Andrew Lenaghan was born in New Brunswick, New Jersey in 1965. He received a BFA from Cornell University in 1987, and an MFA from Brooklyn College in 1989. He currently lives and works in Brooklyn, New York and is a professor of painting at the Pratt Institute.
Lenaghan’s paintings and drawings show off a keen sense of observation of the places and people around him. His work is loose and notational; by painting large swathes of color and then meticulously developing the subject from the back forward with small marks, he creates a sense of depth and dimension. In the mid-1990s, he painted on a small scale, and working from life, would rapidly finish a painting in just a few hours to capture the view in front of him. Lenaghan has long preferred to work on site and by choosing to depict desolate streets, underpasses and abandoned lots he captures the often-overlooked parts of the city, besides minimizing the chances of being interrupted. Having lived in Brooklyn for over two decades and painted across the five boroughs for longer, he has not infrequently returned to paint the same locations over the years, inadvertently chronicling the drastic changes the city’s landscape has done through. More recently, formal concerns such as perspective and light have altered his consideration both of familiar locations - such as the Gowanus Canal - as well as his own home and neighborhood during different times of day. In a departure for Lenaghan, his most recent paintings are done in the studio, from sketches and photographs, allowing him to take compositional liberties, while experimenting with perspective and objects in motion, such as people and vehicles.
Lenaghan has exhibited internationally and has been the recipient of several awards and public commissions, including a Joan Mitchell Foundation Grant in 2011. His work is in many public collections such as the Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven; Flint Institute of Arts, Michigan; Staten Island Museum, New York and the Greenville County Museum of Art, South Carolina, among others.