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Press Release: 

James Drake
Can We Know the Sound of Forgiveness
September 18 – November 20, 2021
Open House Saturday, September 18, 12-6 pm with the artist in attendance 4-6 pm


"Put us to the question

Can we learn from Bach

Can we know the sound of forgiveness

Baroque tables of witness

Grow in the wilderness

Rooted in gilded illusion"

-James Drake

Moody Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition of new drawings by James Drake.  Can We Know the Sound of Forgiveness marks the artist’s seventh solo exhibition with the gallery and will be on view September 18 - November 20, 2021.  An Open House will be held Saturday, September 18 from 12:00 to 6:00 pm with the artist in attendance from 4:00 to 6:00 pm.  Masks are required in the gallery during the Open House. 

During his forty-year artistic career, “James Drake has studied the theme of humanity in all of its triumphs, failures, and follies- including war and resistance; desire and sexuality; connection; alienation, and aspiration; greed, gluttony, and vanity.  Drake has worked with equal fluency in video, photography, sculpture, drawing, and printmaking, narrating the human story with an awareness of the greater cycles of history and a critical eye toward the social, political, and economic problems of contemporary society”. -Excerpt from the exhibition catalogue James Drake- Salon of a Thousand Souls, New Mexico Museum of Art, 2014

For this exhibition, Drake continues to explore the themes of humanity and the complexities surrounding the borders between chaos, desperation, and forgiveness.  A monumental twelve by twenty-four foot charcoal drawing mounted on canvas is featured.  Working drawings and sketches will also be on view.

James Drake (b. Lubbock, Texas, 1946) currently lives and works in Santa Fe, New Mexico.  He received his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree and Master of Fine Arts degree from the Art Center College of Design, Los Angeles, California.  Drake is the recipient of numerous awards, which include a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship, two National Endowment for the Arts Grants, and a Nancy Graves Award for Visual Arts.  In 2007 his work was featured at the 52nd International Venice Biennale and in 2000 his work was featured in the Whitney Biennial.  His exhibition at Moody Gallery in 2004 received a U.S. Art Critics Association (AICA) Award for Best in Show in a Commercial Gallery Nationally, 2nd Place.  Drake’s work can be seen in many permanent collections including the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Blanton Museum of Art, Dallas Museum of Art, San Antonio Museum of Art, Art Museum of South Texas, El Paso Museum of Art, New Orleans Museum of Art, New Mexico Museum of Art, Lannan Foundation, Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego (La Jolla), Whitney Museum of American Art, Brooklyn Museum of Art, National Gallery of Art, and the Smithsonian American Art Museum.  Three books have been published on James Drake: James Drake (University of Texas Press, 2008); James Drake: Red Drawings & White Cut-Outs (Radius Books, 2012); and James Drake: 1242 (Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego (La Jolla), 2014). 

The exhibition Can We Know the Sound of Forgiveness is concurrent with the artist’s residency at Ucross, a preeminent artist residency program on a historic 20,000-acre working cattle ranch in northern Wyoming.  His new, multi-year collaborative project at Ucross is with acclaimed Mexican composer Gabriela Ortiz, award-winning Texas novelist and poet Benjamin Sáenz, and celebrated New York performance artist Shaun Leonardo.  The live performance, inspired by Drake’s Can We Know the Sound of Forgiveness, will premiere in 2023 in celebration of the 40th anniversary of Ucross.

An important work by Drake titled Juarez/El Paso (Boxcar), 1987-1988 is currently on view at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston in The Nancy and Rich Kinder Building in an exhibition of works from the museum’s permanent collection.  In the spring of 2022, Drake’s work will be included in an exhibition at The High Art Museum in Atlanta, Georgia, What Is Left Unspoken, Love

Moody Gallery is open Tuesday - Friday 10:30 am – 5:00 pm and Saturday 11:00 am – 5:00 pm. To make an appointment to view the exhibition, please call or email the gallery at 713-526-9911 or  James Drake – Can We Know the Sound of Forgiveness can also be viewed online at 

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