It may be a painting of an old boot but it is actually a rare work of art by one of Plymouth’s most celebrated artists of modern times and will be one of the headliners at an upcoming auction dedicated to his work.
The signed oil painting titled ‘Painters Right Boot’ was painted in 1975 as part of the artists ‘Paintings Designed to Make Money’ project, it was recently discovered in London by an eagle-eyed collector, and has now been consigned to Plymouth Auction Rooms where we have been able to provide further background on the painting.
Auctioneer Paul Keen, “some paintings in this project were included in ‘The Masterpiece Museum’, shown in 1975 at The Fool gallery, Plymouth and also Blenheim Gallery, London. This project was an ironic look at the relationship between art and money and featured work by a supposedly deceased painter called ‘R.O. Lenkiewicz’. The companion left boot was displayed in a glass cabinet at the same show, with the note ‘A Left Boot. Property of the artist and worn by him for several years’. Lenkiewicz appears to have had a deep affection for his footwear, and we know that he painted more studies of his boots than he did of anything else – including self-portraits. The still-life is an ironic pun on Van Gogh’s famous studies of a pair of boots”.
The work is expected to sell for up to £2,000 at the auction.
Collectors will have the chance to bid for over 100 lots of prints, sketches, paintings and even artefacts from his Barbican studio including original palettes, an impressive carved antique elbow chair and even his painting rags which would always be found thrown over his left arm.
One major work that was widely exhibited is a large scale painting of ‘Barbara Bridgeman and Caroline Young’. It was exhibited at the 1997 Retrospective Exhibition at Plymouth City Museum, and also at The Royal Academy Bristol in 2011, Leipzig in 2013. The image shows the vagrant known as Diogenes and the artist alongside the painting in 1976.
The auction will be held on Wednesday 24 March at 6pm. It is expected to be an online sale only but the auctioneers are arranging a virtual tour of the artworks to allow collectors to view from the home.