Lenkiewicz Reconsidered: Perspectives in Conflict (Hardback)

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    Cover of new book

    Has anyone read the new book by Keith Nichols?


    Annie HillSmith

    Yes … I have… but I should declare an interest because a small part of it was written by me. It’s by way of being an anthology with chapters written by an assortment of different people. As it’s title suggests, the book intends to look at Lenkiewixz work 12 years on and consider what various people think of it now. It also has several overviews from people who had long-standing connections with him; one of these in particular was quite amusing I thought [and affectionate] and talked about a side to the man that might not have been apparent to most people. My section was a brief biographical piece. There is also a thoughtful chapter from Lars Ramskold [who hosts this site] and is creating the Catalogue Raisonnee.

    The subtitle “Perspectives in Conflict” could be taken to allude to the differences in critical views of Robert’s work. It might also refer to the conflict that the author found himself facing when he asked for copyright consents from TLF to show images of Lenkiewicz paintings that were being discussed in the text. It seems like an odd position for a charity that has as one of its main Objects to advance knowledge of Robert’s work … and TLF have declined to say why they have refused consent. Still … they have the power and they do not have to give reasons and presumably they are so awaash with funds that they do not need the money! Whatever!

    Anyway, for those who are interested in Lenkiewicz life and work this looks to me like a must-have book.



    Thank you for your response Annie. Reputation is important. TLF need to be careful what they sign up to without having editorial control. The title of the book seems Marxist. Especially with Robert appearing on the front cover wearing his trademark red scarf. I like to hear what people had to say about their own work. That aside the new book; a hardcover unofficial fanzine; looks like jolly good fun.



    TLF needs to be careful what they sign up to without editorial control !
    The title of the book seems Marxist !!!

    What a lot of verbal diarrhoea – Web Weaver you should remove your head from where the sun doesn’t shine




    Thanks for your kind words rats. Have you thought of applying for a sense of humour bypass?



    A reader with a sophisticated understanding of Robert Lenkiewicz and his work; would be able to give careful consideration to the criticism of his painting levelled in this new publication; whilst continuing to acknowledge his considerable talent as a painter. For this is a book that explores the negative preconceptions that exist about Lenkiewicz’s work by critics in the wider art world.

    Lenkiewicz as a young artist turned his back on the London art scene by moving first to Cornwall, then to Plymouth where he settled. Establishing himself as a local phenomenon he also achieved a degree of national recognition; not least with the project The Painter with Women: Observations on the theme of the double shown at the Birmingham ICC in 1994. Sophisticates of the London art scene kindly give an appraisal of Lenkiewicz’s work in this new book. Predictably certain aspects of his painting did not meet with their approval.

    Lenkiewicz played by his own rules; and some might regard him as at times being his own worst enemy. Lenkiewicz’s paintings polarized opinions. No more so than the Painter with Women project. At his most accessible with the general public; and containing thoughtfully considered themes, images and colours; it was deliberately designed to provoke critics, by playing upon prejudices of his work. Certain critics said so much of his work was unforgivably trite. That is a pity because there is considerable scope and depth to be found in his work. He sought to educate the local public.

    Elsewhere the book provides a useful insight into the Round Room Mural. It also lists through other artists’ work the sources of several of Lenkiewicz’s classic paintings. Some of the commentary in the book is speculative and debatable. As such it is not as well edited as any of the White Lane Press publications. I would recommend those ahead of this one; particularly if you are new to the artist and seeking to expand your knowledge of his work. Not least because the Lenkiewicz Foundation was sufficiently irked to withhold a copyright license for images of Lenkiewicz’ paintings for this book.

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