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Leonardo Drew

Sara Krajewski Madison Art Center

Leonardo Drew Madison Art Center December 5, 1999 - February 13, 2000 The Bronx Museum of the Arts October 5, 2000 - March 4, 2001

Artwork copyright © Leonardo Drew "Matter and Memory: The Evocative Sculpture of Leonardo Drew" copyright © 1999 Sara Krajewski PHOTOGRAPHY John Berens: p. 12-15, 20, 22-25 The Detroit Institute of Arts, p. 27 Edge of Light Photography: frontispiece Ken Little: p.16-17 Marian Goodman Gallery: p. 30 Merce Cunningham Dance Company: p. 21 Milwaukee Art Museum: p. 21 Frank Mitchell: p. 8,10 University of Iowa Museum of Art: p. 31 The Saint Louis Art Museum: P. 28-29 Angela Webster: p. 34-5, 38-56 Zindman/Fremont: cover, p. 36-37 EDITOR: Mary Maher, Madison, Wisconsin DESIGNER: Glenn Suokko, Woodstock, V ermont PRINTER: Meridian Printing, East Greenwich, Rhode Island Printed in the United States of America Edition of 1000 All rights reserved

Leonardo Drew was organized by the Madison Art Center. Major funding has been provided by Lannan Foundation; the Madison Community Foundation; the Dane Countty Cultural Affairs Commission with additional funds from the Madison Community Foundation and Overture Foundation; The Art League of the Madison Art Center; the Exhibition Initiative Fund; the Madison Art Center's 19992000 Sustaining Benefactors; and a grant from the Wisconsin Arts Board with funds from the State of Wisconsin.

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Krajewski, Sara, 1970 Leonardo Drew / Sara Krajewski p. cm. Includes bibliographical references. ISBN: 0-913883-27-1 1. Drew, Leonardo-Exhibitions. 1. Title. N6537.D73 A4 1999 730'.92-dc21 99-088737 cover and frontispiece: Untitled (detail), 1999, cotton, rust, wood, found objects

Copyright © 1999 Madison Art Center 211 State Street Madison, Wisconsin 53703 copyright © 1999 Sara Krajewski


Foreword Stephen Fleischman, Director Matter and Memory: The Evocative Sculpture of Leonardo Drew Sara Krajewski, Curator of Exhibitions Works in the Exhibition Catalogue of the Exhibition Biography 9 33 57 59 6

Bibliography Madison Art Center Board of Trustees and Staff

60 63


Leonardo Drew's sculpture incorporates many contradictions. Based on the grid, his work manifests a classical sensibility of order and restraint. Yet Drew's unorthodox choice of materials and his interest in breaking down the grid create a tension that elevates his sculpture to more complex aesthetic and psychological levels. Built from rows of stacked wooden boxes, covered with found objects and caked with rust to suggest decay, Drew's wall reliefs function as social statements and meditations on creation and process. A prevailing interpretation of Drew's work centers on his African-American identity-viewing his use of raw cotton bales, canvas bags like those of cotton pickers, and ropes as an evocation of black life under slavery, and rusted debris found on city streets as a simulacrum of urban decay. Indeed, these materials and their context lend themselves easily to such readings. But the artist's manner of gridding and layering individual objects also functions on a purely aesthetic level that invokes important stylistic developments in twentieth-century abstract sculpture. The Madison Art Center commissioned a largescale sculpture from Leonardo Drew, who currently splits his time between Brooklyn, New York, and San Antonio, Texas. This exhibition marks a turning point in Drew's career. The sculpture being premiered in Madison is the culmination of a series that engages the artist's signature forms and materialsthe grid, cotton, rust, boxes-with the intensity of a tour de force. Drew's new work has a powerful presence that draws viewers into a dialogue. The connection happens on a visceral level: Drew maintains that each sculpture is a mirror that reflects what the viewer projects into the work. He is interested in the response of others to his work rather than leaving it to be defined solely from his own experiences. The work that serves as the centerpiece of the exhibition measures io-feet-high by z4-feet-wide by 3-feet-deep. Unlike Drew's previous wall pieces, this

sculpture is free-standing and allows the viewer to experience the work in the round. The piece consists of nearly 20,000 two-inch, handmade, open-ended cotton and wooden cubes, weathered and covered with rust, fabric, and found objects. Onto this matrix, Drew attached found materials, industrial junk, and discarded domestic objects. In this exhibition, for the first time, Drew's drawings also are presented. These two-dimensional works are studies for and meditations on his sculptures. Executed in gouache, ink, and graphite, the drawings are intimate in scale-often measuring only eight by ten inches-and provide a counterpoint to his monumental threedimensional work. This project continues a Madison Art Center tradition of organizing significant exhibitions for travel. It has been a pleasure to collaborate with Leonardo Drew in the realization of this exhibition and publication. Drew's boundless energy and creativity have made this project possible. Bernard Reiter provided valuable assistance to Drew in his Brooklyn studio. Several components of the piece were constructed at the Madison Art Center under the guidance of Mark Verstegen, Technical Services Supervisor and his crew for this project: Gayle Cole, Whitney Connors, Trevor Lord, Betty Merten, Laura Pescatore, and many others who fabricated the small wooden boxes incorporated in the commission. Special thanks go to the artist's supporters in San Antonio, including Christopher Erck and Gabriella Trench of Finesilver Gallery, Tim and Sasha Nye, Nick's Auto, and Yuki Kawakita, YK Design in Atlanta. This exhibition would not have been possible without several generous funders. Major funding has been provided by Lannan Foundation; the Madison Community Foundation; and the Dane County Cultural Affairs Commission with additional funds from the Madison Community Foundation and Overture Foundation; The Art League of the Madison Art Center; the Exhibition Initiative Fund; the Madison Art Center's 1999-2000 Sustaining Benefactors; and a grant from the Wisconsin Arts Board with funds from the State of Wisconsin.

This catalogue was elegantly designed by Glenn Suokko and carefully edited by Mary Maher. I wish to thank Ron Warren of the Mary Boone Gallery for his early assistance with photography and support materials. Photography for the catalogue was completed by Mike Treuter, Angela Webster, and Alan Zindman. After its premiere at the Madison Art Center, the exhibition embarks on a national tour that ensures a large audience for this important new commission and related drawings. I would like to thank Lydia Yee, curator; Marysol Nieves, senior curator; and Jenny Dixon, director; at The Bronx Museum of the Arts in New York for their enthusiasm and support. The Madison Art Center Board of Trustees provides pivotal ongoing support for such ambitious projects and I wish to thank them. In addition, many Art Center staff members deserve special recognition for their contributions: Sheri Castelnuovo, curator of education; Ellen Efsic, director of development and community relations; Jennifer Lin, assistant to the director/publications specialist; Doug Fath, preparator; Michael Grant, publicist; Marilyn Sohi, registrar; and Jill Shaw, curatorial assistant. The exhibition was conceived and realized by curator of exhibitions Sara Krajewski, who worked on every facet of this important project. Stephen Fleischman Director Madison Art Center

Matter and Memory: The Evocative Sculpture of Leonardo Drew

Leonardo Drew's sculptures demand to be experienced. Immediately, one feels a strong visceral reaction to his mammoth assemblages of stacked, stuffed, and altered wood, cotton, rust, fabric, rope, paper, bricks, and found objects. He favors materials with memory, which bear both personal and cultural associations. An African-American artist who uses cotton, rope, and junk from city streets, Leonardo Drew contends with matter that is emblematic of the black experience of life under slavery, the hard labor of Southern agriculture, and contemporary life in blighted urban centers. Although these symbols are distinct for the artist, he considers his sculptures to be mirrors that reflect whatever the viewer projects into them. Provocative juxtapositions and an aesthetic of decay are meant to trigger a wealth of responses. His work surmounts an initial intuitive encounter, however, through its rigorous formalism. To structure his compositions, Drew adapts aspects of abstract expressionism, minimalism, and process art. His complex constructions measure up against modernism, African art, and the work of contemporary African-American artists to become lasting statements on culture, history, and art theory.

Number 8, (detail) 1988; rope, wood, paint, debris; 120 x 108 x 20 inches; Collection of the artist


Number 8, 1988; rope, wood, paint, debris; 120 x 108 x 20; Collection of the artist

Born in 1961 in Tallahassee, Florida, Drew and his family moved to Bridgeport, Connecticut when he was a child. Turning to art early on, the artist describes his youthful creative pursuits as foreign among his peers. "I have been drawing and painting all of my life, as far back as I can remember. As far as my upbringing and where I'm from, making art wasn't exactly something one pursued. Growing up in the projects, you were always at a fork in the road, to do or not do drugs, to drink or not drink: making art wasn't one of those options that you did or did not do." A precocious adolescent artist, Drew had his first exhibition in 1971 at the State National Bank in Bridgeport and continued to exhibit locally throughout his teenage years. At the time, he drew and painted the figure and had a particular fondness for comic book heroes (he later turned down an illustrating job at DC Comics). Library books that pictured works by New York school artists like David Smith, Robert Motherwell, and Jackson Pollock proved an influential initial exposure to modern art for him. Even at this age, Drew collected objects from a nearby dump

and arranged them into changeable tableaux .z After attending Parsons School of Design in New York City for a year, he transferred to the city's Cooper Union and completed his BFA in 1985. While in art school, he continued to pursue figure drawing and painting. After graduation, he began to shift from twodimensional figurative work to nonrepresentational sculpture. He made several transitional paper cutouts he describes as totemic shapes. These tall, unadorned forms mounted to a wall relate in part to the frontal tendencies of African sculpture that he looked to at this time.' Coinciding with the cutouts, Drew started numbering his works. This unassuming system still serves to title his sculptures, a nondescript denomination that does not inscribe a work's meaning except to state the position of a piece in the progression of the artist's output. By distancing authorial intention, Drew allows each work to entertain a wide range of interpretation. In 1988, a breakthrough came with Number 8, a sculpture Drew considers the mother work from which all his subsequent work derives.' To create this massive

following pages: Number 24, 1992; wood, rust, cotton; 96 x 240 x 11; Collection of Mrs. Eugene Schwartz


Number 28, 1992; canvas, rust; 132x256x156; Collection of Dr. and Mrs. Marc Strau

composition, Drew wove ropes, rags, wood, feathers, dead birds, entrails, claws, antlers, animal bones, and hides into a macabre tapestry. Jeremy Strick observed of this sculpture: "painted black, the color of mourning, Number 8, served for Drew as a kind of exorcism, the transformation of rage into art."' The sculpture's gathering of powerful symbols provokes turbulent emotions. Rope recalls slave bondage, even lynching. Animal pelts and bones appear as talismans and suggest the remedies and religious practices of black folk tradition. Historically, images of birds, reptiles, and other animals used in some West African arts relate to the spirit world; indigenous West African religions often deploy sculptures as intermediaries between the living and the dead. Viewed in this light, Number 8 gives voice to the pride and pain of muted predecessors. In addition, this sculpture recalls a tradition of art made from discarded materials by African-American outsider artists like Mr. Imagination, Derek Webster, Bessie Harvey, Lonny Holly, and many others. Cotton and rust are other powerfully suggestive substances in Drew's work. In Number 24, Drew interspersed tufts of raw cotton amidst stacked sheets of rust-encrusted wood. For the artist, "cotton has a memory. It has a history. It is not something that is picked up at random, it is something that has a life of its own."' Cotton in its raw. state evokes for him Southern plantations, slave labor, and sharecropping. The canvas cubes of Number 28 even resemble the sacks of cotton pickers. The chemical compound rust also is "filled with memory in an organic sense" in Drew's eyes .7 To incorporate rust into a sculpture, he accelerates oxidation in his studio, scrapes it off found metals, and places already rusted objects into a sculpture. The color and texture that result evoke both urban decay and the earth toiled in agriculture. Rust coatings applied overall to the wood, bricks, carpets, and architectural details of Number 48 give the appearance of an abandoned home battered by the elements. Applied to raw cotton or processed cotton fabric, as in Number 28, rust even resembles dried blood.

following pages: Number 48, 1995; fabric, wood, rust; 130x293x11; Collection of Linda Pace

When brought together in Drew's potent abstract assemblages, these materials summon varied responses-from crystalline and cerebral to more ambiguously visceral. Although manipulated by the artist to strike a particular chord, the objects carry a weighty sense of memory and loss that need not regard African-American experience specifically. As Drew points out:

terials but also enters into a dialogue with American and European art of the last 40 years. His approach to composition both advances and challenges the tenets of modernism, minimal art, and process art. From early on Drew has claimed Jackson Pollock's painting as influential to his thinking. In his translation of gestural painting into sculpture, most readily seen in Number 8, Drew translated Pollock's all-over composition style, his banal materials, and looping skeins of paint (in Drew's case, If I weren't standing in front of my work, maybe you actual skeins of rope and string) that index the artist's hand. wouldn't even consider the idea that this is a black Perhaps most importantly, Drew learned that visceral person dealing with cotton, which is a loaded material. reactions arise from the evidence of process.' Incidentally, The work would probably be considered in a different both painter and sculptor employ a numbering system for light. I enjoy the fact that you can slip into different titles, although Pollock's compositions sometimes include a things. The intensity of the work is always present, at subtitle that inflects mood or singles out a compositional the same time the viewer is not forced to deal with device, as with Echo. Number 25, 1951 or Number 13A, certain issues if one is not open to or not ready to come 1948: Arabesque. To reference a singular experience in this to terms with them. I think that is part of the validity and way reinforces the artist's intent and invalidates other the wholeness of the work; it does not force feed the feelings a viewer may have. Drew's numbers lack viewer." descriptors and allow the objects to work on the viewer An encounter with the overwhelming physicality and directly without the title leading, or misleading the eye. provocative multivalence of a single work provides gratification at first on an intuitive level. Furthering the intellectual complexity of the work, Drew's formal vocabulary not only structures his loaded ma

Number 39 (detail), 1994; paper, feathers, paint, string; 146 x 128 x 7; Courtesy of the artist

At work 0n gridded abstractions in the early 90s, Drew unexpectedly returned to the raw, chaotic power of the rope and debris of Number 8 in creating Ground Level Overlay (1995) for the dancer and choreographer Merce Cunningham. This seeming about-face reveals the deep ongoing dialogue Drew maintains with Pollock's work. Deleting the more sensational objects of Number 8, Drew concentrated 0n dynamic line and color to achieve the unsettling psychic charge experienced through the forms of a Pollock painting. The mammoth piece alone creates a dark mood suggestive of death and regeneration. In performance, heavy, ponderous music and the dress of Cunningham's dancers amplify this tone. Curators and critics frequently cite similarities between Drew's sculpture and that of Eva Hesse's work in the 1960s. Although Drew acknowledges the likeness, he discourages presumption of a deeper relationship. I think that we are similar at a quick glance. But I think we are saying two different things. Her work is skeletal and my work, in terms of weight, is much heavier. Her work is more ethereal and is very elegant even in its most grotesque forms. She is talking about something else." While 0n the surface Hesse's airy, fragile, personal body of work11 is far from Drew's physically dense pieces, as an example of 1960s process art, it provides a context for understanding Drew's challenge to modernist formalism. Taking their cue from abstract expressionism's celebration of the actions of painting, pouring, and staining, several artists in the late 1960s emphasized process over static end results. Now known as process artists, this loose grouping included practitioners of arte povera, conceptual art, earth works, and performance art. They opposed the cold, impersonal formalism found in minimal art objects-industrially fabricated modular geometric structures as typified in the work of Donald Judd and Sol LeWitt. Often using the forms and principles of minimalism as a springboard or counterpoint; they explored the impermanence of unconventional and natural materials and often pursued site-specific projects

Number 40, 1994; wood, canvas, paint, rust; 139 x 130 x 207; Courtesy of the artist following pages: Number 23, 1992; canvas, wood, cotton; 96 x 102 x 5; Courtesy of the artist

Working today, Drew's practice parallels that of Hesse and other process and post-minimal artists. Like Hesse, Drew trained as a painter and admired abstract expressionism. Hesse's sculpture later came to be identified as "painterly," that is to say frontal, dependent on the wall, layered, and concerned with surface and luminosity.12 Both Hesse and Drew infuse their objects with sentiment that references personal and cultural experience. Where Hesse favored nontraditional, unstable synthetic substances like latex and fiberglass, Drew chooses mutable organic matter more in common with others of Hesse's generation, like the arte povera figure Jannis Kounellis. Similar to Drew, Kounellis has since the mid-60sexplored themes of faded memories evoked by cultural artifacts and matter, utilizing such materials as cotton, charred wood, unprocessed stone, and rust. Drew embraces, even cultivates in the studio, organic forces that erode, rust, and otherwise degrade the materials that make up his assemblages. As such, a single work encapsulates the organic rhythm of birth, growth, and decay, played out in all organisms, from microbe to human being. The idea is to look at things in the big picture. I'm not separating man from nature. When we separate man from nature we tend to believe that we're above nature and how can we be above nature? It's not only us but the earth and all other things in unison. It's not just that we're building this grandiose world and everything else is subservient ... we're all made from the same elements. 13 As a process and as a theme, the energy flow of nature's self-reliant, self-perpetuating systems appears throughout Drew's body of work. An assembly of cotton sacks in Number a8 evidences a chaotic breakdown; the individual shapes are the tumbled-down pieces of a once upright structure that has surrendered to time and gravity. Paper cubes in Number 39 sag under their cumulative weight and seem to be on the verge of falling over. On the other end of the cycle, the solid upright cubes of Number 40 seem magnetically drawn towards the powerful mass 0n the far wall; a sense of growth and unification replaces degeneration. Several process artists also have contended with how to represent energy systems like entropy or chaos

theory in their work. From her interest in chaos and the ephemeral nature of order, Hesse disturbed the inherent geometry of several works by distorting shapes and placing them randomly.' In his earthworks of the early 1970s, Robert Smithson investigated entropy, the continual dissipation of energy in a closed system. Experimenting with this theory in visual art, he manipulated the natural world through operations like pouring, mapping, and other displacement of matter on a large scale, often outdoors. Other natural processes such as oxidation, hydration, and carbonization appear in Smithson's work. Like Drew, the disorder of the industrial landscape fascinated Smithson, who attempted to reclaim post-industrial wastelands and develop new uses for them. Drew's view of the cycle of decay and regeneration resembles an aspect of Eastern metaphysics that professes the existence of an ever-present natural and spiritual energy which is evolving, devolving, and reincarnating in many forms. This philosophy finds a literal counterpart in the way Drew dismantles older works to recycle parts for his newest ones. He also correlates the decay process to the continual flux of

memory as recollections lose detail over time and become simpler, generalized, and attached to a single emotion.15 Drew utilizes the grid as an overarching structure in the majority of his sculptures, such as Number 23, Number 38, Number 39, the pivotal work of Number 43, and, his most recent work Untitled. Challenging the modernist and minimalist view of the grid as an ideal system of order, Drew's loose grids barely harness-physically or conceptually-the energy of his symbolic materials. Rows of boxes, panes of glass, stacked bricks, and other objects amount to irregular grids that are as much victims of natural disorder as the controllers of it. Describing Drew's use of the grid, critic Ken Johnson writes that "[the] work emits a certain melancholy: the dilapidation of the ideal, iconic structure invokes the inescapable passage of time and, perhaps, the failed hopes of utopian modernism."" In Number 43, Drew stacked 160 boxes, filled them with cotton, nails, rags, rope, wood, and objects that he made, found in the dump, or took from previous sculptures. He then coated the entire sculpture with rust. Here, the grid reads as


broken-down architecture or containers for discarded, raggedy stuff. The free-standing rectilinear Number 38 similarly recalls the geometry of modernist architecture with its modular structures and expansive use of glass. Thoughts shift, however, from pristine downtown skyscrapers or avantgarde homes to another urban site: towering blocks of housing projects also constructed of simple planes and repetitive forms yet more likely to be associated with decay. Drew's grids share a sensibility with process artists who likewise question the system's ability to order the random or the chaotic. Again, consider Hesse. Both Drew and Hesse make the grid a "more vulnerable and irregular form."17 For Hesse, a structuring system is never absent from her work" but it is always challenged, much like the way Drew pushes his grids. In Accession II, for example, she cleaves the surface of a minimalist icon-the fabricated cube-with short rubber tubes obsessively woven in by hand. The cube, no longer conventional, struggles to contain the extrusion. As Rosalind Krauss argued in her 1978 essay "Grids," the grid is the emblem of the modernist ambition: it

announces modern art's will to silence and its hostility to narrative and discourse." The grid's space is flat, geometric, and ordered. It is not natural, but rather is measured by aesthetic decree. The grid denies the claims of inherent order in nature by establishing rational, systematic thinking over the perceived irrationality of chaos in nature. But the grid cannot transcend the matter, or material, it aims to hold nor is it disconnected from the spirit within the material. Therein lies the crux that complicates the grid: it allows a contradiction to be present in modern art between the values of science and those of spiritualism even if that contradiction is not consciously realized in its doctrine." Krauss contends that due to its "bivalent structure (and 1 history) the grid is fully, even cheerfully, schizophrenic."2 In this sense, a grid can inscribe space and time, matter and spirit, simultaneously within a single artwork. Krauss outlines two antithetical organizational principles-the centrifugal and the centripetal. Although at odds, both principles can appear in an individual proscription. The centrifugal relates the grid to an infinite expanse and positions the work of art as

following pages: Number 43, 1994; fabric, wood, rust; 132 x 288 x 11; Collection of The Saint Louis Art Museum; Funds provided by Dr. and Mrs. Marc Straus, and promised gift of Dr. and Mrs. Marc Straus

a small part of an unfolding fabric. Such expansion emphasizes an omnipresent structure that favors the system over the individual object. The centripetal principle works from the outside in, mapping the space inside a given grid unit and drawing attention to the surface details within. In this way, it values the unique over the whole. Passages of Untitled illuminate the grid's two-faced nature. One side of the sculpture covered in cotton paper boxes presents a pattern that could continue forever. Empty, they become units that plot the course of the expanding field rather than the singular contained spaces. The centripetal principle applies here to the black boxes on the opposite side. The small containers frame individual collections of material and focus attention on parts rather than the whole. The eye stops frequently to inspect the fractured surface rather than move seamlessly over the progressive system. John Elderfield, writing in Artforum in May 1972, differentiates between the grid as a structure and the grid as a framework. While structure provides order and measure, the framework transfers attention to the images contained inside or pushed outside: the "grid

as framework" either makes a surface cohesive or fractures it. "To use grids as, literally, frameworks marks a return to an informational or signifying sensibility: of grids, once more, as containers ."22 In works like Number 43 and Untitled, the field breaks down into a series of containers that order the signifiers, the materials that are the bits of visual information. The repetition of boxes exaggerates the pattern so it is both ubiquitous and invisible. The eye shifts back and forth, taking in the containers and the contained until what is seen becomes a unified whole. Although the structure fails in the modernist ideal of measure and rationale, for Drew it still functions as an attempt to order thoughts of devastating irrationality. Contemporary artists who boldly address the Holocaust-Drew cites Christian Boltanski and Anselm Kiefer in particular-hearten him as he grapples with the catastrophic history of black slavery and oppression.23 Boltanski's aesthetic and his attempts to reconstruct the elusive realm of memory parallel Drew's endeavors. Boltanski, too, adopts the grids and cubes of the minimalists yet takes the sterility of their forms and endows them with powerful sentiments of

Female figure (nkisi nkonde), Kongo Southern Savannah wood, iron nails, glass, resin 20 inches high The University of Iowa Museum of Art The Stanley Collection

loss. In Les Suisses Morts (The Dead Swiss, he arranges antique tins used for keepsakes and other storage in a grid. The unseen contents of the sealed boxes become an archive of imagined personal effects. The work engulfs the viewer, a strategy used by Drew as well, and reinforces the intuitive perception of the melancholy struggle to make sense and find order in an ultimately inexplicable world. As Drew searches for a connection with ancestors in his evocation of African-American history, his containers may be considered alongside the Congo African art tradition of the nkisi visionary object. A link to the spiritual world inhabited by ancestors, a nkisi nkonde wields a specific power conferred on them by a nganga, a ritual specialist who interacts with the sculpture on behalf of someone seeking aid. The nganga places herbs, talismans, and other symbolic materials into a box on the nkisi s belly, empowering the nkisi to act as an agent of healing, justice, revenge, or oathtaking. To activate the nkisi's power, a blade or nail is driven part way into the figure and then wrapped with twine. Offerings to ancestors as an appeal for their guidance becomes an important facet of Drew's sculp-

tures. Not directly drawn from this or other African art traditions, nonetheless his sculptures have a talismanic effect as they conjure thoughts of past lives and current tribulations. By working with materials in an evocative, nonrepresentational manner, Drew's art is less confrontational than many of his peers. A group of contemporary African-American artists, including Kara Walker, Michael Ray Charles, and others, explore the significance of racial stereotypes in the shaping of black identity and white perceptions and distortions of ethnicity. They confront the issue of bias directly and provocatively, using the same visual language that perpetuates racism as they point out both the absurdity and appeal of its images. From a different perspective, Drew's approach provides an outlet for coming to terms with history through material culture. Choosing matter rather than images, he allows each viewer to negotiate their own path through the artist's memory-filled objects. Elaborate yet simple, clear yet ambiguous, Drew's work speaks as strongly on race and history as it does on theory and art history.


i 2 3 4 5 6 8 9 10 11 12 13 15 16 17 18



Thomas McEvilley and Tim Nye, Leonardo Drew, (New York: Thread Waxing Space, 11992), 9. Ibid., II. Ibid., 1111. Jeremy Strick, Currents 67: Leonardo Drew, (Saint Louis: The Saint Louis Art Museum, 11996), unpaginated. Ibid. McEvilley and Nye, op. cit., 6-7. 7 Ibid., 8. Ibid., 6. Madeleine Grynsztejn, About Place: Recent Art of the Americas, (Chicago: The Art Institute of Chicago, 11995) 39. McEvilley and Nye, op. cit., 5. Scholars debate over the significance of Hesse's personal and bodily experiences in her art. She suffered from a brain tumor and died in 1970. Bill Barrette, Eva Hesse. Sculpture, (New York: Timken Publishers, Inc., 11989), 1111. Katherine Kanjo, Leonardo Drew, (La Jolla: Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego, 11995), unpaginated. 114 Barrette, op. cit., 1146. Kanjo, loc, cit. Ken Johnson, "Leonardo Drew at Mary Boone," Art in America, (November 11996): 113. Grynsztejn, op. cit., 39. Anne Middleton Wagner, Three Artists (Three Women: Modernism and the Art ofHesse, Krasner, and O'Keefe, (Berkeley: University of . California Press, 11996), 259 see Rosalind Krauss, "Grids" in The Originality of the Avant-Garde and Other Modernist Myths, (Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 1997), PP. 922. Ibid., 113. 211 Ibid., 118. 22 John Elderfield, "Grids" in Artforum (May 11972): 54. 23 McEvilley and Nye, op. cit., 5.

Catalogue of the Exhibition

Dimensions in

Number 10A, 1999 gouache 81/2X 11 Number 19A, iggg gouache 14 X 17 Number 20A, 1999 gouache 14 X I7 Number 21A, 1999 gouache 14 X 17

inches; height precedes width precedes depth. All works courtesy of the artist. Untitled, 1999 wood, cotton, rust, found objects 120 X288 X48 Collection of Tim Nye Number 1A, 1999 asphaltum 41 3/4 X 58 1/4 Number 2A, 1999 asphaltum 41 3/4 X 58 1/4 Number 3A, 1999 gouache


Number 11A, 1999 gouache 81/2XII Number 22A, 1999 gouache 14 X 17 Number 12A, 1999 gouache 81/2XII

Number 4A, 1999 gouache 81/2XII Number 13A, 1999 gouache 39 1/2 X 25 1/2 Number 14A, 1999 gouache 11X17

Number 23A, 1999 gouache 14 x 17

Number 5A, 1999 gouache 81/2X11

Number 24A, 1999 gouache 81/2XII

Number 6A, 1999 gouache 81/2XII

Number 15A, 1999 gouache 81/2x21

Number 25A, 1999 gouache 22 x 30

Number 7A, 1999 gouache 81/2XII

Number 16A, 1999 gouache 14 x 17

Number 8A, 1999 gouache 81/2XII Number 9A, 1999 gouache 81/2XII

Number 17A, 1999 gouache 22 x 30

Number 18A, 1999 gouache 14 X 17

Leonardo Drew

Born in Tallahassee, Florida, 1961 Group Exhibitions Lives in New York, New York and San Antonio, Texas Education Parsons School of Design, New York, New York, 1981-82 The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, New York, New York, B FA, 1985 Solo Exhibitions 1985 1989 Arthur M. Houghton Jr. Gallery, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, New York, New York

Outside the Clock, Scott Hanson Gallery, New Y ork, New


Pillar to Post, Kenkeleba House, New York, New York

1991 1992

From the Studio: Artists in Residence, 1990-91 The Studio

Museum in Harlem, New York, New York

! !

State National Bank, Bridgeport, Connecticut

Kunsthalle, New York, New York Biennial Dakar, Senegal

Three Sculptors: Leonardo Drew, Lisa Hoke, Brad Kahlhamer, Thread Waxing Space, New York, New York Good Stuff Alumni Artists, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of

1978 Burroughs Building, The Bridgeport Public Library, Bridgeport, Connecticut Burroughs Building, The Bridgeport Public Library, Bridgeport, Connecticut


Science and Art, New York, New York Nicole Klagsbrun Gallery, New Y ork, New York 1993 Markets ofResistance, White Columns, New York, New York Paine Webber Group, New York, New York 1994 Promising Suspects, The Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art, Ridgefield, Connecticut 1995 About Place: Recent Art of the


The Inn at Longshore, Westport, Connecticut 1983 Unique Gallery, Westport, Connecticut 1992 Thread Waxing Space, New York, New York San Francisco Art Institute, Walter/McBean Gallery, San Francisco, California Thread Waxing Space, New York, New York Barbara Toll Fine Arts, New York, New York Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, Cornell University, Ithaca, New Y ork 1995 Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego, California

Ground, Level, Overlay, Collaboration with the Merce Cunningham Dance


The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois The Pace Roberts Foundation for Contemporary Art, San Antonio, Texas 1995 Carnegie International, Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 1996

Copenhagen 96:96 Containers Art Across Oceans, Copenhagen,


The Other journey Kunsthalle Krems, Krems, Austria Leonardo Drew/Mark Francis/Oliver Herring, Mary Boone Gallery, New York, New York 1997 New Work: Words and Images,

Company, New Y ork, New York 1996 University at Buffalo Art Gallery, Center for the Arts, State University of New York, Buffalo, New York

Miami Art Museum, Miami, Florida.

Mary Boone Gallery, New Y ork, New York Currents: Leonardo Drew, The Saint Louis Art Museum, Saint Louis, Missouri 1998 Mary Boone Gallery, New Y ork, New York 1999 Madison Art Center, Wisconsin

Exhibition travels to The Bronx Museum of the Arts, New York

Awards 1997

Asian Cultural Concil Grant

1995 ArtPace Artist in Residence 1994 Joan Mitchell Foundation Grant 1993 Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation Grant 1991 1990

The Studio Museum in Harlem, Artist in Residence

Vermont Studio School, Artist in Residence 1989 Skowhegan School 0f Painting and Sculpture, Artist in Residence


The Metropolitan Museum 0f Art, New York, New York Rubell Family Collection, New York, New York The Saint Louis Art Museum, Saint Louis, Missouri Progressive Corporation, Cleveland, Ohio Linda Pace, ArtPace, San Antonio, Texas Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, New York

Bibliography Catalogs Als, Hilton. Leonardo Drew. New York: Thread Waxing Space, 1994. Grynstejn, Madeleine. About Place: RecentArt of the Americas. Chicago: The Art Institute 0f Chicago, 1995 Kanjo, Katherine. Leonardo Drew. La Jolla: Museum 0f Contemporary Art, San Diego, 1995 McEvilley, Thomas and Tim Nye. Leonardo Drew. New York: Thread Waxing Space, 1992. Sculpture: Brad Kahlhamer, Lisa Hoke, Leonardo Drew. New York: Thread Waxing Space, 1992. Articles and Reviews Als, Hilton. "Openings: Leonardo Drew," Artforum, February 1993, P. 94 (illustration: Number 28, p. 94, C). Benepe, Pamela. "On View at the Inn at Longshore," WestportNews, 5 November 1980, Section 2, p. 18. Berger, Laurel. "In Their Sights," Artnews, March 1997, pp. 94 -100 (illustration: Number 43, p. l00, C). Brenson, Michael. "Sculptors Using the Wall as Venue and Inspiration," The New York Times, 24 February 1989, P. C30. Cotter, Holland. "From the Studio: Artists in Residence 1990-1991" T he New , 1 York Times, 10 January 993, p. C28.

Cotter, Holland. "Art in Review: Leonardo Drew Thread Waxing Space, Barbara Toll," The New York Times, April 1994, p. C20. Davis, Jeanne. "Teenager's Art Shows Unusual Talent," WestportNews, 17 October 1980, Section 2, p. 10. Edwards, Lorraine. "Navigating a Sea of Chaos," Sculpture, February 1997, pp. 18-21 (illustrations: Numbers 56, cover, C; Number 28, pp. 18-19, C;

Numberso, p. 20, C; Numbers 53, p. 21, C).

Faust, Gretchen. "Reviews: Leonardo Drew/Lisa Hoke/ Brad Kahlhamer," Arts Magazine, April 1992, p. 94-95. Garon, Stephanie. "Reaching the Next Level," The Cornell Daily Sun, 12 January 1994. Gluek, Grace. "Drew's Expressive Power; Fischl's Belly Flop," The New York Observer, 30 November 1992, p. 23. Haye, Christian. "Leonardo Drew," Frieze, May 1997, pp. 81-2 (illustration:

Numbers, p. 81, C).

Madison Art Center

Director's Office Stephen Fleischman, Director Jennifer Lin, Assistant to the Director/ Publications Specialist Administrative Department Michael Paggie, Business Manager Judy Schwickerath, Accountant Christl Giese, Receptionist Curatorial Department Sara Krajewski, Curator of Exhibitions Sheri Castelnuovo, Curator of Education Marilyn Sohi, Registrar Janet Laube, Education Associate Jill Shaw, Curatorial Assistant Karin Wolf, Education Assistant Brooke Mulvaney, Registrar's Assistant Doug Fath, Preparator Angela Webster, Photographer Development Ellen Efsic, Director of Development and Community Relations Susan Lang, Director of Volunteer Services Michael Grant, Publicist Nicole Allen, Art Fair Coordinator Betty Morten, Office Assistant Gallery Operations James Kramer, Gallery Operations Manager Craig Michaels, Gallery Operations Assistant Stephanie Bifolco, Gallery Assistant/Security Guard Whitney Connors, Gallery Assistant/Security Guard Susan Crook, Gallery Assistant/Security Guard Amanda Ham, Gallery Assistant/Security Guard Stephanie Hawley, Gallery Assistant/Security Guard Erica Hess, Gallery Assistant/Security Guard Ed Kreitzman, Gallery Assistant/Security Guard Ann-Marie Nelson, Gallery Assistant/Security Guard Laura Pescatore, Gallery Assistant/Security Guard Brooke Scull-McWilliams, Gallery Assistant/ Security Guard

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Board of Trustees, 1999-2000 Officers Jesse Ishikawa, President Robert M. Bolz, VicePresident Harold Mayer, Vice-President Michael Zimbrick, Vice-President Mary Ellyn Sensenbrenner, Secretary Thomas L. Carter, Treasurer Trustees Marian Bolz, Life Trustee Jerry Butler Daniel Erdman Roberta Gassman Deirdre Garton Terry L. Haller Curt Hastings Duncan Highsmith Valerie A. Kazamias, Chairperson, Langer Society Jeff Levy Rob Long William H. McClain Jeanne Myers Linda Baldwin O'Hern Jan Schur Diane Seder Sylvia Vaccaro David Walsh William F . White Richard Zillman Madison Art Center Staff



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