Leonardo Drew, Kara Walker - Galerie Max Hetzler

Galerie Max Hetzler presents two concurrent exhibitions of work by Leonardo Drew and Kara Walker.

Leonardo Drew is known for his dynamic large-scale sculptural installations, which incorporate found and organic materials such as cotton, children`s toys, cast paper and mud. His sculptures can be seen as a formalist proposal rooted in the very experience of looking. One can say that his work explores memory through materiality, employing the detritus of the rural south and the urban north to evoke common elements from human experience.

In his first exhibition in Germany, Drew presents recent works, reliefs, varying in shape and size, either made of a single material such as paper or coated with uniform substances. The large format (Number 97) on view is made of various paper-cast shells of objects and lets the viewer into a fantastic tiny world of fragility. The artist`s accumulations stir up a range of moods and can veer from the extremely refined to the rough-and-tumble.

Kara Walker presents a recent film, 8 Propositions, and nine collages. The content of her work comes out of American history, mythology and literature: for the nine collages exhibited, Walker used pages from the book The Pictorial History of the Civil War which was published in the late 19th century. The images glued onto the book pages come from popular magazine sources, depicting afro-american characters.

In recent years, Kara Walker has attracted great international interest with her often controversial work, dealing with grotesque, shadowy sides of American history, culture and self-perspection. She has become known mainly for her gigantic panoramas, made by cutting out full-scale silhouettes and mounting them directly on the wall, sometimes projecting colored light onto them.

It is a characteristic feature of Kara Walker's cut-outs that these silhouette pictures at first glance look like idyllic fairy-tale scenes, but at a second glance reveal perverse and violent incidents with undertones of sex, violence and torture.

Leonardo Drew, born in Tallahassee (Florida), lives and works in New York. He has exhibited internationally with solo and group shows, among them: The Fabric Workshop (Philadelphia, 2002), Royal Hibernian Academy (Dublin, 2001), Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden (Washington, 2000), Madison Art Center (Madison, 1999), Miami Art Museum (Miami, 1997).

Kara Walker, born in Stockton (California), lives and works in New York. She has exhibited internationally with solo and group shows, among them: Walker Art Center (Minneapolis, 2005), Mori Art Museum (Tokyo, 2005), Institute of Contemporary Art (Boston, 2005), Tate Liverpool (Liverpool, 2004), 25th International Bienal of São Paulo (São Paulo, 2002), The Tel Aviv Museum of Art (Tel Aviv, 2001). In 2007, she will have a survey exhibition at the Walker Art Center that will travel to several museums in the US.