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Robert Lenkiewicz 'Painter with Rag' SOLD 19,000

Robert Lenkiewicz 'Painter with Rag' SOLD 19,000

Robert Lenkiewicz Artist with Patti oil on canvas SOLD 9,200

Robert Lenkiewicz Artist with Patti oil on canvas SOLD 9,200

SOLD IN JUNE.....Robert Lenkiewicz (1941-2002) 'Gemma in White Blouse' Sold for 8,000 at the June Art Auction

SOLD IN JUNE.....Robert Lenkiewicz (1941-2002) 'Gemma in White Blouse' Sold for 8,000 at the June Art Auction

Lenkiewicz Auctions

 

Robert Lenkiewicz (1941-2002) was a man who everyone in the city of Plymouth had an opinion about. He was a prolific painter, portraying the lives of people across society. He was either loved or loathed, being one of those rare individuals who would always elicit a strong opinion from people.

Born in London in 1941, Lenkiewicz's parents were Jewish refugees from Germany and Poland. He spent some years teaching in London, attracting many visitors to his studios. This resulted in the first of a series of different premises converted for the occupancy of vagrant and disturbed people. His ventures created difficulties in an area like Hampstead, where he was asked to leave by the police.

He taught in Cornwall and then moved to Plymouth where he continued a similar lifestyle. After some years, he had established nine separate buildings throughout the city. But he was a controversial figure who attracted constant publicity. In 1971, he painted a landmark mural in the heart of the Barbican, which remains today.

Throughout Robert Lenkiewicz's career, he worked intensively on a long series of projects which he termed The Relationships Series.

There were 20 projects. The first, Vagrancy, was finished in 1973. Themes such as mental handicap, love, jealousy, orgasm, old age, suicide, sexual behaviour, and even observations on local education followed. The last project Lenkiewicz was working on was titled Addictive Behaviour and featured former Labour Party leader Michael Foot as one of his subjects. Lenkiewicz described his final work as a serious enquiry into people's obsessive behaviour and the causes of fanatical belief systems, including why people kill or die for a point of view.

Speaking in December 2001, he said: "I do not see myself as an artist. I see myself as a painter who produces sociological inquiry reports by visual means." Much of Robert Lenkiewicz work also looked at death. He painted some 70 portraits of people at the end of their life and also built up Britain's rarest collection of books on the subject in his highly-regarded library. However, he maintained it was not death itself which fascinated him.

In one interview Lenkiewicz said: "Yes, I am seen as death-obsessed, but in fact I'm not. It's the anxiety about death, particularly in a city that hasn't got over Wesley or the dockyard."

Robert Lenkiewicz died in 2002 after suffering from a serious heart complaint. His early death was unexpected and he was still talking of needing more time to finish his work. He said in 2001: "The insignificant event of my personal extinction, no more than a blade of grass, doesn't trouble me in the slightest. But it would be inconvenient if it was in the next four years."

There is no doubt Robert Lenkiewicz made a huge contribution to Plymouth and the South West during his life.

To view more Lenkiewicz Results please view our Sale Highlights section

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