The Painter Holding Himself When Ninety.

According to Lenkiewicz this painting shows the artist “...punned as Leonardo [da Vinci], a childhood hero; even the pen he’s holding has a time metaphor. One of the hands that he’s holding is straight from The Writing Hands by Rembrandt. A rather kitschy pot pourri.” 

Lenkiewicz said in 1997: “Although there were many painters who wore themselves on their sleeves in image after image, right through to contemporary times, there were few that made the mark, the stain, the scrape and scrape on a bit of canvas, in the way that Rembrandt did, particularly in the late work. Something like the Kenwood Self-Portrait, The Jewish Bride in the Rijksmuseum, the Bathsheba at Her Bath in the Louvre.
I remember that as a student I used to call it ‘ethical paint’. This notion that somehow suffering, and sometimes joy, but suffering more, would imprint itself from the way the paint was laid on the canvas. Nothing to do with the image being represented, nothing to do even with the painter’s intellectual and emotional intentions, and nothing to do with the culture of the time – just the physical mark that is made, perhaps like the kind of mark that’s made on a wall when somebody has been shot by a firing squad and the hands scrape down through his own blood.
But one really has to be very wary of a kind of etymological approach towards marks, as though they’re some inherent language and that as each person’s set of marks start to develop and mature they’re uniquely that person’s. ... I think what separates marks most intensely is suffering. If there’s any tragedy in life it is that people learn through pain far more effectively than they learn through pleasure. We hardly learn anything through pleasure.”


  SUBSCRIBE TO OUR NEWSLETTER - Keep up-to-date with exhibitions, news and events.