|The Barbican Mural, 1972, Plymouth, England, Robert Lenkiewicz|
|An Allegory of Prudence after Titian,|
1978, Self-portrait, Robert Lenkiewicz.
|The Last Supper, Robert Lenkiewicz (an unusual subject for a Jewish artist).|
|Death Bed, Robert Lenkiewicz.|
He once faked his own death to find out
whatit was like to be thought dead.
|Cider Ryder (Les Ryder), Robert Lenkiewicz|
|Lenkiewicz outside his Plymouth|
|The Temptation of St. Antony, Robert Lenkiewicz|
|Detail from Temptation of|
St. Antony (left-center, above)
|A strategically cropped detail of|
Lenkiewicz's naked self-portrait.
What was it about Lenkiewicz and his work that it was to have such an impact on the British art world when he died of a heart attack at the age of sixty? First of all it was a delayed impact. That is, during his lifetime he was never popular with the high-art London art crowd. His paintings dealt with death, religion, mental illness (below), homelessness, and most prominently, addictions of all kinds, which he felt were all identical or very similar psychologically. His paintings propounded this theory, with deep insights to the point of gut-wrenching ugliness and obscenity. His exploration of the inner being of his subjects also included himself, as he left behind a quantity of deeply probing self-portraits rivaling or surpassing in every respect those of his idols Rembrandt and van Gogh. Very often his self-portraits featured himself with a paint brush in one hand, a naked woman in the other. He even painted himself, well advanced in years, completely naked (above, right, not nude, but very, very naked). His wife, children, friends, and portrait subjects were often depicted in a similar state.
|One of a series of Lenkiewicz paintings featuring the mentally ill.|
|Diogenes as Death and The Maiden,|
|Lenkiewicz's unfinished "round room" mural, Port Eliot House, St Germans, Cornwall.|
|The Riddle Mural (unfinished), Robert Lenkiewicz|
Click below for additional insights into Lenkiewicz's work: