Drew Knapp is a visual artist working in a variety of media, including
painting, printmaking, woodworking, and photography.
Knapp's work displays a highly personal synthesis of intermixing materials
and methods, encompassing both technical experimentation and spiritual
It is improvisational, non-objective and organic, and is reflective
of nature: evoking landscapes, cloud formations, tree shapes, stained
glass, sidewalk cracks, ancient stone walls, and biological transformations.
Many of the forms and processes are inspired by observations the artist
made while restoring historic edifices. The oil paintings: thick, crusty
and liquid, are executed on unstretched canvas and mounted on paper,
rectangular but slightly irregular. Airbrush, silkscreen, collage, wood,
metal and plaster inlay are freely intermingled, forming a quirky tapestry
of passion, sensuality and monastic asceticism.
Knapp, originally of Livingston, N.J., began his training with Edwin
Havas at Seton Hall Preparatory School, and then attended The Cooper
Union where he studied principally with Stefano Cusumano. He graduated
in 1975 and joined City Without Walls in Newark, N.J., helping to establish
an art gallery, traveling exhibition, workshops and an urban street
theater company. He subsequently taught art history at the Newark School
of Fine and Industrial Arts.
In 1978 Mr. Knapp was awarded a Rotary Fellowship to study at Villa
Schifanoia in Florence, Italy, and received his M.A. in painting, drawing
and printmaking from that institution in 1979. Knapp lived in Florence
for six years, during which time he taught at Studio Art Centers International,
continued his studies privately with American painter Leonard Meiselman,
and undertook his first restoration of an historic property, located
in the mountains of Loro Ciuffenna, Provincia di Arezzo.
After returning to the U.S. in 1984 he taught successively at St. Benedict's
Preparatory School, the Newark Board of Education, and The Montclair
Kimberley Academy. He also continued restoration of antique houses,
completing several major projects in New Jersey. In 1988 he won a prestigious
award from Chemical Bank for his work on a two family house in Newark.
In recent years Knapp has exhibited with Studio Montclair, The Space,
and Six Men Working. He continues involvement with restoration and development
in both Montclair, N.J. and Woodstock, N.Y., where he is pursuing his
dream of building a house, studio, woodshop, wine hermitage, and treehouse
in the rugged terrain bordering the Indian Head Mountain Reserve.
Drew Knapp's artwork is in numerous private and public collections
in the United States and abroad, including: Price Waterhouse Coopers,
Newark Benedictine Abbey, The Forbes Collection, Accudata Systems, and
the late Manuel Alvarez Bravo.