Wolfe von Lenkiewicz


Written by Caisa Ederyd
06 Thursday 06th August 2009

House of Mourning, 2008

Lenkiewicz’s largest exhibition to date is full of interesting contradictions. The viewer is exposed to various interpretations of religion, history and mythology, to which Lenkiewicz appends criticism and comment through bizarre juxtapositions. Famous historical and mythological characters such as Adam and Eve, Marilyn Monroe and unicorns, appear in various historical situations.

Fairy Queen, 2009

Queen Elisabeth I is employed variously throughout the exhibition. In The Fairy Queen, her head is mounted on a horse’s skeleton, which could be interpreted as a symbol for mid-recession England. This sits in contradiction to The End Crowneth Work, where Lizzy is transformed into a robot from the film Metropolis. The drawing Island depicts a dinosaur mounting a massive oil platform - a reflection on the irony that the remains of dinosaurs are fuelling an industry which is destroying our world.

Island, 2009

Most of Lenkiewicz’s works are ambitious pencil sketches. However, two of the most noticeable and colourful works are the oil canvas paintings Illusions of a King and Lincoln Eagle. Presented in golden Victorian frames, these paintings are eye-catching mixtures of pop culture, religion and politics. Illusions of a King frames Elvis Presley as a centaur. Lenkiewicz’s sense for details and precision is remarkable and demands the full attention of his viewers.

Lincoln Eagle, 2009

Lincoln Eagle, another huge painting, is loaded with symbolism that touches upon subjects such as power within religion and politics. In his chair, President Lincoln is straddling an eagle, characteristic for the United States, whose head has been replaced by that of Jesus Christ, positing an erosion of the division between church and state enshrined in the First Amendment. In the background, contrasts of rich and poor, the power and the oppressed, are represented by contemporary and ancient societies. Most remarkably, a plane collides into the side of Lincoln.

Set Thine House in Order, 2008

Religion, history and mythology are strong themes that Lenkiewicz repeatedly draws on in his work. Conspiracy theories are recurring themes in his drawings on the events of 9/11, for example Jacob’s Ladder and House of Mourning. This is not just beautiful and well-made art; this is a straightforward reflection on a world where history repeats itself over and over again.


The Descent of Man continues until 31 May at All Visual Arts. More info at www.allvisualarts.org


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