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Exhibitions in 2016
The Lenkiewicz Foundation, with the aid of Dr Antony Knights at Plymouth University, has used laser technology to scan the human remains of the vagrant Edwin Mackenzie (1912-1984). Lenkiewicz named him Diogenes after the Greek philosopher who lived in a barrel after finding the tramp dwelling in a concrete pipe in a rubbish tip. Diogenes was soon a permanent fixture at Lenkiewicz’s studio; ‘He was very popular,’ Lenkiewicz said, ‘but there were times when I wasn’t sure whether people were coming in to see Diogenes or coming in to see the exhibition. They were certainly very surprised by him ... this scrawny, miniature Father Christmas.’
The Diogenes Show marks the 40th anniversary of their collaboration in The Masterpiece Museum & The Diogenes Con Show, Lenkiewicz’ ironic look at art and commerce. For practical reasons the expertly embalmed remains of Diogenes cannot make a personal appearance as the ultimate memento mori (‘remember, you will... Read more
Art lovers seeking the real Robert Lenkiewicz (1941–2002) will have no fewer than 30 different versions of the artist to choose from at Ocean Studios in Plymouth’s Royal William Yard from 2 April to 3 May. The exhibition Self-Portraits is a long-overdue reprise of the show which appeared at London's Ben Uri Gallery in 2008. The paintings range from journeyman works of Lenkiewicz's teenage years to the time-worn self-portraits of his last decade.
The centrepiece of the exhibition is an enormous diptych, which stands over three meters tall, titled The Deposition - The Burial of Education (detail above). The painting was a dominant presence in Lenkiewicz's Barbican studio for many years after its creation in 1986 as part of the Project Observations on Local Education. It features one of Lenkiewicz's most striking self-portraits, wrapped ironically in a Union Jack flag as he observes the mourning for a dead child; his metaphor for liberal education... Read more