The Painter with Women

'The Painter with Women – the evolution of a Project' is the first publication about the artist Robert Lenkiewicz (1941-2002) which draws upon his private journals and notebooks to give an insight into the painter's motivations and working practices in what is probably the artist's most misunderstood investigation of human relationships.What emerges is a picture of the artist at variance with the ironic, urbane persona which Lenkiewicz presented to the world – here at last is a glimpse into the passion, and sometimes rage, which drives the creative process.Though 'The Painter with Women' would become his most popular Project in many quarters, its complex themes tended to be passed over as fans seized upon the decorative aspects of Lenkiewicz's virtuoso painting of fabric and skin tones and critics dismissed the whole enterprise as a catalogue of a promiscuous lifestyle.This book takes an honest look at the imagery of the Project and the motivations behind it and aims to draw out the visual ironies which Lenkiewicz was striving for, which in many cases were a deliberate ravishment of the eye designed to provoke reflection on the viewer's part upon their own responses to 'seduction' – both personal and artistic. The book also brings back into view the uncanny sub-text of the Project's subtitle, 'Observations on the Theme of the Double', where mirror reflections of model and artist alike dissolve fixed identity and presence.Above all, it is the artist's own words, from diaries and notebooks, which show a side of Lenkiewicz which has seldom been glimpsed – a man on creative fire at the height of his artistic power, driving himself beyond reason to construct the vast edifice of a Project which his serious heart condition seemed to indicate would be his last.
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