'Folly of Wise Men' Studies

2 September - 2 October 1990
New Street Gallery, 37/8 New Street, Plymouth

The third and final exhibition of studies from Project 18 at the New Street Gallery being:

Some recent studies for section 18 of the Relationship series - 400 paintings to be exhibited if it is decided whether his present library/studios are to remain library/studios or to join the adjacent monastery and other buildings of significance on the Barbican in providing thoughtless and anti-social brewery services. 

The notes reflect the artist's concern that the landlord of the studios in which he now worked was seeking to sell the building. In Lenkiewicz's view, the most likely outcome of a sale would be the conversion of the space into licensed premises of one sort or another.

Lenkiewicz's notes continue:  

Ideas are substitutes for griefs
Marcel Proust

In itself, every idea is neutral, but we are idolaters by instinct and convert the objects of our dreams and addictions into the unconditional.

Once man loses his faculty of indifference he is a nuisance. The fanatic is incorruptible: he kills for an idea, he can just as well get himself killed for one; in either case, tyrant or martyr, he is a nuisance. What we call truth is an error insufficiently experienced, it merely waits to compromise its novelty. The humane lover smiles at what disappoints.

Human belief systems are legion; Patterns of obsessive behaviour are what interest me - the form not the content - God or women, mathematics or a good meal - a physiological universe of human sensation experienced until we rot with continents and stars.

Human relationships are the breeding ground for fascism – “Moment thou art fair, remain!” cries Faust and the rest of us.

These images deal with Wisdom and Folly – I use the formulas of the TEMPTATION OF ST. ANTONY and the tale of ARISTOTLE AND PHYLLIS as metaphors for the absurdity of regarding our relationships as significant beyond their aesthetic value to us.

The Physiology of our existence is a Möebius strip. From experience to interpretation our passions devour our passions.

Scenarios of addictive behaviour form before our eyes; family and lovers, beliefs and desires rush into the black hole of our physiology.

It is human physiology that beckons and blocks the way to life: a life that seems for most of us more bearable if we burden our physiology with truths.

Our responses to each other are our private encyclopaedia - a library of aesthetic addictions craving permanence in the name of fantasies.

These studies and the main project they anticipate --- indeed my own life style --- are a record of this extraordinary procedure.



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