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Exhibit: Leonardo Drew: Cycles/From the Collections of Jordan D. Schnitzer

Event Details

September 20—December 6, 2019, Tue/Wed/Thu/Fri 11:00 am-4:30 pm
September 21—December 8, 2019, weekends 2:00 pm-5:00 pm
This event does NOT occur on:
November 23—November 30

University Museum of Contemporary Art

UMass Amherst Campus

Handicap access available
Free admission
Betsey Wolfson

During the past 30 years, Leonardo Drew has become best known for his installations, both sweeping in scale and intimate in detail, which transform materials such as cotton, metal, animal hides, and wood — often oxidizing, burning, and decaying them — into something completely different from their original state.

“Through his use of natural materials and processes — rust, fire, decay — Leonardo Drew presents a perspective that is challenging, provocative, and inspirational all at the same time,” comments collector Jordan D. Schnitzer. “By exploring these forces that drive the natural world, we gain better understanding our of own role within it.”

The works on view in this exhibition demonstrate the artist’s similar approach to process, experimentation, and materiality in the making of prints. Each work is the result of a complex exploration of printmaking processes. Through an intensive, collaborative process with master printers and papermakers at Pace Prints studio in Brooklyn and at Crown Point Press in San Francisco, Drew developed new processes and solutions to translate his three-dimensional practice into the print medium. This exhibition focuses on his experimental prints alongside a selection of wall sculptures.

A precocious artist, Drew won a competition at age thirteen for a drawing of Captain America, and later received offers to work in comics, but ultimately chose to pursue a career in fine art. He draws inspiration from art of the mid-twentieth century: the gestural movement of Jackson Pollock, the grids of Piet Mondrian, and the visceral materiality of Eva Hesse. Drew’s compositions have been primarily monochrome and based on a loose grid structure. While artistically rooted to these histories of process-based abstraction and Post-Minimalism, Drew is also influenced by non-Western philosophical traditions, viewing his work as a reflection of the cyclical nature of time, the continual processes of transformation, and the connectivity of all things.

About the Artist - Leonardo Drew was born in 1961 in Tallahassee, Florida, and he grew up in Bridgeport, Connecticut. He attended the Parsons School of Design and received his BFA in 1985 from the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art. He has shown his work in such museums as the Hirshhorn Museum in Washington, DC; the Royal Hibernian Academy in Dublin, Ireland; the Art Institute of Chicago; Pérez Art Museum Miami; the St. Louis Art Museum; and the DeCordova Museum and Sculpture Park in Lincoln, MA. Drew’s work is included in the collections of  many institutions, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY; The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; the Hirshhorn Museum, Washington, DC; Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, AR; and Tate, London. He has collaborated with the Merce Cunningham Dance Company and has participated in artist residencies at Artpace, San Antonio, TX, and The Studio Museum in Harlem, NY, among others. He is represented by Galerie Lelong, New York.

Simultaneous with this exhibition, Leonardo Drew's City in the Grass, a large-scale aluminum, sand, and wood relief sculpture, is on view at Madison Square Park, in New York, through December 15, 2019.        

Support for the exhibition and related educational and outreach programs has been made possible by a grant from the Jordan Schnitzer Family Foundation. 

The UMCA thanks UMassFive College Federal Credit Union for their support of our exhibitions.


The University Museum of Contemporary Art (UMCA) is located on the lower of the UMass Amherst Fine Arts Center. Directions to the Fine Arts Center

Event Category

Art Exhibit