Artist: Pieter Lategan Title: Redraw of Robert Lenkiewicz. My title: Coronavirus Death on 11000

Artist: Pieter Lategan
Title: Redraw of Robert Lenkiewicz.
My title: Coronavirus Death on 11000
Medium: A4 Paper Pencil H, B

This is a redraw of an English artist Robert Lenkiewicz (31 December 1941 – 5 August 2002). He was one of South West England’s most celebrated artists of modern times.

He produced as many as 10 000 works. His themed ‘projects’ investigating hidden communities or difficult social issues (Suicide, Death).

In 1981, he faked his own death, announcing his demise to the local newspapers.

Lenkiewicz was born in London in 1941 his parents both bled Nazi Germany in 1939 and arrived in London as penniless refugees.

He was unaffected by contemporary art fashions, being more interested in his favorite paintings in the National Gallery. Inspired by the example of Albert Schweitzer which was a polymath, also Danilo Dolci, “Danilo Dolci was an Italian social activist, sociologist, popular educator, and poet. He is best known for his opposition to poverty, social exclusion and the Mafia on Sicily, and is considered to be one of the protagonists of the non-violence movement in Italy. He became known as the “Gandhi of Sicily”.”

He painted people from the streets which were vagrants and street alcoholics.

An art critic David Lee observed: “Robert’s greatest gift was to show us that an artist could be genuinely concerned about social and domestic issues and attempt the difficult task of expressing this conscience through the deeply unfashionable medium of figurative painting. In that sense, he was one of few serious painters of contemporary history.”

His projects were of mental handicap (1976), Old Age(1979) and Death(1982) and continued to examine the lives of ostracised, hidden sections of the community and bring them to the attention of the general public.

Lenkiewicz also investigated some of society’s most persistent taboos in projects such as Jealousy(1977), Orgasm(1978), Suicide(1980) and Sexual behavior(1983). Here he often adopted an allegorical pictorial style to portray human physiology in extremis. He came to the conclusion that the kinds of sensation people felt when a lover abandoned them or when their cherished beliefs were threatened were identical in kind of the “Withdrawl symptoms” and anxieties experienced by addicts or alcoholics over their preferred narcotic. This study became an extended study in ‘addictive behavior.)

The sketch he draws which I draw was of John Kynance – a few minutes before death by cancer. 1973. Inscribed: “vagrant character of rare qualities. Completely out of tune with his thuggish companions”.

So what do I think of my redraw? It does not look if that person is dying, he/she just look poor. But at least I tried.

Music Listen to:

Celine Dion – Fly (1996)


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