Art In America

Jim Drain

at Nathalie Karg,
291 Grand Street

Jim Drain frequently works with commissions for public art, and his new sculptures at Nathalie Karg have the look of something you might encounter outdoors—not a monument of the steel or granite variety, but the kind of spontaneous collective memorial that forms when ribbons are tied to a tree in prayer or memory. Three towering sculptures bristle with motley strips of material cut from orange safety vests, peace-sign-patterned fleece blankets, flannel shirts, floral-printed  sheets, and other fabrics that once touched bodies as parts of people’s lives. In Ebay Kachina in a Vortex (2017), the textiles cascade over a wooden armature shaped like a broad-shouldered shaman. Jaguar (2017) is more of a throne or an altarpiece, with mismatched socks jutting up above its patchwork upholstery. The floor of the gallery is dotted with painted, adorned rocks, which, like the woolly sculptures, suggest a peaceable coexistence with the natural world, a lightly and fantastically organized wilderness. —Brian Droitcour


Pictured: Jim Drain: Jaguar, 2017, clothing, fabric, chicken wire, wood armature, ribbon, beads, feathers, socks, plywood, and cement blocks, 105 by 50 by 50 inches. Courtesy Nathalie Karg, New York.

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