Born Tallahassee, FL, 1961. Lives San Antonio, TX and Brooklyn, NY
Number 130, 2009
Wood and mixed media
134 x 132 x 20 ¾ inches
Collection Miami Art Museum, museum purchase with funds from the MAM Collectors Council
Photo credit: Sid Hoeltzell
Leonardo Drew is known for works that involve large accumulations of found organic materials such as wool, tree branches, roots, rust and mud. He has worked in both large-scale, space-filling installation formats as well as two-dimensional works that blur the lines between painting and sculpture.
A typical Drew composition is abstract and bursting at the seams with visual incident, balancing an overload of details with varying degrees of order and structure. In this sense, Drew's work touches on the same kind of formal challenges faced by classic abstractionists such as Cy Twombly, but in sculpture and assemblage rather than painting. Like Twombly, Drew uses a rough, gestural aesthetic to create a sense of visual energy and dynamism. Often the overall impression is one of a rustic kind of chaos wrestling against the organizing effects of grid-like compositional rhythms.
In Drew's work these rhythms are usually based on a system of modular, square-shaped wood panels, within which like elements are packed together in jumbled assortments. Drew arranges and rearranges these components until a particular sequence results in a cohesive visual order. The final works are the products of countless revisions and reconfigurations. This way of working preserves the potential for even finished works to continue to mutate, closing off the possibility of a truly finished state. Indeed, Drew is known for constantly cannibalizing elements from previous works, recontextualizing them in countless new variations that together suggest infinite growth, infinite evolution.