James Drake: Drawing, Reading and Counting

Exhibition Dates: May 7 – June 18, 2016
Opening Reception: Saturday, May 7 from 5–9 pm in conjunction with Jammin’ on Julia, presented by ADNO, sponsored by the DDD
Gallery Location: 432 Julia Street, New Orleans, LA 70130
Hours: Tuesday–Saturday, 10 am–5 pm
Contact Info: 504.522.1999; arthurrogergallery.com

The Arthur Roger Gallery is pleased to present Drawing, Reading and Counting, an exhibition of mixed media drawings by James Drake. The exhibition will be on view at Arthur Roger Gallery, located at 432 Julia Street, from May 7 – June 18, 2016. The gallery will host an opening reception with the artist in attendance, on Saturday, May 7 from 5-9 pm in conjunction with Jammin’ on Julia, presented by ADNO, sponsored by the DDD.

Time to Time, 2015 | Charcoal, graphite, ink on book pages | 76 x 96 inches

Time to Time, 2015 | Charcoal, graphite, ink on book pages | 76 x 96 inches

Feynman Diagrams unify the many works in James Drake’s seventeenth exhibition with the gallery, Drawing, Reading and Counting. In the artist’s renown, virtuosic style, contemporary scientific examinations and mathematical expressions are overlaid with classical imagery of birds, insects, nudes, as well as candid renderings of some of the artist’s transsexual friends from Juarez, Mexico. The works are executed in pencil, ink and charcoal, and cutouts and stencils reveal poetry, blocks of text and other notations. These recent works have been described as a kind of “self-portrait of the conscious and possibly subconscious ephemera circling through the artist’s mind.” They are also examinations of contemporary issues of social injustice, the history of art and human history.

The large-scale works, including diptychs and triptychs, are comprised of collaged paper including roofing paper, book pages, business reply envelopes and assorted scraps weathered by time in the artist’s studio. Also often observed are notated proof pages from the artist’s monograph and earlier catalogs. Each of the works in the exhibition has multiple blocks of paper, approximately 19 x 24 inches. Each of these is numbered, a practice that began in 2012 when the artist made a commitment to draw every day for two years. The resulting 1,242 images became the basis for The Anatomy of Drawing and Space (Brain Trash), an exhibition that opened at the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego and has subsequently traveled throughout the country. This exhibition features work by James Drake in the front and center galleries with works interspersed in the center and back galleries by fellow artist and friend, Vernon Fisher.

James Drake was born in Lubbock, TX in 1946. He received his BFA in 1969 and MFA in 1970 from the Art Center College of Design in Los Angeles, CA. Drake has presented his figurative narrative art internationally and has received critical praise for his dramatic steel sculptures, drawings and video installations. His vocabulary of images relates to art history, weaponry, the fine line between savagery and civilization, and life on the densely populated bilingual Juarez-El Paso border. His work is in the permanent collection of over 30 museums, including the Albright-Knox Gallery, the Brooklyn Museum of Art, the Corcoran Gallery of Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and the New Orleans Museum of Art. In 2000 his work was included in the Whitney Biennial. Drake is the recipient of a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship and two National Endowment for the Arts grants.