Leonardo Drew, ‘Number 193T’, 2015, Talley Dunn Gallery

About Leonardo Drew

Celebrated for tactile works that are rich in historical and cultural references, Leonardo Drew crafts sculptures and installations out of a mix of found natural and manmade materials that evoke urban living, humanity’s relationship with nature, and African American society, among other references. “Take a step back; the truth is right there,” he states, expressing his desire for viewers to engage with his pieces unencumbered by titles or explanations. His work is informed by his experience as an African American growing up in a public housing project. Urban detritus—including wooden scraps and objects from condemned housing and architectural sites, collected by homeless people he pays—figures in his compositions, together with tree branches, roots, paper, raw cotton, rust, and mud. Drew choreographs these materials into complex, textured forms that hold numerous stories.

American, b. 1961, Tallahassee, Florida, based in Brooklyn, New York