"The Loft 2"
A selection of pen,ink and pencil drawings c.1960 produced by Robert in "The Loft" Coffee Bar in Hampstead
Medium: Pen and ink drawing. Image Size: 310 x 300mm. Price: £POA. framed
Robert Lenkiewicz was born in London in 1941. His parents were Jewish refugees from Germany and Poland. Though he found his mother a difficult person there was no doubt that she encouraged him in his creative activities.
He went to St. Martin's School of Art and then to The Royal Academy Schools. He spent some years teaching in London attracting miscellaneous visitors to his studios. Many of these people found great difficulty in relating to the society they lived in; this resulted in the first of a series of different premises converted for the occupancy of vagrant and disturbed people.
He taught in Cornwall and then moved to Plymouth where he continued a similar lifestyle. After some years, he had established nine separate buildings throughout the city. Lenkiewicz was a controversial figure who attracted constant publicity. In 1971, he painted a landmark mural in the heart of the Barbican, which remains today. Later, he faced censorship after being criticized for painting nude figures on public display.
Throughout this period he had been working intensively on the first of a long series of projects which he termed 'The Relationships Series'. VAGRANCY was the first of these projects - nineteen more have followed. Over the years he has put together a large and specialist Library with many rooms. Each one contains books on a specific theme, there are rooms on Metaphysics, Philosophy, Death, Suicide and Euthanasia, Theology, Literature and Poetry and two further rooms of Art history and Art biography. The Library and the projects have in common his consistent research into the causes of obsessive and fanatical behaviour.
He had a serious heart complaint and had been seeing specialists in the weeks before he died. But his early death was still unexpected. He was still talking of needing more time to finish his work. He said in 2001: "The insignificant event of my personal extinction, no more than a blade of grass, doesn't trouble me in the slightest. But it would be inconvenient if it was in the next four years.
Pen and Ink sketch by Robert Lenkiewicz