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SF20: Lenkiewicz Legacy Sale

Robert O Lenkiewicz [1941-2002] - Woman Walking Away

Auction Lot SF20/48

Robert O Lenkiewicz [1941-2002] - Woman Walking Away - Project 8. Jealousy. 1977 oil on board 61 x 122cm.

Robert O Lenkiewicz [1941-2002] - Woman Walking Away (SF20/48) offered in our The Lenkiewicz Legacy Sale starting on 28th March 2015 at our salerooms in Exeter, Devon.

Lot Description

Robert O Lenkiewicz [1941-2002] - Woman Walking Away - Project 8. Jealousy. 1977 oil on board 61 x 122cm.


Lenkiewicz was wary of symbolism in his work, instead he sought 'formulae' or metaphors to convey meaning. in the 1977 Jealousy Project he repeatedly used the 'man watching a woman walk away' formula, which was based on the 'to love is to live in fear of loss' notion. Woman Walking Away (1977)shows Myriam Rivera in the garden of 'Death House', Lenkiewicz's cottage in Compton, watched by a male figure whose entrails flail after the retreating woman. The male figure is taken directly from Velazquez's the Forge of Vulcan; even the twisting entrails exactly follow a sinuous line in Velazquez's own composition. Vulcan is the Roman counterpart to the Greek god Hephaestus, who in Greek mythology made the first woman, Pandora, out of clay in the notebook for the Project - which according to Robert was spirited away by one of its major subjects and never seen again - he wrote: the visceral sensations experienced by the jealous lover torment and isolate with remarkable clarity. The bodily sensations involved in jealous reactions began to strike Lenkiewicz as identical to the sensations reported by alcoholics and addicts undergoing withdrawal symptoms - 'not just similar, identical,' he would emphasize. All the elements of the artist's mature understanding of 'the falling in love scenario' were now in place: that love was an addiction and jealousy the withdrawal symptom; that the process was visceral or physiological in nature and had nothing to do with psychology. As he later elaborated to his friend, Dr Philip Stokes: ...the experience of jealousy is the experience of being withdrawn from one's own addiction, from one's own drug, that one has inflicted on oneself - nothing to do with the other person … and that infliction, that process, that peculiar suicide, is an aesthetic phenomenon entirely But the inevitable conclusion was that intense feeling isolates people rather than bringing them together. However, in Woman Walking Away which of the figures is undergoing the torments of jealousy? Lenkiewicz' diaries from that year record that Myriam was wearing her sister Magdalena's dress, a visual hint to the jealous love triangle playing itself out within the painter's Edenic garden in Compton. * Exhibited. The Painter with Women (Retrospective Section), ICC Birmingham 1994; Plymouth City Museum Retrospective, 1997; Wolverhampton Art Gallery, A Retrospective, 1998; Plymouth City Museum and Art Gallery, 2009; Royal West of England Academy, Bristol 2011; Royal William Yard, Plymouth, 2012; Spinnerei, Leipzig, and Nuremberg, Germany, 2013 (see Introduction for post-2007 exhibition details). Literature RO Lenkiewicz (1997)White Lane Press p. 55. Robert Lenkiewicz - Paintings & Projects (2006) White Lane Press. Plate 25 Robert Lenkiewicz - Human All Too Human (2012) Lenkiewicz Archive. p26.


The Lenkiewicz Foundation Collection.

Price Realised




Fine Art Knowledge Base

Sale Information

SF20: Lenkiewicz Legacy Sale
Saturday, 28th March 2015
Okehampton Street, Exeter


For more information about this particular auction lot, please contact:-

Okehampton Street, Exeter

Telephone: +44 (01392) 413100

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