Starting September 8, Phoenix Art Museum
will present an exhibition of artworks by various masters of modern and contemporary art. Present Tense: Selections from the Lenhardt Collection showcases more than 20 paintings, prints, photographs, and sculptures by artists including Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Damien Hirst, Louise Lawler, and others, all drawn from the private collection of Dawn and David Lenhardt. The exhibition will also feature a recent Museum acquisition, entitled Narnia, by Brooklyn-based painter Shara Hughes, a contemporary artist who was a standout in the 2017 Whitney Biennial. Both the exhibition and the acquisition are key elements of the Dawn and David Lenhardt Contemporary Art Initiative, a program launched in 2017 with the aim of strengthening the Museums focus on contemporary art. Present Tense will be on view from September 8 through December 16, 2018 in the Museums soon-to-be-named Dawn and David Lenhardt Gallery. An official gallery dedication for the Dawn and David Lenhardt Gallery and an artist reception with Shara Hughes (open to Circles Members at the Benefactors Circle and above), followed by a lecture with Shara Hughes (open to the public), will take place on October 24, 2018.
Phoenix Art Museum is delighted to share this important selection of modern and contemporary artwork with our community, said Amada Cruz, the Sybil Harrington Director and CEO of Phoenix Art Museum. We are grateful to Dawn and David Lenhardt for their generosity and their commitment to helping the Museum bring world-class art to Phoenix. Exhibitions like Present Tense will help to establish the Museum as a premier contemporary-art destination in the United States.
Launched in 2017, the Dawn and David Lenhardt Contemporary Art Initiative enables the Museum to strengthen its focus on contemporary art collecting, education, and exhibitions through multiple programs, including the annual Lenhardt Lecture; a named gallery space featuring a rotating series of loans from the Lenhardt familys private collection; and the Lenhardt Emerging Artist Acquisition Fund, which allows the Museum to acquire work by next-generation contemporary artists. Hughes Narnia is the first artwork acquired by the Museum using funds provided by the Dawn and David Lenhardt Emerging Artist Acquisition Fund. Additionally, Hughes will visit the Museum on October 24, 2018 as the inaugural speaker for the first lecture in the Emerging Artist Lecture Series presented by the Dawn and David Lenhardt Contemporary Art Initiative.
Visitors to Present Tense will experience an impressive selection of paintings, prints, photographs, and sculptures, including a set of 10 Warhol Campbell Soup prints; a sculpture by Ugo Rondinone in the style of the artists colossal work Seven Magic Mountains, currently on view outside Las Vegas; a late-career painting by Roy Lichtenstein; and a photograph by Louise Lawler that provides both an excellent example of conceptual photography and a compelling reminder of how the meaning of artworks change depending on the venues in which they are displayed. Additionally, visitors will be able to view the recently acquired Narnia by Shara Hughes for the first time. A fantastical landscape that references multiple styles of painting from Symbolism and Fauvism to Surrealism, Narnia features geographic rock formations that resonate with Phoenixs desert landscapes.
Present Tense allows the Museum to highlight pieces acquired by Dawn and David Lenhardt within the last two years and foreground them against a contemporary master like Andy Warhol, said Gilbert Vicario, the Museums Selig Family Chief Curator and curator of Present Tense. Were fortunate to have the support of contemporary art collectors like the Lenhardts, who are interested in sharing their passion with the local community. These loans allow the Museum to give local visitors access to contemporary art while introducing them to younger artists that are impacting the cultural record. Present Tense juxtaposes several generations of contemporary artists in order to understand how ideas and impulses are communicated over time.