The Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum FIU will present “Leonardo Drew: Cycles, from the Collection of Jordan D. Schnitzer and His Family Foundation,” from Sept. 1 until Nov. 17, 2021. Drew transforms cotton paper pulp and pigment into powerfully large yet fragile prints that test the versatility of the medium. Some resemble maps of geographical landscapes like populated cities, forests, and urban wastelands viewed from above, while others are reminiscent of the night sky and distant galaxies. Evocative of fire, soil, sky, and water, there are strong perceptions in both microcosmic and macrocosmic scale.
Organic forms within the composition undulate with various textures and luminosities, pushing the boundaries of its materiality. Much like his sculptural installations in wood, Drew starts with a raw material, transforming and reconstructing its essence until it resembles debris. Through this process, the artist articulates diverse histories of chaos, and cycles of birth and death.
“Drew reimagines form. His work inspires questions about varied topographies and the negotiation of space in our daily lives. This exhibition offers a rare look into the artist’s expansive approach to printmaking,” said the museum’s chief curator, Amy Galpin.
Also on view, the artist’s sculptures address social issues and the cyclical nature of existence. Using a variety of off-the-shelf materials like wood, cardboard, paint, paper, plastic, rope and string combined with natural materials such as branches or tree trunks, Drew transforms these objects with labor-intense manipulations that mimic natural processes of oxidation, burning, and weathering.
“Cycles feels especially timely as we observe how humans have now altered the environment. Drew’s early years of scavenging for discarded materials to reuse and his focus in this body of work on the concept of cycles — from the cyclical nature of life to the effects of erosion — relate to this part of the world, where nature and the weather are dominant forces in our daily lives,” said museum director Jordana Pomeroy. “We are grateful to Jordan D. Schnitzer and his family foundation for making Leonardo Drew’s body of work Cycles available to FIU and the Miami-Dade community.”
“When you meet Leonardo Drew – you are transformed by his energy, smile and passion – passion about life! His art takes wood, fabric, shingles, you name it – and transforms the material into the most amazing sculpture one can imagine. His works on paper transform into 3 dimensional experiences of art exploration. Thank you, Leonardo for letting all of us view your art and magical journey,” said Jordan D. Schnitzer.