James Drake’s career has spanned more than thirty years and includes work in many different media including drawings, sculpture, video, and installation. However, he is best known for his draftsmanship, and his drawings have been consistently admired and sought after by collectors and museums. This most recent publication of his works on paper focuses on the White Cut-Outs and Red Drawings. The predominately white cut-out drawings are ephemeral studies in composition and subtraction. Made by literally cutting the paper with an exacto blade, the elegant works belie their extremely complicated fabrication and technical bravado—visible as much by the shadows they cast as by the drawn line. The Red Drawings began in direct response to the White Cut-outs. The intensity and saturation of the red chalk infuses the drawings with a different life and character. The tone of these pieces is complicated, political, and equally fascinating.This oversize book includes all of the pieces made from both series and is accompanied by an essay by Carter Foster, drawing curator at the Whitney Museum of American Art.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
James Drake was born in Lubbock, Texas in 1946. He received his BFA in 1969 and MFA in 1970 from Art Center College of Design in Los Angeles, California. Drake recently moved to New York City from El Paso, Texas, where he lived and worked for over twenty years. James Drake has presented his figurative, narrative art internationally, receiving early critical praise for his dramatic steel sculptures, drawings and video installations. Drake is one of those astoundingly versatile artists who has managed to create accomplished, distinctive work in a number of media. In the process, he has deployed a consistent vocabulary of images relating to art history, weaponry, the fine line between savagery and civilization, and life on the densely populated bilingual Juarez-El Paso border. Drake characterizes himself as a narrative artist, albeit one who is more interested in vignettes and fragments than in storytelling. James Drake’s work is in the permanent collection of over thirty museums, including the Albright-Knox Gallery, the Brooklyn Museum of Art, the Corcoran Gallery of Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. He has had over sixty one-person shows and has been invited to participate in more than one hundred group exhibitions. Drake is the recipient of a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship and two National Endowment for the Arts grants.
ABOUT THE WRITER
Carter E. Foster is a curator at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York. He recently organized exhibitions on the contemporary artists Roni Horn and Steve Wolfe. A specialist on the work of Edward Hopper, the subject of a travelling exhibition in Europe which he curated last year, he is currently developing a project examining Hopper’s drawings. In addition to the Whitney Museum, Carter Foster has held positions at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Cleveland Museum of Art, the New York Public Library, and the Philadelphia Museum of Art. His interests include both old master and modern drawing, and he has widely published and lectured on both subjects. He is a native of Atlanta, Georgia and attended graduate school at Brown University.