curated by James Putnam
Mimmo Scognamiglio Artecontemporanea, Naples
January - February, 2007
Wolfe Lenkiewicz amalgamates and juxtaposes diverse archetypes, symbolic images and heraldic motifs to form his own hybrid iconography. His preferred medium is figurative pencil drawing and the contrast between this formal and conventional means of expression and his curious imagery makes it all the more provocative. Visual statements are set up that are initially absurd yet on reflection seem to express significant truths. They become simultaneously interrelated and in conflict with each other, which upsets our own pre-established visual order and Lenkiewicz refers to this transformative process as ‘Emblematic Psychosis’. He frequently subverts familiar religious images so that his compositions become almost allegorical in the manner of Renaissance paintings but can include topical, highly charged politicised images like a jumbo jet crashing into the side of a crucified Christ or butterflies bombing the twin towers. Iconic images like Christ and the Titanic come together in an irrational chronological subversion to create new meanings and the tension between these apparently illogical pictorial elements animates the drawings and his traditionalist style seems to address us from a dark and distant phase of human consciousness yet deviates right into the present.
His 16mm black and white film Desum, projected onto a weather balloon centres on three philosophical characters from the age of enlightenment, Newton, Pascal and Voltaire. They are presented as strange feminised incarnations chattering away in an incomprehensible fusion of Latin and French. The film relates to an endless quest for a centre or a balance that can only result in a hopeless but relentless explorative drive to continue. Its title could be taken as meaning to fail or to abandon as through the introduction of the irrational these celebrated philosophers become unsure of themselves and seem to loose their confidence. Lenciewicz created the costumes for the film and has since made more refined versions of them, exhibited as sculptures in their own right - mutant, composite creatures that somehow equate with the hybrid images in his two dimensional works.
Mimmo Scognamiglio Artecontemporanea
Via Mariano D´Ayala 6
T: +39 (0)81 400871