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ABBY SHERRILL + JESSICA DRENK
at Galleri Urbane
by Todd Camplin

Galleri Urbane has the uncanny ability of consistently showing two artists in their separate
gallery spaces who complement each other. Abby Sherrill’s and Jessica Drenk’s art may
look completely different, but some key aesthetic choices tie their work together. Of
course, comparisons are automatically made when two artists are displayed together.
However, their personal, unique visions are not diminished in any way.
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Both Abby Sherrill and Jessica Drenk explore the idea of the unfinished and experimentation.  
Sherrill’s style harkens back to the early DADAist and early works of Rauschenberg. She makes
her work seem like she is testing out ideas right there on her finished pieces. Shapes, words,
and objects seem to be moved around and played with before the work gelled into
something done. Sherrill is working in the tradition of the iconoclastic anti-artists. She is
someone that allows the destruction of the form occurs along with deconstruction of
language. When things are assembled an almost Wittgenstein type private language
emerges. Only she leaves clues to decode it.

In a world where we live with some hyper-produced and over polished art objects, both Sherrill
and Drenk had pieces that spoke to process. From the works, you get the feeling of Becoming
rather than just Being. This is not to say all the works in the two shows were about process. A
piece like Circulation 5, by Jessica Drenk had a very finished look. This object on the wall used
paper and looked like she had returned it to a tree form. I was really taken by this piece. Drenk
seemed to breathed life back into her materials.
Jessica Drenk, on the other hand, has taken the opportunity to display works that look more like
models. Possibly experiments for larger pieces or maybe playfully small variation on her larger
themes. Nonetheless, her long table insinuates a feeling you are inside a studio space rather
than a gallery. If she had some of her tools in the space, I would have thought she has taken
up residency. The altered book pieces clued you in that these smaller pieces were not just
models, but serious works to be given your full consideration. So, I paused and gave them
a second look. I came to the conclusion that each one should be considered as both
finished, yet experiments in her practice. That tension of finished, unfinished is what
I also saw in Sherrill’s work and the reason both shows were so attractive.
Abby Sherrill - Who Could Tell on a Galloping Mule, 2017
Photocopies, graphite and charcoal on paper 62 1/2 × 46 in
Jessica Drenk - Circulation 5, 2017 Book pages, wax
35” H x 34” W
Jessica Drenk
Installation View
Abby Sherrill
Installation View
Decode and read the works by Abby Sherrill. You might have to brush up on some Michel
Foucault, Martin Heidegger to help you sort out her undercurrents. Then get absorbed by
the forms from Jessica Drenk’s show. There you will get a helping of material that you can
recontextualize. Both will be showing at Galleri Urbane until November 14th.