ARTISTS / Art after 1945
Thomas Lenk

© Thomas Lenk / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn

Thomas Lenk

Schichtung / Stratification, 1972

Wood, painted: black, silver
27 × 42 × 38 cm

signed and dated at the back lower right: Lenk 72; numbered at the back lower left: I /X
Edition: 10 copies
(LENKT/W 59)

€ 6.000
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Literature: Ausst.Kat. Erich Hauser. Thomas Lenk. Georg Karl Pfahler. opäische Avantgarde der sechziger Jahre, Galerie Schlichtenmaier, Grafenau 1997, ill. p. 43, no. 19

In sculpture, from the 1960s on, the distribution of individual figures in relation to the entire surface becomes relevant from an optical point of view. Boundary blurring between architecture and sculpture always exists where the specific design of a sculpture modifies the surrounding space, as Thomas Lenk's "Schichtung" (Layering) from 1972 clearly demonstrates. The relief-like sculpture here also makes use of an artifice derived from painting, since it elevates perspective, the experience of space and distance to the actual themes. Lenk completely rejects the ideal point of view for the viewer. The consistent motif of this group of works, "Schichtungen" (Layering), executed from 1964 and making him immediately famous, is, on the one hand, an overarching shape determined by the rectangle with rounded corners, connected with panes of the same shape and dimensions staggered flatly one behind the other. Intentional disruption is achieved through the use of luminous colors, such as the silver painting on one of the panels. This clearly articulated design principle, the serial arrangement, and the wood material used with preference suggest Lenk's inspiration from Minimal Art. However, Lenk must be pursuing a revolutionary sculptural concept with his stratifications, with which he takes up an internationally respected position that sets him apart from his American and English colleagues Donald Judd or William Turnbull, Philip King or Tony Smith.
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