Tallahassee, b.1961

Leonardo Drew

Leonardo Drew was born in 1961 in Tallahassee, Florida and grew up in a public housing project in Bridgeport, Connecticut. He seemed bound to work as a professional artist from a young age. Drew’s works were exhibited publicly for the first time when he was only thirteen years old, and by fifteen 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 began to experiment for himself. He went on to attend the Parsons School of Design in New York and then earned a BFA from Cooper Union in 1985.

Drew’s works are always sculptural, although he tends to avoid making...

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Biography

Leonardo Drew was born in 1961 in Tallahassee, Florida and grew up in a public housing project in Bridgeport, Connecticut. He seemed bound to work as a professional artist from a young age. Drew’s works were exhibited publicly for the first time when he was only thirteen years old, and by fifteen 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 began to experiment for himself. He went on to attend the Parsons School of Design in New York and then earned a BFA from Cooper Union in 1985.

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. The materials he chooses are of particular importance. They often reflect memories of his days in the projects, sociopolitical issues related to his African-American ethnicity, or themes of death, darkness, and decay. 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. Although he sometimes uses found objects in his works, such as tree roots, Drew usually creates each piece with his own hands. For example, he will chemically induce rust on new pieces of metal in his studio.

Leonardo Drew’s work has been exhibited across the USA and internationally. Recent solo exhibitions include Leonardo Drew: Number 197, de Young Museum, San Francisco, USA (2017); Leonardo Drew, Pearl Lam Galleries, Hong Kong, China (2015); 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, D.C., USA (2000); and The Bronx Museum of the Arts, Bronx, NY, USA (2000).

Recent major group exhibitions include The Onrush of Scenery, Sikkema Jenkins & Co., New York, USA (2018); NEW at NOMA: Recent Acquisitions in Modern and Contemporary Art, New Orleans Museum of Art, New Orleans, USA (2017); Materialised Condition, Pearl Lam Galleries, Singapore (2017); 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 have also been collected by public and private collections, such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, USA; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, USA; the Princeton University Art Museum, Princeton, New Jersey, USA; and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, USA.

Artworks

12

Number 45C (數字 45C), 2018

Related Categories

21st Century Art / African American / American Art / Art of the 2010s / Bridgeport / Charcoal / Coal / Contemporary American Art / Dark and Turbid Colors / Death and Horror / Installation / Learning from Different Cultures / Light and Darkness / Mixed Media Art / Mixed Media Sculpture / New York / Porcelain / Sculpture / Socio-political Issues / Tallahassee / Textured Surface / United States / Wall Sculpture / Works on Wall

Curriculum Vitae

Education

  • 1985

    Bachelor of Fine Arts, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, New York, USA

  • 1982

    Parsons School of Design, New York, USA (1981 - 1982)

Solo Exhibitions

  • 2019

    Leonardo Drew, Pearl Lam Galleries, Hong Kong, China

  • 2017

    CAM Raleigh, Raleigh, USA

  • Leonardo Drew: Number 197, de Young Museum, San Francisco, USA

Group Exhibitions

  • 2019

    What You Seeing is What You See, Pearl Lam Galleries, Singapore

  • Selections from The Studio Museum in Harlem, Museum of the African Diaspora, San Francisco, USA

  • Solidary and Solitary: The Joyner/Giuffrida Collection, Smart Museum of Art, The University of Chicago, Chicago, USA

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Curriculum Vitae

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Education

  • 1985

    Bachelor of Fine Arts, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, New York, USA

  • 1982

    Parsons School of Design, New York, USA (1981 - 1982)

Solo Exhibitions

  • 2019

    Leonardo Drew, Pearl Lam Galleries, Hong Kong, China

  • 2017

    CAM Raleigh, Raleigh, USA

  • Leonardo Drew: Number 197, de Young Museum, San Francisco, USA

  • Recent Acquisition: Leonardo Drew, Academy Art Museum, Easton, Maryland, USA

  • Tally Dunn Gallery, Dallas, USA

  • 2016

    Sikkema Jenkins & Co., New York, USA

  • Leonardo Drew: Eleven Etchings, Crown Point Press, San Francisco, USA

  • 2015

    Leonardo Drew, Pearl Lam Galleries, Hong Kong, China

  • Vigo Gallery, London, UK

  • Galerie Forsblom, Helsinki, Finland

  • Pace Prints, New York, USA

  • 2014

    Anthony Meier Fine Arts, San Francisco, USA

  • 2013

    Selected Works, SCAD Museum of Art at the Savannah College of Art and Design, Savannah, USA

  • Exhumation/Small Works, Canzani Center Gallery at Columbus College of Art & Design, Columbus, Ohio, USA

  • Vigo Gallery, London, UK

  • 2012

    Sikkema Jenkins & Co., New York, USA

  • Pace Prints, New York, USA

  • 2011

    Anthony Meier Fine Arts, San Francisco, USA

  • Vigo Gallery, London, UK

  • Galleria Napolinobilissima, Naples, Italy

  • 2010

    Sikkema Jenkins & Co., New York, USA

  • Window Works: Leonardo Drew, Artpace San Antonio, San Antonio, USA

  • 2009

    Existed: Leonardo Drew, Blaffer Gallery, Art Museum of the University of Houston, Houston, USA

  • Weatherspoon Art Museum, North Carolina, USA

  • deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum, Lincoln, Massachusetts, USA

  • Fine Art Society, London, UK

  • 2007

    Sikkema Jenkins & Co., New York, USA

  • 2006

    Palazzo Delle Papesse, Centro Arte Contemporanea, Siena, Italy

  • 2005

    Brent Sikkema, New York, USA

  • 2002

    Brent Sikkema, New York, USA

  • 2001

    Mary Boone Gallery, New York, USA

  • Royal Hibernian Academy, Dublin, Ireland

  • 2000

    Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., USA

  • The Bronx Museum of the Arts, Bronx, New York, USA

Group Exhibitions

  • 2019

    What You Seeing is What You See, Pearl Lam Galleries, Singapore

  • Selections from The Studio Museum in Harlem, Museum of the African Diaspora, San Francisco, USA

  • Solidary and Solitary: The Joyner/Giuffrida Collection, Smart Museum of Art, The University of Chicago, Chicago, USA

  • 2018

    The Onrush of Scenery, Sikkema Jenkins & Co., New York, USA

  • Verticality, Rosenfeld Porcini, London, UK

  • Solidary and Solitary: The Joyner/Giuffrida Collection, Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, Durham, North Carolina, USA

  • The Bleak and the Burgeoning, Walton Arts Center, Fayetteville, Arkansas, USA

  • Talisman in The Age of Difference, Stephen Friedman Gallery, London, UK

  • AAM @ 60: The Diamond Exhibitions, Academy Art Museum, Easton, Maryland, USA

  • 30 Americans: The Rubell Family Collection, Tucson Museum of Art, Tucson, USA

  • 2017

    Between I & Thou, Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art, Peekskill, New York, USA

  • NEW at NOMA: Recent Acquisitions in Modern and Contemporary Art, New Orleans Museum of Art, New Orleans, USA

  • Materialised Condition, Pearl Lam Galleries, Singapore

  • Editions, Sikkema Jenkins & Co., New York, USA

  • Solidary and Solitary: The Pamela J. Joyner and Alfred J. Giuffrida Collection, Ogden Museum of Southern Art, New Orleans, USA

  • Emilio Perez and Leonardo Drew, Jacob Lewis Gallery, New York, USA

  • Material Presence, Talley Dunn Gallery, Dallas, USA

  • 2016

    Haptic, Alexander Gray Associates, New York, USA

  • Across the Divide, Rosenfeld Porcini, London, UK

  • Labyrinth(s), Pearl Lam Galleries, Hong Kong, China

  • Continuum, Vigo Gallery, London, UK

  • Black/White, Pace Prints, New York, USA

  • Structures of Recollection, curated by Paul Moorhouse, Pearl Lam Galleries, Hong Kong, China

  • 2015

    Unsuspected Possibilities, SITE Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

  • Showing Off: Recent Modern and Contemporary Acquisitions, Denver Art Museum, Colorado, USA

  • New Ways of Seeing: Beyond Culture, Dorsky Gallery, Long Island City, New York, USA

  • Body Proxy: Clothing in Contemporary Art, Allen Memorial Art Museum, Oberlin College, Ohio, USA

  • Black: Color, Material, Concept, The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, USA

  • Piece by Piece: Building a Collection, Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas City, Missouri, USA

  • 2014

    Wood, Rosenfeld Porcini, London, UK (2014 - 2015)

  • Summer Group Show, Galerie Forsblom, Helsinki, Finland

  • 2013

    Material World, Denver Art Museum, Denver, USA

  • 2012

    San Antonio Collects Contemporary, San Antonio Museum of Art, Texas, USA

  • Against the Grain—Wood in Contemporary Art, Craft and Design, Mint Museum, North Carolina, USA

  • Museum of Art and Design, New York, USA

  • 2011

    Toward the Third Dimension, David Floria Gallery, Aspen, Colorado, USA

  • The Bearden Project, The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, USA

  • 2010

    From Then to Now: Masterworks of Contemporary African American Art, Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland, Ohio, USA

  • Collected. Reflections on the Permanent Collection, Studio Museum of Harlem, New York, USA

  • Lost and Found: Selections from the MCA Collection, Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA), Chicago, USA

  • 2009

    Your Golden Teeth II, Marianne Boesky Gallery, New York, USA

  • 2008

    30 Americans, The Rubell Family Collection, Miami, USA

  • North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh, USA

  • Corcoran Gallery of Art at the College of Art and Design, Washington, D.C., USA

  • Chrysler Museum of Art, Norfolk, USA

  • Milwaukee Art Museum, Milwaukee, USA

  • 2007

    New Directions in American Drawing, Columbus Museum, Georgia, USA

  • Telfair Museum of Art, Savannah, USA

  • Knoxville Museum of Art, Knoxville, USA

  • Repeat Performances: Seriality and Systems Art since 1960, Allen Memorial Art Museum, Oberlin College, Ohio, USA

  • Reverance, HVCCA (Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art), New York, USA

  • 2006

    Legacies: Contemporary Artists Reflect on Slavery, The New York Historical Society, New York, USA

  • Black Alphabet: Contexts of Contemporary African American Art, Zacheta National Gallery of Art, Warsaw, Poland

  • 2005

    Sikkema Jenkins & Co., New York, USA

  • Leonardo Drew/Kara Walker, Galerie Max Hetzler, Berlin, Germany

  • Between Image and Concept: Recent Acquisitions in African-American Art, Princeton University Art Museum, Princeton, New Jersey, USA

  • 2004

    Material Pleasures, Green on Red Gallery, Dublin, Ireland

  • 2003

    Hands on, Hands down, The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, USA

  • From Modernism to the Contemporary, 1958–1999, The Allen Memorial Art Museum, Oberlin, Ohio, USA

  • 2001

    Brooklyn!, Palm Beach Institute of Contemporary Art, Lake Worth, Florida, USA

  • 2000

    Vanitas: Meditations on Life and Death in Contemporary Art, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, Virginia, USA

Grants/Awards

  • 2011

    Joyce Alexander Wein Artist Prize, The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, USA

Collections

  • Caldic Collectie, Rotterdam, the Netherlands

  • Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation, Miami, Florida, USA

  • Denver Art Museum, Denver, Colorado, USA

  • Detroit Institute of Arts, Detroit, Michigan, USA

  • Fabric Workshop and Museum, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA

  • Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA

  • Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., USA

  • Linda Pace Foundation, San Antonio, Texas, USA

  • McNay Museum of Art, San Antonio, Texas, USA

  • Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, USA