Present Tense: Selections from the Lenhardt Collection highlights artworks by various masters of modern and contemporary art. Showcasing more than 20 paintings, prints, photographs, and sculptures by artists including Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Damien Hirst, Louise Lawler, and others, Present Tense is completely 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 stand-out in the 2017 Whitney Biennial. Narnia is the first artwork purchased using funds provided by the Lenhardt Emerging Artist Acquisition Fund, which helps the Museum collect works by next-generation contemporary artists.
Featuring various examples of contemporary art from the Lenhardt Collection, Present Tense places recent acquisitions by the Lenhardts in conversation with works by modern-art icons. Ten Campbell Soup prints by Andy Warhol and a late-career painting by Roy Lichtenstein, all acquired by the Lenhardts early in their collecting career, are displayed alongside a range of artworks by various living contemporary artists, including Ugo Rondinone, Rashid Johnson, and Sterling Ruby, to name a few.
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 Museum’s focus on contemporary art. Established in 2017 through the generosity of the Lenhardt family, the Dawn and David Lenhardt Contemporary Art Initiative enables the Museum to strengthen its focus on contemporary art collecting, education, and exhibition through multiple programs, including the annual Lenhardt Lecture, the Lenhardt Emerging Artist Acquisition Fund, and a named gallery space, featuring a rotating series of loans from the Lenhardt family’s private collection.