‘Drain Expressions’ proposes a level of visual fecundity that has long been present in the artist’s work – elaborate woven compositions, deconstructed paintings, immersive wall patterns, wall-mounted sculptures and gently satirical promotional posters are drawn together in the artist’s first major exhibition in Los Angeles in 8 years.
Drain’s work participates in a dynamic interplay between rigorous geometries and hyperactive, chaotic forms; and this pluralism becomes the primary impulse behind this body of work. Paintings are simplified and then expanded, where the stretcher constitutes both the armature and the surface of the piece. Wall-mounted sculptures are enmeshed within gridded wall patterns, a grid that the artist considers as a means to visualise empty space. A series of posters promoting the exhibition are embedded into the content of the show – these are works that publicize the exhibition as well as constituting it, in a humorous gesture towards contemporary art’s constant self-reflexivity.
It was Drain’s involvement in the highly-influential Fort Thunder community in Rhode Island that first attracted the recognition of audiences, critics and institutions. A surfeit of materials once produced by the industries of Rhode Island, particularly yarn, offered an immediate material abundance for Drain to work with. This interest in textiles maintains an enduring presence in his sculptures, paintings and furniture; yet while these elements are retained, Drain’s work is also characterised by constant flurries of new formal and conceptual activity.
Drain (1975) was born in Cleveland, Ohio, and is currently based in Miami. Drain has exhibited extensively throughout the United States and Europe; he was awarded the Baloise Prize for his Statements exhibition at Art Basel in 2005, he completed a DAAD residency in Berlin in 2008 and will soon complete a site-specific commission for a new US Embassy compound in Rabat, Morocco. His work is held in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art, New York.
An opening reception for ‘Drain Expressions’ will be held from 6 -8 pm on 10 November at the gallery. Coinciding with this exhibition, Jim Drain will deliver a lecture at the Hammer Museum on 15 November at 7.30pm.
contributor: ~Jae Joseph
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