Leonardo Drew’s sculptural installations feel almost apocalyptic. Using reclaimed wood, fibers, and metal from post-industrial waste, the artist creates compositions that feel like the forgotten remnants of industry—bringing their discarded nature once again to light. For his latest exhibition at Sikemma Jenkins Gallery, the artist created a winding site-specific installation that leads visitors through a wasteland of cast-off wood.
Drew’s work draws largely on the history behind the materials he upcycles into his art works. Touching on the rapidity of urban development and change, his works seem to serve as evidence of our Industrial past, and its quick movement to obsoletion as technology moves forward- eliminating many practices of industry.
Drew’s large scale installation, Number 161, greets visitors at the entrance of the gallery with a larger than life conglomeration of burned wood. Fragments of all sizes from small bits to large boards are cobbled together to form a burned wood curtain. Snaking around the gallery, visitors are left around the virtual wasteland, seemingly ominous in organized destruction. Throughout the installation, several of his wall mounted sculptures can also be viewed, earthy and organic in nature, and made from both discarded wood, boards and industrial metal.
The scope of Drew’s work brings attention to elements that once drove the industries of yesterday that were based around wood and steel. The artist recycles these elements into haunting sculptural works that touch on the darker side of life.