Front Gallery

Drew Shiflett: Paper and Canvas – Constructed Drawings

May 17 through June 30, 2017
Opening reception: May 17, 2017, 6-8pm

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Artist Talk:  Wednesday, June 14, 6:30pm


Lesley Heller Workspace is pleased to present Drew Shiflett: Paper and Canvas – Constructed Drawings, the artist’s 4th solo exhibition with the gallery.

Drew Shiflett’s constructed drawings have a subtle yet profound impact, one that captures the gaze and draws the viewer deep into the architecture of the work. Comprised of layers of cut and torn handmade paper and canvas, the works mimic systems of weaving or three-dimensional cross hatching. Having worked predominantly in paper and cheesecloth with her previous exhibitions, Shiflett introduces the element of ripped and cut canvas into her work for this show, further exploring the fractal lattice of her Post-Minimalist grids.

Shiflett cuts handmade paper and canvas into thin strips before gluing and layering the pieces into intuitive grids which she further marks with a hatching of graphite, ink, watercolor and Conté crayon. The drawings document the passage of time—as well as slow it down—and expand the moment of initial gaze into a meditation into the archaeology of her process. The results are densely layered compositions that straddle a space between sculpture and drawing and meticulously explore the concentrated landscape of the grid.


Drew Shiflett (b.1951, Chicago, IL) received her BA from Columbia College Chicago and her MFA from the Hofferberger School of Painting at the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore. Shiflett’s primary materials are paper and fabric. She is known for her labor-intensive layered collaged works, which are a synthesis of drawing, relief and sculpture. The works reference textiles and evoke architectural motifs within a compressed space that is densely woven.

Shiflett has had solo exhibitions at Lesley Heller Workspace, The InterArt Center, White Columns, and Fashion Moda, (New York, NY); Guild Hall Museum and The Drawing Room, (East Hampton, NY); and Islip Art Museum, (East Islip, NY). Her work has also been shown nationally and internationally at institutions including The Drawing Center (New York, NY), Weatherspoon Art Museum (Greensboro, NC), Sculpture Center (New York, NY), Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft, (Louisville, KY), A&A Gallery, Yale University School of Art (New Haven, CT), Baltimore Museum of Art, and Kunststiftung K52 (Berlin, Germany).  

Shiflett’s work has been highlighted in numerous publications including The New York Times, Art In America, The Wall Street Journal, and the Huffington Post. She is the recipient of a New York Foundation for the Arts award in printmaking/drawing/book arts and in sculpture; a Mid Atlantic/NEA Regional Visual Arts Fellowship award in sculpture; and a Guggenheim Fellowship award in fine arts. She lives and works in New York City.