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b. 1961, USA

Leonardo Drew Biography

Leonardo Drew was born in 1961 in Tallahassee, Florida, and he grew up in Bridgeport, Connecticut. Drew seemed bound to work as a professional artist from a young age; his works were exhibited publically for the first time when he was only 13 years old. By the age of 15 he was being courted by both DC and Marvel Comics to work as an illustrator. However, Drew would apply his talents to a very different artistic path. He became inspired by abstract works, especially those of Jackson Pollock and Piet Mondrian. Drew went on to attend the Parsons School of Design in New York, and he earned a BFA from Cooper Union in 1985.

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Drew’s works are always sculptural, although he tends to avoid making freestanding pieces. Instead, he will often mount objects onto panels or directly to the wall, which can be seen as a nod to his beginnings as a painter and draftsman. His seminal work “Number 8” features rope, animal hide, raccoon skull, and even a dead bird that all hang together, all painted black, creating a deep, dark, and brooding sculptural take on Pollock’s all-over drip painting.

Rooted in historical evidence, Leonardo Drew’s abstract sculptural compositions are emotionally charged reflections on the cyclical nature of existence—from the eroded fibres of human industry and the urban tide of development to the awareness of ourselves as part of the fabric of a larger universe and a connection to all things. The work reflects the universality of existence and the interconnectivity of all beings to one another. It illustrates these relationships through a combination of the visceral qualities of the materials with the abstract sculptural forms the pieces make up. These cosmological frameworks are meant to mirror the organic reality of existence and reveal the resonance of life and humanity.

Leonardo Drew’s work has been exhibited across the USA and internationally. Major solo exhibitions include Vigo Gallery, London, UK (2015); Anthony Meier Fine Arts, San Francisco, USA (2014); Selected Works, SCAD Museum of Art at the Savannah College of Art and Design, Savannah, GA, USA (2013); Existed: Leonardo Drew, Blaffer Gallery, Art Museum of the University of Houston, Houston, USA (2009); Palazzo Delle Papesse, Centro Arte Contemporanea, Siena, Italy (2006); Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC, USA (2000); The Bronx Museum of the Arts, Bronx, NY, USA (2000); and Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego, CA, USA (1995).

Recent major group exhibitions include Unsuspected Possibilities, SITE Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA
(2015); Summer Group Show, Galerie Forsblom, Helsinki, Finland
(2014); Material World, Denver Art Museum, Denver, CO, USA (2013); Museum of Art and Design, New York, USA (2012); From Then to Now: Masterworks of Contemporary African American Art, Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland, OH, USA (2010); Lost and Found: Selections from the MCA Collection, Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA), Chicago, USA (2010); and Black Alphabet: Contexts of Contemporary African American Art, Zacheta National Gallery of Art, Warsaw, Poland (2006). Leonardo Drew’s works are also held internationally in public and private collections such as with the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, USA; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, USA; and the Princeton University Art Museum, Princeton, NJ, USA.

Leonardo Drew Featured Artworks

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Number 128D by Leonardo Drew contemporary artwork
Leonardo DrewNumber 128D, 2009Wood, acrylic and thread collage on paper
74.6 x 75.6 x 8.6 cm
rosenfeld Contact Gallery
Number 123X by Leonardo Drew contemporary artwork
Leonardo DrewNumber 123X, 2018Site specific installation for the Armory Show
370 x 920 x 430 cm
rosenfeld Contact Gallery
Number 229 by Leonardo Drew contemporary artwork
Leonardo DrewNumber 229, 2019Wood, paint and calcium carbonate
243.8 x 61 x 17.8 cm
Galerie Lelong & Co. New York Contact Gallery
Number 26D by Leonardo Drew contemporary artwork
Leonardo DrewNumber 26D, 2005Cast paper on paper
58.4 x 57.8 x 1.6 cm
Pace Gallery
26C by Leonardo Drew contemporary artwork
Leonardo Drew26C, 2017Porcelain, charcoal, wood
183 x 183 cm
Pearl Lam Galleries Contact Gallery
Number 249 by Leonardo Drew contemporary artwork
Leonardo DrewNumber 249, 2020Wood and paint
157.5 x 121.9 x 38.1 cm
Galerie Lelong & Co. New York Contact Gallery
Number 133L by Leonardo Drew contemporary artwork
Leonardo DrewNumber 133L, 2015Wood and paint
61 x 61 x 42 cm
Pearl Lam Galleries Contact Gallery
Number 18C by Leonardo Drew contemporary artwork
Leonardo DrewNumber 18C, 2015Wood and paint
216 x 147 x 37 cm
Pearl Lam Galleries Contact Gallery

Leonardo Drew Recent Exhibitions

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Contemporary art exhibition, Group Exhibition, Living Just Enough at Goodman Gallery, London
Closed
6 October–19 November 2020 Group Exhibition Living Just Enough Goodman GalleryLondon
Contemporary art exhibition, Group Exhibition, Metamorphoses at Pearl Lam Galleries, Shanghai
Closed
27 July–15 October 2020 Group Exhibition Metamorphoses Pearl Lam GalleriesShanghai
Contemporary art exhibition, Leonardo Drew, Dale Frank, Antony Micallef, Accidents [Part II] at Pearl Lam Galleries, H Queen's, Hong Kong
Closed
31 January–4 July 2020 Leonardo Drew, Dale Frank, Antony Micallef Accidents [Part II] Pearl Lam GalleriesH Queen's, Hong Kong

Leonardo Drew Represented By

Pearl Lam Galleries contemporary art gallery in Pedder Street, Hong Kong Pearl Lam Galleries Singapore, Hong Kong, Shanghai
rosenfeld contemporary art gallery in London, United Kingdom rosenfeld London

Leonardo Drew In Ocula Magazine

Leonardo Drew at Pearl Lam Galleries, Hong Kong Ocula Insight Leonardo Drew at Pearl Lam Galleries, Hong Kong By Katie Fallen

In 1988, Leonardo Drew arguably found his artistic voice with his seminal work Number 8. Using rope, animal hide, raccoon skull and a dead bird, Number 8 is a black mass of detritus, which hangs from the wall like a curtain of darkness. With this work in mind, and the thoughts of destruction and decay it engenders, I approached Drew’s...

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Leonardo Drew In Related Press

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LEONARDO DREW with Charles Schultz Related Press LEONARDO DREW with Charles Schultz 2 July 2019, The Brooklyn Rail

Leonardo Drew (b. 1961) considers himself an elder statesman of the art world. In his first exhibition, at age 13, he showed a larger than life painting of Captain America. His natural talent for draftsmanship earned him early opportunities to work at prestigious comic book publishers like Marvel and DC Comics, but Drew was after something more...

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CRITICS’ PICKS: Leonardo Drew Related Press CRITICS’ PICKS: Leonardo Drew 1 June 2019, Artforum

Leonardo Drew’s wooden assemblages inspire a distinctly energetic choreography. Employing the minute and the monumental as coconspirators in his visual schema, Drew facilitates an unanchored viewing experience wherein the breadth of each work is slowly revealed through explorations near, far, and even inside the object-environments he creates.

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Leonardo Drew and the mother Related Press Leonardo Drew and the mother 11 October 2016, Interview Magazine

'As you're going through, just stay loose, and digest,' Leonardo Drew tells visitors who approach him at Sikkema Jenkins & Co., where his work is currently on display. Last week during our conversation at the gallery, groups flocked to the artist, seeking elucidations. Drew was kind—always with a smile on his face, usually...

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'Structures of Recollection: Contemporary Approaches to Materials and Memory' at Pearl Lam Galleries, Hong Kong Related Press 'Structures of Recollection: Contemporary Approaches to Materials and Memory' at Pearl Lam Galleries, Hong Kong 23 April 2016, ArtAsiaPacific

Exploring the idea of memory recollection, Paul Moorhouse, curator of 20th-century art at London’s National Portrait Gallery, drew together six international artists for Structures of Recollection: Contemporary Approaches to Materials and Memory,  currently showing at Pearl Lam Galleries in Hong Kong. Moorhouse’s curatorial...

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Leonardo Drew In Video & Audio

Viewpoints | Episode 3 | Leonardo Drew, Larry Ossei-Mensah Related Video & Audio Viewpoints | Episode 3 | Leonardo Drew, Larry Ossei-Mensah 26 July 2019, Galerie Lelong & Co.

'In this episode of the Viewpoints podcast, we'll hear from artist Leonardo Drew and curator Larry Ossei-Mensah, two link-minded voices in contemporary art,' says Mary Sabbatino, Vice President/Partner at Galerie Lelong & Co. 'Drew is a Brooklyn-based sculptor known for transforming and assembling varied material in an attempt, as he says...

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