b. 1961, USA

Leonardo Drew Artworks

Materiality

Drew was largely inspired by the work of Jackson Pollock. Drew's large scale and enigmatic sculptures are often installed onto the wall, rather than as freestanding objects. The materials he uses in his sculptures speak towards personal experiences as a Black man who grew up in the projects, as well as reflecting on themes such as decay and death.

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His seminal work Number 8 (1988), which Drew refers to as 'the mother' of his subsequent works, was made of blackened pieces of wood, rope, feathers, animal hide and bones. By weaving in this material, Drew created an ominous work that reflected chaos and deterioration as pulled from the streets.

Drew has also utilised oxidised metals in his work. Rust has become an important tool and visual language for the artist in reflecting on the history of materials. In Number 24 (1992), the artist combines rusting metal with cotton, referencing the pained history of African slavery and injustice.

Number 9C (2015), a vast wooden sculpture Drew showed at Pearl Lam Galleries in Hong Kong in 2015, is the product of 'artistic cannibalism,' whereby Drew has taken elements of old works and combined them, giving the piece what Drew feels is a 'bigger history.' An approach that Katie Fallen, writing for Ocula Magazine in 2015 described as aligning Drew's practice with 'regeneration and the cyclical nature of things'. Using decaying materials and altered found objects, these sculptures illustrate the relationship between life, death and chaos, as easily encountered in our own lived experiences.

Process

Drew's artistic process is inherently very physical. He works for up to 20 hours a day to saw, burn and nail elements of his sculptures together. Through this process, the artist refuses to define the work he creates, noting that his construction is something that comes out of his internal spirit, and something he needs to 'get out' or externalise.

While Drew's work appears to consist of purely found materials, he has revealed that many of its elements are instead altered by him during the artistic process. In a conversation with Interview magazine Drew said, 'A lot of my things, they appear found, but I create them in the studio. The black washes, they look burnt, but that's a wash, it's layered.'

Public commissions

In 2019, Drew was commissioned to create a sculpture for Madison Square Park in New York. His work, the 100-foot-long City in the Grass, features a topographical view of an abstracted cityscape. Drew worked with a variety of objects such as rust and a torn carpet to create, through assemblage, an undulating sculpture revealing of a changing city.

In the same year, he was commissioned to create an installation spanning three walls of the San Francisco International Airport. Number 69S (2019) is composed of small sculptural components culled from Drew's past artworks; recycling materials and creating new meanings through the backdrop of a bustling airport full of people from different walks of life.

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Number 219 by Leonardo Drew contemporary artwork sculpture
Leonardo Drew Number 219, 2017 Wood
66 x 109.2 x 53.3 cm
Goodman Gallery Contact Gallery
Number 246 by Leonardo Drew contemporary artwork works on paper, sculpture
Leonardo Drew Number 246, 2020 Wood and paint
140 x 162.5 x 30.5 cm
Galerie Lelong & Co. Paris Contact Gallery
Number 265 by Leonardo Drew contemporary artwork works on paper, sculpture
Leonardo Drew Number 265, 2020 Wood and paint
80 x 64.8 x 31.8 cm
Goodman Gallery Contact Gallery
Number 113D by Leonardo Drew contemporary artwork painting, works on paper
Leonardo Drew Number 113D, 2008 Paint chips on paper
57.4 x 58.4 x 4.4 cm
Goodman Gallery Contact Gallery
Number 321D by Leonardo Drew contemporary artwork painting, works on paper
Leonardo Drew Number 321D, 2021 Plaster and paint on paper
87.6 x 87.6 x 2.5 cm
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Goodman Gallery
Number 327D by Leonardo Drew contemporary artwork painting, works on paper
Leonardo Drew Number 327D, 2022 Plaster and paint on paper
58.4 x 58.4 x 5.1 cm
Goodman Gallery Contact Gallery
Number 314 by Leonardo Drew contemporary artwork works on paper, sculpture
Leonardo Drew Number 314, 2021 Wood and paint
190.5 x 30.5 x 12.7 cm
Goodman Gallery Contact Gallery
Number 279 by Leonardo Drew contemporary artwork sculpture
Leonardo Drew Number 279, 2020 Wood and paint
199.9 x 199.9 x 103.1 cm
Goodman Gallery Contact Gallery
Number 319 by Leonardo Drew contemporary artwork works on paper, sculpture
Leonardo Drew Number 319, 2021 Wood and paint
152.4 x 129.5 x 45.7 cm
Goodman Gallery Contact Gallery
Number 324 by Leonardo Drew contemporary artwork works on paper, sculpture
Leonardo Drew Number 324, 2021 Wood and paint
193 x 27.9 x 71.1 cm
Goodman Gallery Contact Gallery
Number 325 by Leonardo Drew contemporary artwork works on paper, sculpture
Leonardo Drew Number 325, 2021 Wood, paint, and calcium carbonate
190.5 x 30.5 x 12.7 cm
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Goodman Gallery
Number 276 by Leonardo Drew contemporary artwork works on paper, sculpture
Leonardo Drew Number 276, 2020 Wood and paint
175.3 x 134.6 x 101.6 cm
Goodman Gallery Contact Gallery
Number 259 by Leonardo Drew contemporary artwork works on paper, sculpture
Leonardo Drew Number 259, 2020 Wood and paint
91.4 x 325.1 x 55.9 cm
Goodman Gallery Contact Gallery
Number 250 by Leonardo Drew contemporary artwork works on paper, sculpture
Leonardo Drew Number 250, 2020 Wood and paint
152 x 91 x 30 cm
Galerie Lelong & Co. Paris Contact Gallery
Number 313 by Leonardo Drew contemporary artwork works on paper, sculpture
Leonardo Drew Number 313, 2021 Wood and paint
165.1 x 165.7 x 27.3 cm
Galerie Lelong & Co. New York Contact Gallery
Number 291 by Leonardo Drew contemporary artwork sculpture
Leonardo Drew Number 291, 2021 Wood and paint
251.5 x 271.8 x 40.6 cm
Galerie Lelong & Co. New York Contact Gallery
Number 263 by Leonardo Drew contemporary artwork sculpture
Leonardo Drew Number 263, 2020 Wood and paint
78.7 x 78.7 x 40.6 cm
Galerie Lelong & Co. New York Contact Gallery
Number 295 by Leonardo Drew contemporary artwork sculpture
Leonardo Drew Number 295, 2020 Wood and paint
182.9 x 61 x 12.7 cm
Goodman Gallery Contact Gallery
Number 293 by Leonardo Drew contemporary artwork sculpture
Leonardo Drew Number 293, 2021 Wood and paint
80 x 88.9 x 49.5 cm
Galerie Lelong & Co. New York Contact Gallery
Number 306 by Leonardo Drew contemporary artwork works on paper, sculpture
Leonardo Drew Number 306, 2021 Wood, aluminium, sand, and paint
195.6 x 283.2 x 96 cm
Galerie Lelong & Co. New York Contact Gallery
Number 308 by Leonardo Drew contemporary artwork works on paper
Leonardo Drew Number 308, 2021 Wood and paint
83.8 x 99.1 x 52.7 cm
Galerie Lelong & Co. New York Contact Gallery
Number 298 by Leonardo Drew contemporary artwork works on paper, sculpture
Leonardo Drew Number 298, 2021 Wood, plaster, and paint
85.1 x 88.9 cm
Galerie Lelong & Co. New York Contact Gallery
Number 297 by Leonardo Drew contemporary artwork sculpture
Leonardo Drew Number 297, 2021 Wood and paint
247 x 238.8 x 97.8 cm
Galerie Lelong & Co. New York Contact Gallery
28i by Leonardo Drew contemporary artwork works on paper, mixed media
Leonardo Drew 28i, 2014 Mixed media with paper on wood
62 x 62 x 16.5 cm
rosenfeld Contact Gallery
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