In the cavernous 18th-century chapel at Yorkshire Sculpture Park, a new installation by artist Leonardo Drew (previously) explodes toward the ceiling in a massive plume, scatting shards, dust, and tiny fragments of material around the space. Titled “Number 360,” the work is comprised of blackened and painted plywood that brings chaos and destruction to the otherwise stark, quiet sanctuary. The central surge of the installation reaches five meters tall to fill the entirety of the chapel’s nave, while small paths are left clear to move through the immersive rupture.
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Born in Tallahassee but raised in Connecticut’s notorious Bridgeport Housing Project, Drew spent much of his childhood scrounging waste materials and repurposing them into what were his earliest artworks. This commitment to regenerate what’s been left to decay remains central to his practice today, and many of his pieces reuse materials from earlier projects. “Number 360,” for example, utilizes the same fractured plywood as that of “Number 341,” which the artist made in 2022 for Art Basel: Unlimited in Switzerland.
To achieve the rough, grainy texture of the individual components, Drew mixed sand into acrylic paints, a choice that stems from several visits to porcelain studios in Jingdezhen, China, where he witnessed the ceramic works exploding in the kiln, leaving earthen particles and shards in their wake. The artist also evokes the high-pressure nature of that process, conveying a tense and violent energy in an otherwise calm space.
“Number 360” is on view through October 29. Find more from Drew on his site and Instagram.
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