The Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center presents the exhibition of Wolfe von Lenkiewicz: Processions of Orpheus.
25 January 2018– 23 February 2018
Curated by Mark Sanders
The Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center presents the first solo museum show by British artist Wolfe von Lenkiewicz ‘Processions of Orpheus’.
Known for his rethinking of well-known art historical imagery, this latest series of work juxtaposes Pablo Picasso’s oeuvre with the art of other prominent artists from both the Russian and European avant-gardes of the 1920s. Seen together the paintings present a continuous procession of artworks that create a surprisingly harmonious marriage between East and West through a dramatic and often riotous explosion of colour and style. As such, the contradictory qualities inherent in Lenkiewicz’s reassembled paintings rethink the golden age of the French Riviera through the syncopated rhythms of Picasso combined with Sonia Delaunay, Kazimir Malevich and Henri Matisse.
‘Processions of Orpheus’ is largely inspired by Picasso who, in his turn,was profoundly influenced by the signature themes and artistic concerns of painters as varied as Vélazquez, Rembrandt and Manet, often transforming their art into “something else entirely” in order to create audatious paintings of his own. Lenkiewicz goes one stage further, mining both art history and popular culture to create a new series of artistic hybrids. Taking Picasso as a starting point for the re-interpretation of painting in the 21st Century, Lenkiewicz re-orchestrates iconic images from diverse histories to create a new vision of the past. Through this dizzying amalgamation of multiple artworks into a single unique entity he introduces a contingent and alternative history where the past becomes reconfigured.
‘Processions of Orpheus’ may also be considered to be a visual rendition of a musicial score. Throughout the series the work of Sonia Delaunay, Kazimir Malevich and Henri Matisse act as base notes to the central rhythms of Picasso’s painterly syntax. By presenting a procession of artists who have been abducted from their accepted roles and stripped of their autonomy, Lenkiewicz forces a series of posthumous collaborations that fuse together to create a majestic procession of alternative realities that flow one into the other as they take on new roles on the 21st century stage.
Wolfe von Lenkiewicz was born in 1966 and is a British artist of German and Polish descent. He studied Philosophy at York University, graduating in 1990, and is the son of the painter Robert Lenkiewicz and the great grandson of Baron von Schlossberg, court painter to King Ludwig II of Bavaria, the Swan King.
His work has been exhibited in numerous galleries and museums throughout Europe and the United States. Recent shows include Picasso in Contemporary Art at the Deichtorhallen, Hamburg and Wexner Center for the Arts, Ohio (2015), Persona at the Musée Quai Branly, Paris (2016), Proof of Life at the Weserburg Museum, Bremen (2017) and Doing Identity at the Kunst Museum, Bochum (2017).
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