Wolfe von Lenkiewicz presents Hieronymus Bosch
Wolfe von Lenkiewicz takes the most iconic paintings of the Early Northern Renaissance period by Hieronymus Bosch and transforms them into a post-historic, trans-cultural manuscript for his new exhibition this autumn. Lenkiewicz’s new versions of The Garden of Earthly Delights, Creation of the Worlds and The Haywain Triptych are faithful to the masters yet have been “contaminated” by a wide range of historical and contemporary sources, both art historical and pop cultural. They contain plethora of diverse and contradictory images stretching from Francis Bacon’s screaming biomorphic head, clusters of brightly coloured Pokémon characters, African masks and Japanese erotic figures. There is no fixed narrative at play here, any associations and symbolic resonances are coincidental and the selection of the disparate imagery is rigorously arbitrary. Any projection of meaning into the work masks its real agenda: Bosch’s Garden of Earthly Delights, as a powerful and valuable art historical artefact, and more pertinently, the problem of the subject in art and the notion of originality and authorship. Painted in oil paint, utilising the finest of pigments and the most refined of crystal clear poppy oil to impart preciousness to the objects depicted and mimic the aspiration of the Northern school of the van Eyck brothers to depict every detail of ‘God’s’ universe. Lenkiewicz uses powerful cultural signifiers as access points into the psyche of his audience. He transects the gap between what is actual, or even factual, and what is infinitely possible within the realm of the imagination, to quote the artist, ‘The fantasy, the real, there’s not much in it’.