Jim Drain


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.