Saturday, December 08, 2012

Jessica Drenk

Procession 23 - 2011
pine wood - 60" x 20" repost

Not since Tom Friedman, have I seen an artist make the ordinary, extraordinary; but Jessica Drenk's approach is fresh and polished. Her work is created from pencils, pages of books, and scrap wood. I am happy to see Galleri Urbane featuring Drenk in a solo show.

Drenk’s work reminds me of landscapes, objects, and shape I observed on my trip across the western United States by car. I could have sworn I encountered a rock structure that resembles her pencil “Implement” sculptures in the foot hills of the Rocky Mountains. But these works also seem to reference the shape of pottery or possibly once functional objects. Maybe the shape and earthy colors make me see these objects through the lens of a potter. The fact that these new shapes are carved pencils, which had a particular purpose, and are now a part of Drenk’s sculpture, also speaks to their residual feeling of use.

Bibliophylum and Cerebral Mapping are earthy, but also use text to help draw you into a web of information. I enjoy how the material of the Cerebral Mapping is made of book pages, but nothing like an ordinary altered book approach. You can see that the information is almost shredded on the wall and clumped together to form interesting patterns. These vine like shapes seem similar to nerve cells or maybe how a book looks after philosopher Derrida deconstructs its words. To me, Drenk is creating a physical manifestation, of his philosophic approach to reading. The Bibliophylum installation feels like a folky collection of shaped wood and as you approach the piece you notice that the stripes are really strips of words.

Drenk has works called “Procession” which were once contained into rectangle formats, but the rectangle is broken in this exhibition with Star War spaceship like shapes. The work is comprised of small pieces of what looks to be left over scrap pieces from maybe a furniture factory floor, then recycled and reassembled into sculpture. I see a little Louise Nevelson in these pieces, only Drenk does not paint her sculptures, but leaves the wood in the raw.

Galleri Urbane will be exhibiting Jessica Drenk’s work until November 8th. Drenk is quite an accomplished artist with an array of awards and achievements. And next weekend on October 13th, Michael Berman’s photography will be up. The reception for this Guggenheim Fellow will open that Saturday from 5-9pm. for more images.

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