JESSICA DRENK

Profile | Statement | Biography



Jessica Drenk • Profile

 

Jessica Drenk

Jessica Drenk is an American artist raised in Montana, where she developed an appreciation for the natural world that remains an important inspiration to her artwork today.  Tactile and textural, her sculptures highlight the chaos and beauty that can be found in simple materials. Drenk’s work is also influenced by systems of information and the impulse to develop an encyclopedic understanding of the world.

Drenk’s work can be found internationally in private collections, as well as corporate and university collections within the US. Drenk has been the recipient of several awards, including an Artist Project Grant from the Arizona Commission on the Arts,  and the International Sculpture Center’s Outstanding Student Achievement in Contemporary Sculpture Award.  Her work has been pictured in Sculpture, Interior Design, and Curve magazines, as well as The Workshop Guide to Ceramics.  Her work has recently become a part of the Fidelity art collection and the Yale University Art Gallery.

Drenk has an MFA in 3D Art from the University of Arizona and a bachelor’s degree from Pomona College where she was an art major. A working artist since 2007, Drenk’s home and studio are currently
in Florida.


Jessica Drenk • Statement

Nature and science are my primary inspirations: there are thousands of patterns and textures I find fascinating and I spend a good deal of my time examining plants, rocks, shells, landscapes, lichens, microscopic images, cellular patterns and crystalline formations.  I find it fascinating how everything in the world is formed from basic parts and yet is full of complex textures and shapes of unending variety.

The ideas for my work occur at the intersection between the natural shapes I’m drawn to and the materials I use.  I am constantly looking around me for a new material to speak to me: some object I sense a connection to and want to explore.  I always want to push my materials to a place where they are still recognizable as “book”, “pipe” or “toilet paper”, but have taken on new forms beyond those original definitions.  In working with my materials I tend to forget what they are; seeing them instead as something malleable with the potential to become a fascinating new shape.  The process of working with each material is one of experimentation: I let the qualities of each material influence my process, often taking me in new and unexpected directions.

I always work on several series at a time; working in parallel rather than in sequence allows each series to speak to the others and influence the direction of my art.  In all of my work I am constantly striving to find balance between complexity and simplicity, to create forms that are both additive and subtractive, and seeking a place in between pattern and chaos.  Whether I’m working with PVC pipes, pencils or wood, I am practicing a form of material alchemy: taking each material beyond itself and turning it into something completely new and different.

I believe what drives me on as an artist is the desire to see how far I can push myself and my materials into a new place.  I always want to keep going, to see how complicated I can make something, how many lines, cuts, parts and pieces I can work with in a harmonious way.  If I’m going to work with pencils, I want there to be 2,000 of them; if I’m going to cut up wood, I want to cut it up and glue it back together hundreds of times.  The process of working with extreme multiples is a challenge: too much repetition is boring, but total chaos is just as boring—I love working the boundary between the two. 


Jessica Drenk • Biography

EDUCATION

2007
Master of Fine Arts, 3-D Area, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ

2002
Bachelor of Arts, Art Major, Pomona College, Claremont, CA

SELECTED EXHIBITIONS

2016
"Slightly Obsessive", LaFontsee Galleries, Douglas, MI

"Everyone in the Pool", LaFontsee Galleries, Douglas, MI

Between the Covers: Altered Books in Contemporary Art, The Everhart Museum, Scranton, PA

2015
Galleri Urbane, Dallas, TX

"Ten Years of Artists’ Books", Brooklyn Public Library, Brooklyn, NY

"BLACK/WHITE", J. Johnson Gallery, Jacksonville, FL

"The Art of the Book", Seager Gray Gallery, Mill Valley, CA

"Art Miami", Adah Rose Gallery, New York, NY

"Lookie Here", LaFontsee Galleries, Grand Rapids, MI

2014
Adah Rose Gallery, Kensington, MD

"Odd Volumes: Book Art from the Allan Chasanoff Collection", Yale University Art Gallery, CT

"(in)Organic", Racine Art Museum, Racine, WI

"The Art of the Book", Seager Gray Gallery, Mill Valley, CA

"Extra Ordinary", Conrad Wilde Gallery, Tucson, AZ

"Contemporary Fiber", Helikon Gallery, Denver, CO

"PULSE Art Fair", Adah Rose Gallery, Miami and New York

"Art Market San Francisco", Seager Gray Gallery, San Francisco, CA

2013
Galleri Urbane, Dallas, TX

Paia Contemporary Gallery, Maui, HI

"Flatlanders and Surface Dwellers", 516 ARTS, Albuquerque, NM

PULSE Art Fair, Adah Rose Gallery, Miami and New York

Context Art Fair, Galleri Urbane, Miami, FL

2012
Galleri Urbane, Dallas, TX

IMPULSE exhibitor, PULSE Art Fair with Adah Rose Gallery, Miami, FL

Falk Gallery, Christopher Newport University, Newport News, VA

Media Matters, Foster White Gallery, Seattle, WA

Paia Contemporary Gallery, Maui, HI

Dallas Art Fair: Galleri Urbane, Dallas, TX

Adah Rose Gallery, Kensington, MD

Affordable Art Fair: Conrad Wilde Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

Affordable Art Fair: Conrad Wilde Gallery, New York, NY

artMKT: Cain Schulte Contemporary Art, San Francisco, CA

2011
Riverworks Gallery, Greenville, SC

Cain Schulte Gallery, San Francisco, CA

Aqua Art Miami fair: Conrad Wilde Gallery, Miami Beach, FL

Affordable Art Fair: Cain Schulte Gallery, New York, NY

San Francisco Fine Art Fair: Cain Schulte Gallery, San Francisco, CA

"Un-Speak-Able", The Art Center, Corvallis, OR

"Reconstructions", Conrad Wilde Gallery, Tucson, AZ

2010
"Jessica Drenk: Materials and Balance”, Conrad Wilde Gallery, Tucson, AZ

Aqua Art Miami fair: Conrad Wilde Gallery, Miami Beach, FL

“Before, During, After”, Catherine Person Gallery, Seattle, WA

Anderson Arts Center, Anderson, SC

2009
“Archaeologica”, Mesa Arts Center, Mesa, AZ

“Reading Our Remains”, Smith Campus Center, Pomona College, Claremont, CA

“The Book: Wide Open”, Business of Art Center, Manitou Springs, CO

“Continuum”, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ

Catherine Person Gallery, Seattle, WA

2008
“Penumbra”, Gallery 825, Los Angeles, CA

“Book-Art Object 08”, 25th of May Museum, Belgrade, Serbia

Lana Santorelli Gallery, New York, NY

“Compelling Matter”, Conrad Wilde Gallery, Tucson, AZ

“Book Forms”, Conrad Wilde Gallery, Tucson, AZ

“Penumbra”, Gallery 825, Los Angeles, CA

“Book-Art Object 08”, 25th of May Museum, Belgrade, Serbia

Lana Santorelli Gallery, New York, NY

“Compelling Matter”, Conrad Wilde Gallery, Tucson, AZ

“Book Forms”, Conrad Wilde Gallery, Tucson, AZ

2007
Beard Arts Center, Indiana Wesleyan University, Marion, IN

MFA Exhibition, University of Arizona Museum of Art, Tucson, AZ

“She Objects II”, Conrad Wilde Gallery, Tucson, AZ

2006
“Imprints”, Lionel Rombach Gallery, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ

Grounds For Sculpture, Hamilton, NJ

Biennial Southwest, The Albuquerque Museum, Albuquerque, NM

Sheldon Swope Art Museum, Terre Haute, IN

“The Turning World”, Conrad Wilde Gallery, Tucson, AZ

Art One Gallery, Phoenix, AZ

Casa Libre, Tucson, AZ

“Art D’Art”, Tucson Museum of Art, Tucson, AZ

2005
“Reading Our Remains”, University of Arizona Library, Tucson, AZ

“Arizona Biennial”, Tucson Museum of Art, Tucson, AZ

8th International Book Fair of Contemporary Creative Books, Marseille, France

“Residual Pull”, Dinnerware Contemporary Arts, Tucson, AZ

“Bound and Unbound”, Tohono Chul Gallery, Tucson, AZ

Hayward Area Forum of the Arts, Hayward, CA

“Re-Visions III”, Tohono Chul Gallery, Tucson, AZ

SELECTED COLLECTIONS

Fidelity Investments, Boston, MA

Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, CT

Texas Christian University, Fort Worth, TX

Mark Parker, Seattle, WA

Edward Burtynsky, Toronto, Canada

Sherry and Joel Malin, New York, NY

AWARDS AND HONORS

2009
Artist Project Grant, Arizona Commission on the Arts

2006
International Sculpture Center’s Outstanding Student Achievement in Contemporary Sculpture Award   

Arizona Artist’s Guild Scholarship

Creative Achievement Award for graduate work in Art, University of Arizona

Coris Family Trust Fine Arts Award, University of Arizona

Albert Haldeman Scholarship, University of Arizona

2005
Centennial Sculpture Award, University of Arizona

Medici Scholars Award, University of Arizona

2004
Graduate College Fellowship, University of Arizona

2002
Phi Beta Kappa, Pomona College, Claremont, CA

Louisa Moseley Fine Arts Prize, Pomona College, Claremont, CA

BIBLIOGRAPHY

2016
John Hopper, “Jessica Drenk”, Inspirational, Volume 9, March 2016. www.thetextileblog.blogspot.com/p/inspirational-magazine.html

2014
Exhibition catalog and essays for Odd Volumes at Yale University Art Gallery  

2013
Authentic Visual Voices, an interactive computer book and DVD: featured artist with interview

“Organic Sculptures Sanded from Hundreds of Pencils by Jessica Drenk”, Colossal (blog), Jan. 13, 2013

Exhibition catalog for Flatlanders and Surface Dwellers

2012
“Style”, Les Inrockputibles, December 18, 2012: p. 38.

“Jessica Drenk”, BOOOOOOOM (blog), Dec. 13, 2012.   http://www.booooooom.com/2012/12/13/sculptures-byartist-jessica-drenk/

“Good on Paper: Altered Book Installations of Jessica Drenk”, Curve, Feb/Mar 2012: p. 122-123

“Jessica Drenk: L’Artista Archeologa”, Progetto-9, April/May 2012: p.12-13

“Jessica Drenk: Second Nature”, Seymour Magazine, March 6 2012: online interview

The Workshop Guide to Ceramics, Duncan Hooson and Anthony Quinn, Quarto    

Publishing, London, 2012: description and image of work

2010
Tucson Citizen.com, November 6: Jessica Drenk at Conrad Wilde Gallery

2009
East Valley Tribune, April 24: article on Jessica Drenk at Mesa Contemporary Arts

2008
Tucson Weekly, July 24: review of Conrad Wilde Gallery

Book-Art Object Catalog, Belgrade, Serbia

2007
University of Arizona MFA Thesis Exhibition Catalog

2006
Sculpture Magazine, October issue: description and image of work

The Albuquerque Museum, Biennial Southwest Exhibition Catalog

The Albuquerque Tribune, October 5: review of Biennial Southwest

2005
University of Arizona College of Fine Arts publication, Transformations

KUAT-TV “Arizona Illustrated” PBS interview and review of Residual Pull

KUAT-TV “Arizona Illustrated” PBS review of Arizona Biennial