[7]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Rosenberg, Susan, Abby Leigh at Betty Cunningham, Art in America
  2. ^ Leigh's Bio on the Betty Cunningham Gallery Website
  3. ^ a b c "Abby Leigh in Conversation with Thomas Micchelli". The Brooklyn Rail. October 2009. 
  4. ^ Ibid.
  5. ^ Ibid.
  6. ^ The Brooklyn Rail, Baird, Daniel, Abby Leigh, March 2005
  7. ^ Artnews, Gronlund, Melissa, Reviews, New York, Summer 2003