joe90

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  • in reply to: Not obsessed by Project 20 #7673

    joe90
    Participant

    At the moment your guess is as good as anyone else's as to the fate of the Lenkiewicz archive of written notes. There is a fair quantity of manuscript material still in the Studio along with that recovered from the Basement and Theology studios. These comprise various aesthetic notes, journals, project notebooks, and the like. This is a substantial archive that should not, in my opinion, be split up and dispersed (although that process has already begun, as some of the aesthetic notes have been sold recently at auction). It would be a great loss indeed to Lenkiewicz scholarship of the future if the archive is dispersed and disappears into private hands.There is such a thing as 'gifting' in cases of hefty tax bills on estates, and I wonder if this cannot be suggested to the Executor, whereby the archive is donated to a record office, preferably the West Devon Record Office I suppose, in return for a lessening of the tax claim on the estate. The archive is thereby preserved intact and available for people to research.

    in reply to: Not obsessed by Project 20 #7671

    joe90
    Participant

    There aren't that many published notes or treatises by Robert lenkiewicz. There are several booklets to accompany projects, starting with Vagrancy and Death and the Maiden (which you say you have), along with Love and Romance, but after the early projects the accompanying booklets degenerated into small pamphlets just listing the paintings contained in the exhibition with a few quotes. Details of these are found elsewhere on this site. The most substantial of the later project booklets is the 2-volume Observations on Local Education, though these tomes consist of people's reactions to a questionnaire. Also the Blind Tobit booklet. Otherwise there are the Notes on the Barbican Mural. This probably sounds a lot in all, but they are mostly quite small productions. This was pretty much all that was published by him in his lifetime.If you want an overview of Robert Lenkiewicz's life and thought, the best place is still the R. O. Lenkiewicz book published in 1998.

    in reply to: Where is Robert Buried #7696

    joe90
    Participant

    His remains are buried in the garden at his home, Death House.

    The idea for the burial vault under the garden came to nothing in the end.

    When asked once what he wanted his epitaph to read, he replied "Here lies no-one."

    in reply to: £30,000 – is the offer still open? #7631

    joe90
    Participant

    No, he didn’t. He only owned a modern facsimile copy of the pamphlet.

    The bit about the Museum of Witchcraft offering £30000 for the skeleton is rubbish I'm afraid. Robert paid Cecil Williamson £8000 for the remains, not £5000, and yes, there are individuals at St. Osyth who would dearly like to have the skeleton back there to rebury.

    in reply to: remaining works #7607

    joe90
    Participant

    Your post relies on an erroneous supposition. The Foundation is no closer to settling Robert’s finances as it has nothing at all to do with the administration of the Estate. The Executor is the man settling Robert’s finances, and *IF* anything is left at all, the Foundation will get the residue. Despite the success of the recent auction, there is every possibility that the Estate will be insolvent, which means that all of the remaining paintings will have to be sold, along with the books, the house(s), and anything else that still is classed as part of The Estate.

    The remaining paintings that the Foundation hopes to get are mostly project paintings, ones like The Death Bed, Death of Education, Plymouth Mourning its Unfortunates - the well known (and finished!) paintings. You can see photographs of most of these paintings in the R. O. Lenkiewicz book. Hope this sates your curiosity.

    in reply to: Engaging with Lenkiewicz’s thoughts and philosophy #6730

    joe90
    Participant

    To conclude that the purpose of seeing the exhibitions was more “to be presented with the results of a period of sociological enquiry” rather than “viewing paitings” does the artist a grave injustice.


    I take your point entirely Francis, and agree that I have underscored the sociological study aspects of Robert´s work at the expense of the painting, but please understand the argument in the wider context of the original message rather than the edited version presented in this thread. The wider argument pleas for the need for people to actively think about and debate the project work and its underlying philosophy, and the survival of the remaining books (as well as the paintings), as the project ideas and books seem to be in a very real danger of being forgotten amongst the current interest in painting auction prices and the costs of the prints.

    in reply to: Save the library! #7461

    joe90
    Participant

    It’s interesting to note that in the week since Jack Sparrow posted this and its sister post regarding the future function of the Foundation, no-one has been bothered to reply except for an oblique comment by Art3366 on another thread. I presume that most people who subscribe to this site would regard themselves as being in some respect interested in Robert Lenkiewicz, and hopefully regard themselves as being more seriously appreciative of Lenkiewicz’s life and work. As such, the dearth of replies and lack of engagement would seem difficult to account for.

    Jack Sparrow raised several interesting points which, it appears, no-one is prepared to address, least of all the Foundation, if Annie Hill-Smith’s recent letter to the Herald is anything to go by. Since Lenkiewicz’s death, the Foundation has clung tenaciously to the plan outlined at its inception in 1994 for the foundation of a Barbican Art Gallery and Museum, this despite the evident fact of the steady disappearance of the collection upon which any such institution would be founded. Notwithstanding Art3366’s sunny outlook, it must be obvious to all by now that this Gallery and Museum will not exist. Does the Foundation have any other plan except for its original remit? Does no-one else have any suggestions about its role? Or is everyone waiting to see what will be left once the Estate is finally settled and only then will they start to react?

    The fate of the remaining books should be a matter of concern to everyone who values Lenkiewicz’s art, as the collection formed the intellectual basis and accompaniment to the paintings. Contrary to Art3366’s evident disinterest and belief that they are off no importance, an appreciation of the literary influences on Lenkiewicz’s thought and philosophy greatly enhances understanding of the paintings and the philosophical and social context of Lenkiewicz’s work. Again, what is the Foundation planning to do about this? As it seems likely that the remaining books will be up for auction shortly, does the Foundation have any plans to secure these? Does anyone else have any suggestions about how these can be held together if the Foundation does nothing?

    During his life, Lenkiewicz was less concerned about high or low art issues and more concerned about the philosophical questions expressed in his various projects. While he took pleasure over the technical aspects of a painting, the result was simply a medium for deeper message (Unless it was one of the later ‘girlie’ knock-outs, and you didn’t have to look far there). One didn’t come to a project exhibition to view paintings so much as to be presented with the results of a period of sociological enquiry. The projects were designed to comment upon and raise awareness of prevailing cultural ethics and practices, and if possible to challenge and change perceptions of these. Lenkiewicz wanted people to think about and to engage with the issues he was drawing attention to.

    All too rarely on this site are these aspects of Lenkiewicz’s work highlighted, and when questions arise that do require engagement with Lenkiewicz’s ideas they are generally ignored.

    If the ‘fans’ cannot even make the effort to critically engage with Lenkiewicz’s thoughts and philosophy and to debate them, then why should they expect the wider public, the art world, and the funding bodies to take an interest in him and value his work?

    in reply to: October ‘sell-off’ #7442

    joe90
    Participant

    there may be a case to challenge this action in the future


    Upon what basis do you make that statement?

    in reply to: Lenkiewicz on death #7275

    joe90
    Participant

    One of the Foundation Trustees, Mike Beveridge, is Vice-cHancellor of Plymouth University, so if anyone on the Foundation should have any sense of what is being lost to academia by not being recorded, he should. That said, I don’t know that besides taking some very general view-type photos and video footage anyone from the Foundation has made any effort at recording what’s there before it goes. Very few other people have been allowed into the Studio over the past two years.

    in reply to: Lenkiewicz on death #7273

    joe90
    Participant

    I fear the time to have kept Robert’s collection together – books, paintings and manuscripts, passed the moment he died, and a deputation of some academics will have no effect this far down the line.

    You are right though in supposing that for Robert Lenkiewicz to be researched, in all his facets, researchers will have to have access not only to his paintings but also to his many notebooks and diaries, and also to some sense of what the library consisted of.

    We must hope that his manuscript books, including his Diary Notes, Relationship notebooks, 'Notes,' and the like (also those books compiled by his 'companions in arms') will not be sold, but will, in the end, reside with the Foundation. If they prove to be unable to house these, the archive should be passed to some other public institution, such as the West Devon Record Office, in Cattedown, for safe keeping and access.

    If the Foundation receives them, it should be willing to allow bona fide researchers to have access to the notebooks, without hinderance. If the manuscripts did end up being sold and passed into private hands this could prove disastrous for future researchers.

    Another point that bothers me is that Robert's library is being dispersed without a full catalogue of its contents being compiled. This job was started in Robert's lifetime but not completed, and since his death books have already gone without being recorded. In last year's Sotheby's sale of books I noticed several books in lots were being sold without being described. More of this is likely to happen later this year. Without a proper catalogue, the books Robert owned and read will become something of a mystery, and possible influences on his work and thinking will be lost. This is something future academics will one day rue.

    in reply to: Project Booklets #7430

    joe90
    Participant

    While I agree that it would be interesting to see more of Robert’s writings in print, I’m not sure straight reprints of the exhibition booklets would be a useful way of introducing Robert’s thoughts to a post-mortum audience.

    Robert wrote some essay-length booklets for the earliest of his projects, such as Death and the Maiden and Love and Mediocrity, but the later project pamphlets tended to be little more than lists of the paintings included in the exhibitions, like the one on Death or Old Age, which also carried a brief introduction and a number of quotations of other authors. The Observations on Local Education 2 Volume notes consisted of respondents' answers to a questionnaire, and I can't imagine these would sell that widely, and if printed professionally would probably prove prohibitively expensive. Furthermore, the exhibition booklets were intended to be understood within the context of the current exhibition, which, aside from a virtual gallery, will not be possible to recreate in a physical space.

    Perhaps a better way to approach this would be to publish volumes containing selections from the printed exhibition notes, and from the manuscript notebooks (which were just that, a collection of notes - not necessarily coherent, lengthy pieces of prose). These could then contain relevant illustrative material, from the exhibitions and from the accompanying manuscript notes. Of course, these volumes would need professional, sympathetic editors to give coherence to the notes and accurately reflect the scope of Robert's ideas.

    in reply to: Lenkiewicz student exhibition/auction #7405

    joe90
    Participant

    I think the idea of using the Annex to house this exhibition in Plymouth is a splendid suggestion. As this will be benefitting the Foundation, it would seem churlish indeed on the part of the Foundation to refuse it.

    After all the good Lenkiewicz paintings disappeared from display from the Annex last summer, the collection presented there has seemed distinctly lacklustre. This 'Student Exhibtion' would no doubt invigorate an otherwise tired display.

    Or, as Esther has offered to help in any way possible, perhaps The Framing Centre could house it?

    in reply to: Postings Vacuum #7351

    joe90
    Participant

    I wonder how long the trade in second-class relics will persist for?

    in reply to: Robert in the news #7365

    joe90
    Participant

    Thanks for posting those newspaper articles Cap’n. I think we’d all be interested to read more of those, if you have them.

    I found it interesting to read again the article on the plans for the library/museum. Such a shame for Plymouth and for Robert's memory that it will never happen.

    in reply to: Palettes nouveaux #7333

    joe90
    Participant

    Are these the Sotheby’s auction catalogues signed by Robert before he died?

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 24 total)