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James Drake: Anatomy of Drawing and Space (Brain Trash)

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The visual artist’s most recent exhibit at The Blanton Museum of Art.

By Silvana Di Ravenna

james drakeJames Drake is a renowned artist native to Texas who has built a 40-year career with original sculptures and videos. He currently resides in Santa Fe, N.M., and his previous work has been shown in various solo exhibitions throughout the United States and Europe.

His newest exhibit, Anatomy of Drawing and Space (Brain Trash), is a clear departure from the Drake’s more easily recognizable audiovisual works, and is a culmination of two consecutive years of relentless sketching and creation. Drake committed himself to draw every day for two years beginning in 2012, and the results are an impressive and intricate collection of 1,242 individual drawings depicting various scenes and subjects ranging from wild animals, landscapes, human anatomy and classical art, to family photographs and scientific formulae.

The drawings, which were rendered separately in pencil, ink and charcoal, as well as through other techniques, are representations of Drake’s recurrent themes of life and death, order and chaos, and innovation and legacy, revealing internal references of social and cultural topics such as violence and addiction. The installation is an immersive visual diary of the artist’s thought process.

james drake 2The exhibition, which was originally organized by the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, where it made its debut this summer, will be on display at the Blanton Museum of Art from Oct. 19 through Jan. 4.

For the Blanton installation, Drake’s unframed drawings will be showcased directly to the full extension of the gallery walls, creating a rich, connected visual experience with Drake’s thoughts, emotions and human-behavior observations.

The exhibition is accompanied by a 370-page publication that includes all of the images and drawings presented in the installation.

Blanton Museum of Art

200 E. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.


For more information about the artist, visit



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