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Proposal to Park: Leonardo Drew

Jul 18, 2022 | Art

Proposal to Park: Leonardo Drew

Proposal To Park Leonardo Drew
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Proposal to Park is a new series focused on documenting the progression of project artists’ proposals into exhibitions for Madison Square Park’s public art program.

Leonardo Drew’s City in the Grass was on view in 2019.

As an artist focused on materiality, Drew included a preliminary, textured sample of City in the Grass in his proposal, alongside a drawn map that sited the work. From the proposal, City in the Grass evolved into a patterned surface reminiscent of Persian rugs. Park visitors could be seen interacting with the work by nestling within the folds of the carpet or relaxing on the rolls of the structure. 

Here’s more about Drew’s process in his own words.

Madison Square Park Conservancy: How did your proposal evolve to meet the demands of exhibiting in a public park? 

Leonardo Drew: Typically, I am creating works in the studio and realizing them within an indoor environment. With this project, I had to consider taking on the whole framing of the city and the magnificence of the surrounding buildings. 

My process involved me taking on the role of the weather in treating and working with my materials. For this project, I built it into the very idea that the weather, people, and all these things should be complicit in realizing the piece. Seeing the work change through the seasons and through the physical engagement of the audience was something I wanted to be part of the work. 

MSPC: What surprised you most about exhibiting work in Madison Square Park? 

LD: To complete my work, the viewer and the artist should be complicit in its meaning. There should be an intimate exchange between the two. For City in the Grass, I was pleasantly surprised to see the audience physically completing the work in the park by standing, sitting, jumping, and even dancing on it. People of all ages were experiencing my work in so many different ways. It was incredible and also very gratifying to see this aspect of my work connecting with bodies and space.


Learn more about Leonardo Drew’s City in the Grass by visiting the exhibition page.

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