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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 263 by Leonardo Drew contemporary artwork sculpture
Leonardo DrewNumber 263, 2020Wood 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 DrewNumber 295, 2020Wood and paint
182.9 x 61 x 12.7 cm
Goodman Gallery Contact Gallery
Number 293 by Leonardo Drew contemporary artwork sculpture
Leonardo DrewNumber 293, 2021Wood and paint
80 x 88.9 x 49.5 cm
Galerie Lelong & Co. New York Contact Gallery
28i by Leonardo Drew contemporary artwork works on paper, mixed media
Leonardo Drew28i, 2014Mixed media with paper on wood
62 x 62 x 16.5 cm
rosenfeld Contact Gallery
Number 255D by Leonardo Drew contemporary artwork painting, works on paper
Leonardo DrewNumber 255D, 2020Plaster and paint on paper
58.5 x 58.5 x 6 cm
Galerie Lelong & Co. Paris Contact Gallery
Number 28C by Leonardo Drew contemporary artwork sculpture
Leonardo DrewNumber 28C, 2017Porcelain, charcoal, wood
122 x 122 cm
Pearl Lam Galleries Contact Gallery
Number 26D by Leonardo Drew contemporary artwork works on paper
Leonardo DrewNumber 26D, 2005Cast paper on paper
58.4 x 57.8 x 1.6 cm
Pace Gallery
Number 18C by Leonardo Drew contemporary artwork sculpture
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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