Pearl Lam Galleries Pedder Building is delighted to present the first solo exhibition of works by Leonardo Drew in Asia, running from 13 November–31 December, 2015. The show comprises of 13 new works by the Brooklyn-based American artist, which will see the introduction of applied colour in his practice for the first time. Drew’s works are made of natural materials, including wood, rusted iron, cotton, and paper. Drawn from historical evidence, the resulting abstract sculptural compositions are an emotional reflection on the cyclical nature of existence, the human condition, and the connectivity of all things.
This exhibition will include ten new works made from wood, one of Drew’s staple materials, in various states. While much of his work appears to be constructed with old, oxidised or burnt matter, Drew sources new materials and subjects them to transformational processes before assembling them into larger works. In addition, many of the works on display will demonstrate the introduction of colour into the artist’s practice, as opposed to the colours that naturally occur during the transformational process. The exhibition will also include a mixed media work, as well as two new works on paper.
Leonardo Drew b. 1961 grew up in a public housing project in Bridgeport, Connecticut in an apartment surrounded by the city landfill. He vividly recalls the ecosystem of the dump, from the machinery employed to manage it, to the seagulls and smells associated with it. Drew’s realisation that this was ‘God’s mouth’, representing both ‘the beginning and the end’ had a profound impact on the artist and his later work. Influenced further by abstract expressionism and the work of Jackson Pollock and Piet Mondrian, Drew’s work places an emphasis on concept, materiality, and process, while melding it with a narrative that meditates on the humanity and the nature of existence. In addition, Drew travelled extensively during the 1990s, finding himself particularly affected by the Zen Buddhist approach to life and death that he was exposed to during his time in Japan.
The work of Leonardo Drew is exclusively sculptural. His seminal work, Number 8, features rope, animal hide, raccoon skull and a dead bird, which are hung together and painted black, creating a dark three-dimensional take on Pollock’s all-over drip painting.
Through his work, Drew reflects on the universality of existence and the interconnectivity of all beings to one another. He 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.
“It is a great pleasure for us to welcome Leonardo Drew to Hong Kong for his first solo exhibition in Asia. Owing to his multifaceted practice and expanding reflections on the nature of existence, Leonardo remains an important and ever-relevant figure in contemporary art.” —Pearl Lam, Founder of Pearl Lam Galleries