Rendering Leonard - A Public Art Installation

Created by Helen Dennis

56 Leonard Street, New York City - Opening January 2010

As New York comes under transformation and is progressively developed to enhance the City’s skyline, one most notable construction is planned for 56 Leonard Street. Designed by Herzog & de Meuron, this site is to be home to a stunning 57-story residential condominium tower, featuring artwork by Anish Kapoor.

But until then, it is “Rendering Leonard”, a public art installation created by artist Helen Dennis as part of the Downtown Alliance Re:Construction public art program initiative, that will grasp the minds of passerby. Dennis’ work portrays ghostly traces of the surrounding urban environment around Leonard Street. Her work leads the viewer into an ambiguous temporal realm by focusing on the extended time of a single moment. Through layers of hand-rendered drawings exposed onto photographic paper, Helene manages to capture the energy of the City and it’s constant state of flux.

The large scale of the work physically immerses the viewer into a portrait of New York and the urban architectural environment across the Downtown area. Through her continuous study of the metropolis that surrounds us, Helene Dennis offers us a complete 3 dimensional vision of the city’s kinetic energy.

Her unique technique sits on the boundary of photography and drawing. She introduces layers of intense fine white lines, which build up the image before the viewer. These architectural renderings are then introduced to the photographic process in a similar way that one would use a negative. The result challenges the conventional reading of a photographic image and enhances the infinite traces that compose the City.

“Rendering Leonard” will be installed along the 200 ft of plywood wall that surround 56 Leonard Street, and will be up for close to a year.

Re: Construction is a public art program produced by The Downtown Alliance. The project is curated by Ayelet Daniele Aldouby and Elinor Milchan of ARTEA Projects.

About Helen Dennis

Helen Dennis was born the UK and currently resides in Brooklyn, NY. She studied her BA(Honors) at the University of the Creative Arts in Canterbury and achieved her MFA at Hunter College in 2005. Dennis has since been awarded a fellowship from Aljira Center for Contemporary Art as well as a photographic fellowship from The International House, NYC. She has participated in many art residencies including Cyprus and recently in Beijing and participated in various exhibitions with the support of Queens Council on the Arts, Kent County Council, New Jersey State Council on the Arts and South East Arts UK.

Additional images and information about Helen Dennis can be found at: