Drew is known for wall based abstract sculptural installations most often based on the exploration and testing of the grid structure. These works incorporate created, manipulated and found materials constructed from fabricated wood, sheet metal, tree branches, roots, paper, raw cotton, rust, found objects and mud. These materials, his paint box in effect, are used to create work, which explores the environment, existence, history and memory.
This is New York based Leonardo Drew’s third show with Vigo.
In his new works, Drew explores the themes he has developed over the last few years, breaking free from and manipulating the order of the grid whilst never quite fully escaping its core sanctity. Number 135L, (below) for example is comprised of a system of expansive small wooden elements, each fastidiously laid like a growing mosaic, emanating from the form like the bark of a rare ambiguous tree. The result is an object fossilised and hardened by the artist’s industry, whilst at the same time seemingly folding back on itself as an organic form, soft in its under frame, like folded pasta or a ribbon encrusted in time.
In contrast, Number 138L, the star of the show, returns to an angular dynamic, brutally beautiful, and seemingly having taken strength from the monumental works that burst out of the wall in his landmark 2009 installations. Informed by developments from the last few years including his printmaking and lessening tie to the formal grid, Number 138L is a condensed and concentrated eruption of forms and matter that displays a refined awareness and confidence of form and nature. This new body of work continues to explore the mutability of the natural world and cyclical nature of existence.