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Leonard Ursachi
Brooklyn, NY
Neighborhood: Dumbo

ARTIST STATEMENT: I am a Romanian-born American artist. I grew up under a dictatorship, from which I defected, and spent years border-hopping before settling in New York. My art reflects our contemporary world of porous borders, vulnerable shelters, and mutating identities. My sculptures and installations often use architectural references as tropes for systems that enclose and exclude, protect and reject. I’m interested in boundaries and in the impact of structures—material, theoretical, social, or political—on individuals and communities. Much of my work is site-specific—the physical, historical and cultural aspects of the site informs my concept and use of material. Several of my sculptures are in the form of bunkers. Human-scale, woven of willow branches or covered in feathers, they are as much about longing for home and shelter as they are about conflict. Some of my sculptures take the form of wells. The well is a shared resource and social gathering place. Its iconography is mythic—the source from which life and knowledge spring; a receptacle for our desires (throw in a coin and make a wish). Some of my installations incorporate video, photographs, or drawings. I use a broad range of materials, such as hand-made clay and straw bricks, willow, mirrors, feathers, steel, wood, stone, and marble, depending on the concept and context for each work.

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Selected Solo Shows (not a complete list)
2018-19 Erosion – the Derfner Judaica Museum, Bronx, NY
2017-18 What a Wonderful World – Tribeca Park (a public art project with NYC Parks)
2016-17 Drift – The Anchorage, Brooklyn, NY (a public art project with the NYC Dep’t of Transportation’s Art Program and the DUMBO Improvement District)
2015-16 Fat Boy – Prospect Park, Brooklyn, NY (a public art project with NYC Parks and Prospect Park Alliance)
Behind Fat Boy – Brooklyn Public Library, Central Branch, Brooklyn, NY
2013-14 Fat Boy – The John & Mable Ringling Museum of Art, Sarasota, Florida
2012-16 Well – Austin Gardens, Oak Park, IL (a public art project with the Park District of Oak Park)
2011-12 Well – Cadman Plaza Park, Brooklyn, NY (a public art project with the City of New York)
Bunkers: Drawings and Sculpture – Hebrew Home at Riverdale, Bronx, New York
2008 Paris-Constantinople – MNAC (National Museum of Contemporary Art), Bucharest, Romania
2007 Hiding Place – Prospect Park, Brooklyn, NY (a public art project with NYC Parks)
2005 American Arsenal – theXpo gallerie, Brooklyn, NY
2004 Refuge - Duarte Square, New York (a public art project with NYC Parks)
2003 Hiding Place – Piatra Neamt Museum, Romania (site-specific installation in 15th century fortress)
2002-03 Open House - Tribeca Park, New York (a public art project with NYC Parks)
2001 Open House - The Pier, Red Hook, Brooklyn
2000 The Bunker II: LOOKOUT - The Pier, Red Hook, Brooklyn
1999 The Witness - Museum of the City of Vaslui, Romania
The Bunker - East West Gallery, New York
1998 The Bunker - Mott Street Project, New York, NY
1997 The Well - Museul Agriculturii, Slobozia, Romania
1996 The Well - Fundatia Culturala Romana - Bucharest, Romania
1995 When I Think of Home - Romanian Cultural Center - New York, NY
1994 . . . pendulums that have stopped marking time” - ONE MAIN Sculpture Space - Brooklyn, NY
1990 O.K. Harris Gallery, New York, NY

Selected Group Shows (not a complete list)
2016 Making Continuity Contemporary: Eastern European Art in New York – the Derfner Judaica Museum, Bronx, NY
2010 DUMBO Arts Festival Juried Show, Brooklyn, NY
2008 42nd Annual International Film Festival, Brooklyn Arts Council – screening of videos, “Fantana” and
“. . . pendulums that have stopped marking time”
2006 Please Open the Door - Nurture Art, Brooklyn, NY
2005 Jan Larsen Art , Brooklyn, NY
2004 Museum of Art, Vaslui, Romania
2003 City Art Museum, Slobozia, Romania
1999 Silenced Voices - SPACES Gallery, Cleveland, OH
Portraits - Jorgenson Gallery, New York, NY
1998 Fulton Ferry State Park, Brooklyn, NY
Jorgenson Gallery, New York, NY
1997 Fulton Ferry State Park, Brooklyn, NY
1996 446 Broadway Show, New York, NY
1995 Bronx River Art Center and Gallery, Bronx, NY
Fulton Ferry State Park, Brooklyn, NY
1994 ONE MAIN Sculpture Space, Brooklyn, NY

Bachelors in Art History and Archeology -Sorbonne University, Paris

2008 United States Artists nomination
2008 Ministry of Culture, Romania – fiscal sponsorship grant for “Paris-Constantinople” at MNAC
2007 Creative Capital Foundation – finalist (panel stage) for grant
2007 Brooklyn Arts Council – “Hiding Place,” fiscally sponsored project
2002 The Lower Manhattan Cultural Council
1999 The City of Vaslui, Romania - Travel and Project Assistance Grant
1998 Canadian Consulate, New York - Project Assistance Grant
1997 Museul Agriculturii din Romania - Project Assistance Grant
1996 Fundatia Culturala Romana - Project Assistance Grant
1995 Finalist for City of Atlanta public art commission for ‘96 Olympics
1995 Residency, Sculpture Space, Utica, New York

PRESS (not a complete list)

2018 Blouin Art Info, “Erosion by Leonard Ursachi”; Time Out New York, “The Best Art to See in New York This Week” by Howard Halle
2017 The Tribea Trib, “Tribeca Park Becomes the News for Artist’s Egg-Shaped Globe” by Carl Glassman;
The Broadsheet, “Nest Egg” by Matthew Fenton; dna info, “Romanian Artist to Unveil Egg-Shaped
Sculpture in Tribeca Park”, by Katherine Lavacca;, “18 Public Art Shows to Get Excited
About in NYC This Spring” by Kiki Olmedo and Sarah Cascone
2016 DUMBO IS, “A Conversation With Leonard Ursachi About Drift” by Hillary DeBruin; dna info, “7 New
Sculptures to ‘Drift’ Under the Manhattan Bridge Archway Next Month” by Alexandra Leon
2015 Time Out New York, “The Best Public Art To See in NYC This Winter” by Howard Halle;, “The 22 Best Public Art Pieces To See in NYC This Summer”
2013 The Sarasota Herald-Tribune, "A Portly Surprise at Ringling Museum" by Susan Rife; “15 Best Things To Do in Oak Park”
2012 The New Yorker, “Leonard Ursachi’s Bunkers” by Ian Frazier in The Talk of the Town; Chicago Tribune, “Well Sculpture Arrives in Oak Park’s Austin Gardens,” by Ken Manson; Time Out New York, Critic’s Pick for “Well”;, “The New Yorker Meets Brooklyn-Based Bunker Artist Leonard Ursachi,” by Dan Duray
2011 Time Out New York, Critic’s Pick for “Well”; New York Magazine, Design News by Jillian Goodman;
Brooklyn Daily, “’Well’ Wisher” by Kate Briquelet; The Newtown Bee, “Leonard Ursachi’s Well in Cadman Plaza,” Riverdale Review, “Ursachi Exhibit at Hebrew Home” by Paulette Schneider
2010 Time Out New York, “DUMBO Arts Festival” featured coverage of “pendulums” and “Rise and Shine”
2008 Time Out Bucharest, “Cronica – Leonard Ursachi” by Adriana Oprea; Cotidianul, “Paris-Constantinople” by Lucia Popa; Adevarul, “Intre Orient si Occident” by Victoria Anghelescu; Catavencu, “Paris-Constantinople” by Ioan Morar; Romanian National TV stations – coverage of exhibition
2007 Time Out New York, “Empty Nester” by Daniel Derouchie and “Garden Variety” by Erin Clements; New York Post, “Society Sculpture” by Christofer Cassuto; New York Press, “Art in the Park” by Kari Milchman; Brooklyn Daily Eagle, “Leonard Ursachi in DUMBO” by Beth Aplin; listings: Time Out New York, New York Press, Dwell Magazine, Brooklyn Daily Eagle, Brooklyn Paper, Courier Life,, Chinese World Journal, Flickr; Ultima Ora, “Leonard Ursachi – artistul roman care a uimit America” by Stefan Neamtu;, “Leonard Ursachi,” by Adrian Novac, Obiectiv, “Un vasluian de succes” by Cristian Patrascu
2004 New York Times, “Inside Art” by Carol Vogel, September 24, 2004; New York Times, “Some Exhibits You Just Can’t Miss” by Jennifer Steinhauer, November , 2004; Kurier Plus, review by Bozena Chlabicz
2002 Tribeca Trib, article about “Open House” by Carl Glassman; Downtown Express
2001 dwell magazine December 2001 online Events Calendar—
2001 Brooklyn Heights Courier, “Find Intriguing Art in ‘The Bunker’”
1999 “Giving Voice to the Voiceless,” Amy Sparks catalogue essay for “Silenced Voices” at SPACES Gallery, OH; Cleveland Free Times, review by Frank Green; photo listing,Time Out New York; Dilema, review by Carmen Firan; Contra Punct, feature article; Universul Iasi, review by Valentin Ciuca
1998 Matilda McQuaid, Museum of Modern Art, New York, Leonard Ursachi’s “The Bunker”; Kim Levin, The Village Voice listing review; listings in , Time Out New York, New York Magazine
1997 “Fantana” - catalogue of exhibition, Museul Agriculturii din Romania, essay by Razvan Ciuca; Tribuna Ialomitei (Slobozia), interview by Dan Lalu; article by Jane Ingram Allen in Sculpture Magazine
1996 Actualitatea (Bucharest), review by Silvia Cazacu; Curierul National (Bucharest), review by C.M. Savu; Fetele Culturii (Bucharest), interview by Bogdan Guta; Fantana lui Leonard Ursachi, by Silvian Ionescu
1995 The Village Voice, “Leonard Ursachi Thinks of Home” by Arlene Raven

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