PAIN and SUCH: Mixed Media Drawings

On January 19th, 2017 Umberto Crenca opened this exhibit of a series of 61 small-scale framed drawings at 82 Weybosset Street in Providence.

I created the Pain and Such drawings between late August and October 2016 while confined to a makeshift bed on the floor in the bedroom I share with my wife, Susan. In the months leading up to that, I had one of the busiest periods of my life, which culminated in a durational performance at AS220 “30 hours, 30 feet, 30 years”, in which I created a 30-foot doodle, standing at a drafting table for 30 hours straight. This project was literally the straw that broke the camel’s back: over the following weeks, back issues that I had for a long time steadily intensified, until by August I was unable to move without excruciating pain and was forced to take to bed. Over the course of the next 2½ months I barely left that bed while I waited for my doctors to figure out what was wrong and then fix it. The only way I could stay sane during this time was to immerse myself in drawing, which I did for most of the time that I was not sleeping — and I wasn’t sleeping much.  These 61 drawings were made during that period and are presented in chronological order.

This show is, for me, a coming out of sorts. While I have always produced and shown my work in all of its forms, I have spent most of my time over the last 32 years involved in helping to build a remarkable arts community called AS220. I couldn’t be more proud of this project, which has been a monumental collaboration with countless dedicated and talented people who I am honored to call my friends and colleagues, and many of whom I consider family.  I recently retired from active daily involvement in AS220, leaving it in the very capable hands of others, and I look now to a life as a full time artist. I feel incredibly privileged to be able to spend my time dedicated to making art, and I hope the work that I create provides food for thought, enjoyment, discourse and collaboration.


This exhibition opens on January 19th from 5-8 pm and will run through March. Contact [email protected] for location and gallery hours.


Comments are closed.