Robert Lenkiewicz Original Oil on Canvas Painting
This stunning painting by the late Robert Lenkiewicz has just arrived this week and depicts Anna Navas in a tree in the garden of Lenkiewicz’ home in Lower Compton. Anna is portrayed wearing a yellow Kimono in which she appeared in a number of Lenkiewicz paintings and limited edition prints.
Anna Navas first met Robert Lenkiewicz as a student and approached him to be a model. Within days, she was sat on his knee sitting for a painting and subesquently lived with him at the house in Lower Compton, which he subsequently bequeathed to her and where he was finally buried. Anna is now a trustee of the Lenkiewicz foundation, a charity set up to promote and protect the artists work and legacy.
Born in north London in 1941, Robert Lenkiewicz was one of the most exciting and unconventional artists in the twentieth century British art scene. Lenkiewicz’ parents fled to England from Germany just before the second world war started and married in London. As with many other German Jews who came as refugees to London, few members of their extended family survived the war.
They set up a small hotel in Cricklewood which Lenkiewicz described to be more like a lunatic asylum. Lenkiewicz grew up there surrounded by elderly Jewish residents of the hotel who were often elderly and distressed, sometimes demented, all influences that could be found in Lenkiewicz’ body of work in the forthcoming years and projects.
Having begun to paint at an early age, Robert Lenkiewicz’ talent was spotted early and from school he attended St. Martins in London and then The Royal Academy School.
Lenkiewicz pursued the path of a figurative painter, embarking on ambitious projects around challenging subjects – projects on homelessness, orgasm, death and jealousy were just some of the topics covered. For his project on death, Lenkiewicz knew he could not experience what it was like to be dead but could experience what it was like to be thought to be dead. He subsequently announced his death in the local paper to survey the impact and reaction from society only to come out sometime later as actually being alive. Ironically Robert Lenkiewicz finally died in 2002 at the relatively young age of 60.
Despite being branded as eccentric by many, Lenkiewicz was an artist of great intelligence and passion, a true master of his craft and an artist whose legacy will leave on many decades to come.