ONCE MORE, WITH FEELING
by James Croak
Texas- and New York-based artist Leonardo Drew
(b. 1961) has always had a thing about materials, the rough-hewn kind that are way past human use and that show nature’s own gothic touch -- things like rusted metal, blackened paper and wood, and the kind of general trash and detritus you might have out back in the shed. Many of his early sculptures are made with cotton, a loaded signifier in the hands of a black artist, making Drew one of several contemporary artists who, following Peter Halley, were putting sociopolitical inflections into the familiar language of formalist abstraction.