new large-scale paintings previewing at Riflemaker

'Three Musicians'
oil on canvas 2016
220 x 200 cm

Wolfe von Lenkiewicz (born 1966) is a British artist known for his paintings reconfigured from well-known images from art history and visual culture to create ambiguous compositions which question art historical discourses. He lives and works in London.

Three Musicians is the title of two similar collage and oil paintings by Spanish artist Pablo Picasso. They were both completed in 1921 in Fontainebleau near Paris, France, and exemplify the Synthetic Cubist style; the flat planes of colour and "intricate puzzle-like composition" echoing the arrangements of cutout paper with which the style originated. One version is currently owned by the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York City; the other is found in the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Each painting features a Harlequin, a Pierrot, and a monk, who are generally believed to represent Picasso, Guillaume Apollinaire, and Max Jacob, respectively. Apollinaire and Jacob, both poets, had been close friends of Picasso during the 1910s. However, Apollinaire died of the Spanish flu in 1918, while Jacob decided to enter a monastery in v1921.

After 1948 Matisse was prevented from painting by ill health but, although confined to bed, he produced a number of works known as gouaches découpées. These were made by cutting or tearing shapes from paper which had been painted with gouache. The shapes were placed and pasted down by an assistant working under Matisse's instruction. Some of the later ones, such as The Snail, were of very large dimensions. The technique, explored in his picture book Jazz (published 1947) and other works, opened up new possibilities for him. Matisse said of the technique that it 'allows me to draw in the colour. It is a simplification for me. Instead of drawing the outline and putting the colour inside it - the one modifying the other - I draw straight into the colour' (quoted in Amis de l'art, October 1951).

His secretary Mme Lydia Delectorskaya described the making of The Snail:
The three musicians is a work by Wolfe von Lenkiewicz incorporating motifs from art history notably Pablo Picasso's 1921 Three Musicians and Henri Matisse's 'Snail' with added details such as Matisse's "black leaf on green background". By posthumously curating the two avant-garde rivals together Lenkiewicz attempts to show how they can work in harmony creating a new style contingent and yet anchored in the originals. Lenkiewicz's working method is to deconstruct the "text" of the originals without taking into account the time frames between the works of art before rearranging them with full knowledge of the author's admiration and antipathy towards each other.

oil on canvas
110 x 140 cm (2016)

is at Riflemaker from 1 - 20 of February 2016

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A very special music performance by JOSE-MARIA CANO to celebrate his current exhibition 'Luna'

WEDNESDAY 18 NOVEMBER 7pm (doors open 6pm) ends 9pm - RSVP essential to [email protected]

Tel: 07794-629-188 or 0207-439-0000 for further information.

The exhibition is extended until Saturday 12 December