Press RoomPhoenix Art Museum names Leonardo Drew as Fall 2023 Lenhardt Lecture speaker
Phoenix Art Museum names Leonardo Drew as Fall 2023 Lenhardt Lecture speaker
Oct, 13, 2023
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Phoenix Art Museum names Leonardo Drew as Fall 2023 Lenhardt Lecture speaker
Brooklyn-based artist renowned for large-scale sculptural works that explore cyclical nature of life to present an in-person lecture on November 8
PHOENIX (October 13, 2023) –This fall, Phoenix Art Museum (PhxArt) will present acclaimed artist Leonardo Drew during the Museum’s next Lenhardt Lecture, a key component of the David and Dawn Lenhardt Contemporary Art Initiative. Drew is known for using natural materials, such as wood, cotton, iron, and paper, and subjecting them to transformative processes like burning, rusting, and weathering to create sculptural works and freestanding installations that consider the cycle of life, decay, and rebirth. The Fall 2023 Lenhardt Lecture featuring Drew will be presented on November 8, 2023 at 6:30 pm in the Museum’s Whiteman Hall. Tickets are free for Museum Members and $5 for the public and can be reserved here.
“We are thrilled to welcome Leonardo Drew to Phoenix Art Museum as part of our ongoing Lenhardt Lecture series, made possible through the generosity of Dawn and David Lenhardt,” said Jeremy Mikolajczak, the Sybil Harrington Director and CEO of Phoenix Art Museum. “This year alone, Drew has premiered new work in numerous exhibitions around the world, from museums in Oregon and Texas, to galleries and chapels in Hong Kong and England. His sculptures and installations move audiences to consider the nature and meaning of life and existence, very real and concrete themes that we all contemplate.”
Based in Brooklyn, New York, and born in Tallahassee, Florida, Drew displayed a passion and talent for art at an early age, first exhibiting his work at 13. He went on to attend the Parsons School of Design and received his BFA from the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art in 1985. Today, he plays on the dystopic tension between order and chaos through sculptural and installation works that often challenge the architecture in which they inhabit. These creations also allude to America’s industrial past, as well as the plight of Black and African Americans throughout U.S. history. On a personal level, Drew’s works draw influence from his childhood surroundings, namely his experience growing up in the projects next to a landfill. Although his works appear to amass found objects, they are, in fact, made from “new” materials that he degrades or alters with various methods of decay. Drew’s artworks have been shown nationally and internationally and are included in numerous public and private collections, including those of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; The Museum of Modern Art, New York, The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington DC; and Tate, London, among others.
As the Lenhardt Lecture speaker, Drew will discuss his process and practice with Valley audiences on November 8 in the Museum’s Whiteman Hall. He will also visit high school and community college students to build relationships with and provide mentorship to Phoenix-based creatives.
“Dawn and I are very excited for Leonardo Drew to be the next Lenhardt Lecture this November,” said David Lenhardt, vice chair of the Museum’s Board of Trustees. “A key focus of the Lenhardt Lecture is to expose Valley audiences to artists on the forefront of contemporary art, while providing an opportunity for them to discover diverse forms of art and creative expression. The previous Lenhardt Lecture speaker, Otis Kwame Kye Quaicoe, presented work that was highly figurative, but Drew takes a different approach. He’s created his own abstract, visual language that relies on the innovative use of sourced and transformed materials, and we are excited to hear about his process and see how his presentation at the Museum, along with his outreach to local artists, will inspire Phoenix-based creatives and audiences.”
For more information about the Fall 2023 Lenhardt Lecture, contact the Communications Office of Phoenix Art Museum at 602.257.2117 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Phoenix Art Museum Since 1959, Phoenix Art Museum has provided millions of guests with access to world-class art and experiences in an effort to ignite imaginations, create meaningful connections, and serve as a brave space for all people who wish to experience the transformative power of art. Located in Phoenix’s Central Corridor, the Museum is a vibrant destination for the visual arts and the largest art museum in the southwestern United States. Each year, more than 300,000 guests engage with critically acclaimed national and international exhibitions and the Museum’s collection of more than 20,000 works of American and Western American, Asian, European, Latin American, modern and contemporary art, and fashion design. The Museum also presents a comprehensive film program, live performances, and educational programs designed for visitors of all ages, along with vibrant photography exhibitions made possible through the Museum’s landmark partnership with the Center for Creative Photography, University of Arizona. To learn more about Phoenix Art Museum, visit phxart.org, or call 602.257.1880.
About the David and Dawn Lenhardt Lecture and the Lenhardt Contemporary Art Initiative The David and Dawn Lenhardt Lecture engages Valley audiences with some of the most acclaimed contemporary artists in the world. In 2018, the inaugural lecture presented New-York based artist Jim Hodges, and subsequent lectures have featured artists Shara Hughes, Daniel Joseph Martinez, Arcmanoro Niles, Teresita Fernández, Amalia Mesa-Bains, Derek Fordjour, Rashid Johnson, and Otis Kwame Kye Quaicoe in conversation with Larry Ossei-Mensah.
The Lenhardt Lecture is a key component of the David and Dawn Lenhardt Contemporary Art Initiative. Made possible through the generosity of the Arizona-based Lenhardt family, the Lenhardt Contemporary Art Initiative was established in 2017 to deepen the Museum’s commitment to contemporary art through various programs, namely the Lenhardt Lectures, which engage Valley audiences with some of the most acclaimed contemporary artists in the world; the Lenhardt Contemporary Art Acquisition Fund, which enables Phoenix Art Museum to collect works by contemporary artists; and the Dawn and David Lenhardt Gallery, designated for the presentation of contemporary art, including works acquired with funds from the Lenhardt Contemporary Art Initiative, loans from national and local collectors, and a rotating series of artworks from the Lenhardts’ own collection. In 2021, the initiative was expanded to support the diversification of the contemporary art collection of Phoenix Art Museum through the acquisition of works by artists contributing to discourses on race, gender, and other socially relevant concerns, including those by Black, Indigenous, Latinx, and women artists, among others. Since 2017, the Museum has acquired artworks by Shara Hughes, Arcmanoro Niles, Derek Fordjour, Rashid Johnson, and Otis Kwame Kye Quaicoe with funds from the Lenhardt Contemporary Art Initiative.
About Leonardo Drew Leonardo Drew is known for creating abstract sculptural works that play upon the dystopic tension between order and chaos, recalling Post Minimalist sculpture that alludes to America’s industrial past, as well as the plight of African Americans throughout U.S. history. One could find many meanings in his work, but ultimately the cyclical nature of life and decay can be seen in his grids of transformed raw material to resemble and articulate entropy and a visual erosion of time.
Drew’s natural talent and passion for art was recognized at an early age, first exhibiting his work at the age of 13. He went on to attend the Parsons School of Design and received his BFA from the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and art in 1985. His works have been shown nationally and internationally and are included in numerous public and private collections. Public institutions include the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; The Museum of Modern Art, New York, The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington DC; and Tate, London, among others. He has also collaborated with Merce Cunningham on the production of Ground Level Overlay. New York Times art critic Roberta Smith describes his large reliefs as “pocked, splintered, seemingly burned here, bristling there, unexpectedly delicate elsewhere. An endless catastrophe seen from above. The energies intimated in these works are beyond human control, bigger than all of us.” He currently lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.
Photo credit Portrait Leonardo Drew by Christopher Garcia Valle, Courtesy AMFA and Galerie Lelong & Co.