A private collection of paintings by Robert Lenkiewicz is to be shown for the first time in public. The brand new exhibition Family Matters features paintings owned by Lenkiewicz’s family including 28 works which have never been seen before.
The exhibition will take place at Hannahs at Seale-Hayne, an inspiring charity and leading arts centre in the South West, from February 8th to March 23rd. Family Matters will offer a rare opportunity to see these works and will explore the life behind the artist, a reflection on the people and relationships that shaped his world, his Jewish upbringing and his life as an immigrant.
Lenkiewicz famously had three wives, many lovers and eleven children and this exhibition has been collected and curated by members of this extended family. Family Matters includes pictures of his children, his partners and his mother painted throughout the various stages of his private life. They help to set in context some of the motivations behind his work and include ‘Sholam listening to the story of Sampson’ and ‘Annie and Death on the path at Compton.’
Robert Lenkiewicz was born in 1941 to Jewish parents who fled Poland during the Second World War. He was raised in London where his parents ran a small hotel which was inhabited by elderly Jewish people. His Jewish upbringing and the Holocaust were two elements that fuelled his interest in obsessive behaviour, and his prolific work includes 18 projects addressing the complex nature of this theme. He described these projects as a social enquiry rather than works of art. The majority of his work was produced in Plymouth where he moved, aged 20, with his wife and young daughter.
The exhibition will be free and open 10am to 6pm every day. There will be a talk by one of Lenkiewicz’s former students, an educational programme for schools, a life drawing lesson, and a number of resources developed around some of the themes of the exhibition, such as family relationships, and Jewish life after the Second World War.