Robert Lenkiewicz Exhibition - Love’s Body

Allegory + metaphor in the ‘private language’ works on paper


A new exhibition of Robert Lenkiewicz’s works on paper from his ‘Relationship’ Projects is being presented by the Lenkiewicz Foundation at the New Street Gallery.




The exhibition will be open between 11am-4pm between 20 Nov 2015 and 6 Jan 2016 on Thurs–Sun only. Holiday closing times: Mon 23 Dec – Wed 2 Jan.

The Lenkiewicz Foundation are presenting an exhibition at New Street Gallery of its collection of works on paper from Lenkiewicz’s 1970’s relationship Projects. The exhibition coincides with the publication for the first time of the related Project notebooks on Love and Romance, Love and Mediocrity, and Orgasm on the Lenkiewicz Foundation website.

These original works on paper showcase Lenkiewicz’s innovative and startling ‘private language’ of what he termed ‘aesthetic notes’ – using text and colour metaphors to explore human physiology in a state of crisis. A new essay will explore the influence on the paint- er’s ideas of the book Love’s Body, written by Norman O. Brown in 1966.

Works from Project 14: The Painter with Mary will also be on display alongside the recently published fully interactive iBook version of The Mary Notebook, available to purchase on iBook and Kindle.

Robert Lenkiewicz’s private language works on paper are the least explored aspect of his creative output.  Visitors to the Love’s Body exhibition will be familiar with Lenkiewicz’s oil paintings; figurative, realistic representation, often on a grand scale, typically on a dark ground framed heavily in black with gold slip. They command attention and can be identified with ease. The works on paper displayed in this exhibition are equally distinctive, but for various reasons (particularly the challenging nature of their content) have not been publicly displayed to the same extent as the oils.

These works represent a shift in Lenkiewicz’s visual language. They begin chronologically in 1974 with the DEATH & THE MAIDEN material and end with THE PAINTER WITH MARY in 1981. The work explores ‘attitudes towards love’, Lenkiewicz’s phrase for inter-personal relationships and human physiology in a state of crisis. The format: image and text, an original observation by Lenkiewicz or a carefully selected quote, accompanied by a graphic. This formula would become known as an ‘aesthetic note’. In this exhibition we see the development of this visual communication throughout the 1970s.

Are you interested in reading more about Robert Lenkiewicz’s work and his ‘relationship’ project? John-Paul Somerville of The Lenkiewicz Foundation explores the shifts and changes in Lenkiewicz’s thought processes which were meticulously recorded in his notebooks – it’s a fascinating insight into the mind of this engrossing and perplexing artist.

The New Street Gallery

The New Street Gallery