Madison Square Park Conservancy has commissioned Leonardo Drew to create a monumental new public art project for the Park opening this spring. Marking the Conservancy’s 38th commissioned exhibition and the artist’s most ambitious work to date, City in the Grass will present a topographical view of an abstract cityscape atop a patterned panorama. Building on the artist’s signature techniques of assemblage and additive collage, the installation will extend over 100 feet long with a richly textured surface that invites visitor engagement. City in the Grass will be on view from June 3, 2019, through December 15, 2019.

For City in the Grass, Drew has crafted a sprawling work of varied materials that will undulate across the lawn and, at various points, crescendo into rising towers. These sculptures will grow in and around a patterned surface made of colored sand that mimics Persian carpet designs and reflects the artist’s interest in East Asian decorative traditions and global design more broadly. Bringing together domestic and urban motifs, City in the Grass will invite the Park’s visitors to walk on its surface and to explore the abstract terrain of the work from all angles.

City in the Grass is organized by Brooke Kamin Rapaport, Deputy Director and Martin Friedman Senior Curator of Mad. Sq. Art; Tom Reidy, Senior Project Manager; Julia Friedman, Senior Curatorial Manager; and Tessa Ferreyros, Curatorial Manager.

About the Artist

Leonardo Drew is a New York-based artist known for his unique manipulation of natural materials and creation of additive sculptures and installations. While his treatment of materials—which often includes techniques like burning, oxidizing, and weathering—evokes found objects, Drew chooses to work with new materials that provide him with complete control of his material choices and compositional form. Celebrating the materiality and symbolic resonances of his chosen media, Drew creates work addressing both formal and social concerns.
Recent solo museum exhibitions include shows at de Young Museum, San Francisco (2017); SCAD Museum of Art at the Savannah College of Art and Design (2013); Beeler Gallery at the Columbus College of Art & Design (2013); Palazzo Delle Papesse, Centro Arte Contemporanea, Siena (2006); Royal Hibernian Academy, Dublin (2001); and Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington DC (2000). Drew’s mid-career survey, Existed, premiered at the Blaffer Gallery at the University of Houston in 2009. The exhibition went on to the Weatherspoon Art Museum in Greensboro, NC, and the deCordova Museum and Sculpture Park in Lincoln, MA.

Artist Leonardo Drew and Curator Savona Bailey-McClain will talk with Brooke Kamin Rapaport, Executive Director of Madison Square Park Conservancy on June 22nd at Galerie Lelong. Click for more information here.

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