Jim Drain (b. 1975, Cleveland, Ohio) has worked with a plethora of mediums in the three decades he's been making art, fashion and furniture — often incorporating junk found in thrift stores and back alleys. Drain’s multitasking approach to his practice started in the late ’90s, when he was a student at the Rhode Island School Design. While living in Providence’s famed Fort Thunder building — a former factory settled by a group of cartoonists, printmakers, artists, and musicians who held shows and exhibitions there — he formed the art/music/performance collective Forcefield, which was later featured in the 2002 Whitney Biennial.


Drain’s work concerns itself with childhood and religious references while moving delicately between the present and the past. Mirroring this sentiment, he typically deploys multi-colored yarns and fabric scraps generously and with carefree abandon. Also woven into the variety of mediums is Drain’s personal sense of humor, evident in the costumes he’s knitted for himself and for bands like Le Tigre and The Gossip. 


Drain has had solo exhibitions at the University of Florida; Locust Projects, Miami; and the Blanton Museum of Art, University of Texas, Austin. Drain has participated in group exhibitions at MOCA, LA; the Fabric Workshop, Philadelphia; Serpentine Gallery, London; Depart Foundation, Rome; and the 7th Bienniale d’Art Contemporain de Lyon among others.


His work is in the permanent collection of the Whitney Museum of Art; Peres Art Museum, Miami; Museum of Modern Art; The Rhode Island School of Design Museum; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles and the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Drain was recognized with artist Bhakti Baxter for creating “best public art projects in the nation” by Americans for the Arts in 2014. 

Art Fairs