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Exhibitions in 2011
An exhibition of original works and Project notebook facsimiles at Torquay's oldest building, which underwent a £6.5 million restoration as a heritage centre in 2005.
Death and The Maiden focused on works from the painter’s 1974 ‘Project’ exploring the traditional ‘Death and The Maiden’ theme. This theme counterpoints death and decay with the potential for new life usually represented by the nubile female figure. Numerous paintings and drawings were shown which had not been exhibited in the years since Lenkiewicz’s death.
Death and The Maiden was first exhibited in 1974 at Lenkiewicz’s new Clifton Street studio, The Fool. Much of the exhibition comprised framed works on paper which were later bound, together with the painter’s original research notes, into a large folio. The folio contains more than 70 watercolours and drawings and modern facsimile techniques now make it possible to exhibit the contents of the Project notebook much as they... Read more
"This will be the most comprehensive exhibition of Robert Lenkiewicz's work since his premature death at the age of 60 in 2002. Lenkiewicz famously chose the outsider as the subject for his art: the vagrants and street alcoholics who dossed at his studios, families with mentally handicapped children, the elderly, the dying – human beings isolated from one another by their circumstances and from themselves by their preoccupations.
'You're born alone and you die alone,' he said and the problem was to deal with the isolation of simply being alive. Lenkiewicz found one solution – a richly creative life conducted with panache – and left behind a legacy which will appeal to anyone with an interest in the conundrum of existence. In his obituary of Lenkiewicz, art critic David Lee remarked that 'Lenkiewicz was one of few serious painters of contemporary history.'"