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Published on May 15, 2015
Episode #220: From his Brooklyn neighborhood, Leonardo Drew reflects upon the influence of Piet Mondrian on his own work. "As different as my work looks, Mondrian is actually right in there," says Drew, whose work is often built around the same gridded compositional structure that Mondrian innovated. Drew visits Mondrian’s grave in Cypress Hills Cemetery—which is nearby his Brooklyn studio—where visitors often leave paint tubes and other offerings. Drew and his artist friend Paul Pagk first found Mondrian’s grave in 2009 at a time when the cemetery did not realize Mondrian’s notability. After an article titled "Remembered at MoMA, Forgotten at the Cemetery" was published about Drew and Pagk’s discovery, the cemetery installed a sign at Mondrian's grave identifying the artist as "notable."
Leonardo Drew, whose art career began as a child in inner city Bridgeport, Connecticut, transforms new materials—through processes of decay, oxidization, and exposure to weather—in his sculptures. Never content with work that comes easily, Drew reaches daily beyond his comfort zone, charting a course of experimentation with his materials and processes and letting the work find its own way.