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Leonardo Drew

This two-part project by contemporary artist Leonardo Drew features a monumental outdoor sculpture, City in the Grass, along with a gallery exhibition that provides a more in-depth look at his diverse body of work.

Leonardo Drew: Making Chaos Legible
April 4–July 5, 2020
East Building, Level B, Meymandi Exhibition Gallery

Leonardo Drew: City in the Grass
February 1 – September 7, 2020
Ann and Jim Goodnight Museum Park, Ellipse

Using a variety of materials—wood, cotton, canvas, paper, steel, aluminum, sand—Drew makes dynamic sculptures that explode and expand into their spaces. These gravity-defying sculptures convey a feeling of barely contained or restrained energy and chaos. “I think of it as making chaos legible,” he says.

City in the Grass, Drew’s first major outdoor sculpture, is both an abstracted cityscape and a colorful flying carpet. Over 100 feet long and 30 feet wide, the work is composed of aluminum panels covered in a mosaic pattern of colored sand, mimicking a Persian carpet. Drew wants his visitors to feel like Gulliver discovering Lilliput as they wander through his bird’s-eye view of a city. “In the end,” he says, “it can be your flying carpet transporting you to wherever you need to be.” Drew sees public art as a shared experience, and for him City in the Grass is not complete until the public appears and interacts with the work, making it whole.

This project at the NCMA is generously supported by the Hartfield Foundation and Libby and Lee Buck. Leonardo Drew: City in the Grass was commissioned by Madison Square Park Conservancy, New York, and was first exhibited in Madison Square Park.

Leonardo Drew: Making Chaos Legible is made possible, in part, by the generous support of the Hartfield Foundation and Libby and Lee Buck, and by the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources; the North Carolina Museum of Art Foundation, Inc.; and the William R. Kenan Jr. Endowment for Educational Exhibitions. Research for this exhibition was made possible by Ann and Jim Goodnight/The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Fund for Curatorial and Conservation Research and Travel.

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