James Drake: Anatomy of Drawing and Space (Brain Trash)
James Drake: Anatomy of Drawing and Space (Brain Trash) is the culmination of two years of active creation, reflecting imagery from throughout the artist’s forty-year career. In 2012, the artist committed himself to drawing every day. Some drawings are immediate, others take days. The resulting 1,242 drawings cull from his personal reservoir of images—wild animals, scientific formulas, personal portraits, art historical figures—and are rendered in pencil, ink and charcoal, often with collage and stencil work. Drake confronts structures that bind and urges that divide: from communication and culture to violence and addiction. Those subjects spill across this massive composition as well as an examination of the human figure from anatomy books to self-portraiture. Drake’s confidence as an artist and virtuosity as a draftsperson are on display in this retrospective reckoning of his overriding themes of order and chaos, life and death, and legacy and innovation. Contemporary and traditional both, this cycle of drawings serve as an echo of the artist’s studio—the artist’s mind—played out on epic scale.
James Drake: Anatomy of Drawing and Space (Brain Trash) is organized by the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, and is made possible by generous lead underwriting support from Tami and Michael Lang. Additional funding has been received from Stephen Feinberg and proceeds from the 2014 Art Auction. Institutional support for MCASD is provided, in part, by the City of San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture.