Press RoomPhoenix Art Museum to present internationally renowned conceptual artist Jim Hodges at inaugural Lenhardt Lecture

Phoenix Art Museum to present internationally renowned conceptual artist Jim Hodges at inaugural Lenhardt Lecture

Feb, 27, 2018

Special Events and Programs

Phoenix Art Museum to present internationally renowned conceptual artist Jim Hodges at inaugural Lenhardt Lecture

New York-based contemporary artist Hodges will present a public lecture on April 24, 2018

PHOENIX (February 27, 2018) – On April 24, 2018, Phoenix Art Museum will present world-renowned artist Jim Hodges as the inaugural speaker at the Museum’s annual Lenhardt Lecture, a key component of the recently announced David and Dawn Lenhardt Contemporary Art Initiative. Hodges is a conceptual artist whose work has been the subject of exhibitions at museums around the world, including the Hirshhorn Museum in Washington, D.C.; the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, MN; and the Centro Galego de Arte Contemporanea, in Spain. Known for the materials and varied scale of his work, which ranges from small installations to oversized, multi-ton sculptures, Hodges’ art transforms everyday objects into evocative sites that merge the personal, political, and universal. The Lenhardt Lecture featuring Jim Hodges is open to the public and will begin at 7 pm on April 24 in the Museum’s Whiteman Lecture Hall. Tickets are $10 with sales opening to Museum Members on March 5, 2018 and to the general public on March 7, 2018.

“We are delighted to welcome Jim Hodges to Phoenix as the inaugural speaker for the Lenhardt Lecture,” said Amada Cruz, the Sybil Harrington Director and CEO. “Through the generosity of David and Dawn Lenhardt, the Museum is empowered to provide unique access to some of the most compelling and important names in contemporary art, elevating Phoenix Art Museum as a national reference point for significant contemporary art.”

The recently announced David and Dawn Lenhardt Contemporary Art Initiative aims to deepen the Museum’s commitment to contemporary art through a variety of programs including the Lenhardt Lecture, an annual event which will expose Valley audiences to some of the most acclaimed artists in the world. Hodges will also lead a workshop for the Museum’s Teen Art Council, which is comprised of local high-school students.  “Jim was one of the first artists who came to mind when we were conceptualizing the lecture,” said David Lenhardt, the namesake of the initiative and also a member of the Museum’s Board of Trustees. “We are excited to bring an artist of this stature and scope to speak in an effort to give our community more access to prominent contemporary artists.”

Hodges’ career spans nearly three decades and his body of work ranges from drawings and sculptures to small and multi-ton installations, each piece employing a broad array of everyday and precious materials, including glass, neon, and fabric. His varied works also share a resistance to straightforward interpretations or definition, instead prodding the viewer to contemplate multilayered themes such as love, mortality, loss, and identity. Immense and expansive as the emotions and experiences he captures, Hodges’ works include fine, complex pieces such as Not for Long (1996); a wall sculpture resembling a spider web crafted from jeweler’s metal chains; and No Betweens (1996) a curtain made out of silk flowers; and the billboard- sized Don’t Be Afraid (2004), for which Hodges invited members of the United Nations to handwrite the message don’t be afraid in their native languages on a large piece of vinyl. One of Hodges’ best-known works is a set of massive sculptural boulders, Untitled (2011), which he created by adhering shimmering stainless-steel skins to the surfaces of four 400-million-year-old stones, now permanently installed in Minneapolis at the Walker Art Center.  Hodges often integrates themes of social justice, equality, and connection. “The bottom line is that the purpose of art is to engage one’s community,” Hodges said in a 2013 interview with the New York Times. “When engagement with art is happening, there’s an opportunity for change.”

Aside from the Lenhardt Lecture, the David and Dawn Lenhardt Contemporary Art Initiative includes two additional components. The Lenhardt Emerging Artist Acquisition Fund will be the Museum’s first fund designed specifically to collect works by next-generation contemporary artists. Through a collaboration between selected artists and Gilbert Vicario, the Selig Family Chief Curator, this fund will enhance the Museum’s collection through a representation of promising new contemporary artists. Additionally, the Initiative will expand to include a named gallery space located within the Museum’s Ellen and Howard C. Katz Wing for Modern Art. This gallery will be designated for the presentation of contemporary art, including recent acquisitions of the Lenhardt Emerging Artist Acquisition Fund and special exhibitions. The Lenhardt Gallery will also feature loans from national and Phoenix collectors, including a rotating series of artworks from the Lenhardts’ private collection, which includes works by artists such as Hodges, Richard Estes, and Andy Warhol. In its future phases, the Initiative will evolve to include gifts of contemporary art from the Lenhardt Collection.

For interviews or to request more information about the Lenhardt Contemporary Art Initiative, contact Margaree Bigler, Public Relations and Digital Communications Manager, Phoenix Art Museum, by calling 602.257.2105 or emailing

About Jim Hodges

Jim Hodges (b. 1957) is a New York-based artist whose practice includes sculpture, installation, photography, and drawing, ranging from the deeply intimate to the monumental. Born in Spokane, Washington, Hodges received his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Fort Wright College in 1980 and his Master of Fine Arts degree from the Pratt Institute in 1986. For nearly three decades, Hodges has employed a broad range of everyday and precious materials to create works that transform the quotidian object into a site where the personal, political, and universal merge through simple gesture and poetic command. Taking up varied modes of process and production, Hodges’ practice resists the definitional aims of discourse, instead offering multilayered works that evoke resonant themes such as identity, loss, mortality, and love. Charting the overlooked and obvious touchstones of life with equal poignancy, his conception and practice of sculpture, drawing, and installation, incorporating text, photography, and found objects among other media, is as broad and expansive as the range of emotions and experiences he captures. His piece, Don’t Be Afraid, was installed at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, D.C. in 2005; his large-scale sculpture, look and see (a nine-ton stainless steel abstraction of  camouflage) is now part of the permanent collection of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York; and his massive sculptural boulders, Untitled (2011), is permanently installed in Minneapolis at the Walker Art Center’s outdoor sculpture garden.

Jim Hodges has been the subject of numerous solo exhibitions at such prominent institutions as: The Contemporary Austin, Texas; Aspen Art Museum, Colorado; Centres Georges Pompidou, Paris; Camden Arts Centre, London; Centro Galego de Arte Contemporanea, Santiago de Compostela, Spain; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington D.C.; Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery at Skidmore College, Saratoga Sprints, New York; Weatherspoon Art Museum, Greensboro, North Carolina; Museum of Contemporary Art, Cleveland, Ohio; Austin Museum of Art, Texas; and Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago. In 2013, a major retrospective of Hodges’s work, “Give More Than You Take,” was mounted at the Dallas Museum of Art, Texas, before traveling to the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston; and the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles. The artist’s work is also part of numerous public collections, including, among others: The Art Institute of Chicago; The Detroit Institute of Arts; The Solomon R. Guggenheim Musuem, New York; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; The Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; The Philadelphia Museum of Art; The Saint Louis Art Museum; The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; and The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York.

About Phoenix Art Museum

Phoenix Art Museum has provided access to visual arts and educational programs in Arizona for more than 50 years and is the largest art museum in the Southwestern United States. Critically acclaimed national and international exhibitions are shown alongside the Museum’s permanent collection of more than 18,000 works of American, Asian, European, Latin American, Western American, modern and contemporary art, and fashion design. The Museum also presents festivals, a comprehensive film program, live performances and educational programs designed to enlighten, entertain, and stimulate visitors of all ages. Visitors also enjoy vibrant photography exhibitions through the Museum’s landmark partnership with the Center for Creative Photography, University of Arizona. To learn more about Phoenix Art Museum, visit, or call (602) 257-1880.

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