Contemporary Fine art Gallery in South Devon

The Colour of the Colour - 15th April to 7th May

Lenkiewicz encouraged his students to follow their own paths and to develop their own ‘private language’. His disciplined teaching method was termed ‘the shape of the shape, the tone of the tone and the colour of the colour'. Five painters with distinct voices The Colour of the Colour presents five women artists who all studied under Robert Lenkiewicz and who are now painters in their own right.

All prices on application, please contact the gallery for full list of artwork. Artists' study pieces from Robert Lenkiewicz's tutorials will also be on view during the exhibition.

Download the catalogue in PDF here | Artist's Biographies

This is their first exhibition together and each has a very different style which, whilst following the teachings of Lenkiewicz, makes for an extremely interesting collection. Through her use of largely muted and closely toned colours Louise Courtnell creates paintings in which she is strives for subtlety and a sense of poetry. Karen Ciambriello's figurative, idiosyncratic paintings are imbued with a joyful sense of colour. Strongly narrative, her paintings have a dreamlike quality, which a vivid use of colour intensifies. Lisa Stokes' expressionistic figurative paintings reflect a sense of memory and emotion. Sombre and heavy as if veiled or faded with time, her paintings have a disquieting sense of foreboding, with meanings hidden or merely hinted at. Described by Lenkiewicz as ‘a natural colourist’ Diane Nevitt’s distinctive abstract style is suffused with luminous and radiant colours. Yana Trevail’s paintings are derived from a physical engagement with the landscape and of the haunting, silent presences of abandoned places and archaeological sites. Rich, gem-like colours are used to create unpredictable, cosmological images that resonate with energy.

Artist's Biographies

Karen Ciambriello was born in Ohio, USA. After arriving in England she attended Plymouth College of Art. In 1982 she met the artist Robert Lenkiewicz, with whom she had a long term relationship and two children. She studied under Lenkiewicz while he was devising his tutoring methods, and, with his guidance and support through the rest of his life, she developed her own private language in paint. Karen’s paintings are only partly pre-planned, but through a layering of bold colour and concept, a story emerges. Her story is in the final layer; memories and experiences which are sometimes obscure, sometimes as simple as a ride in her father’s car. She continues to live and work on The Barbican in Plymouth.

Louise Courtnell lives in Cornwall on the Rame Peninsula. Robert Lenkiewicz became her mentor and tutor in 1987. Her work includes landscape and still-life, whilst she maintains a particular passion for portraiture. She describes herself as ‘a subtle colourist, striving for a sense of poetry within the paint itself ’. She has been a regular exhibitor at the National Portrait Gallery (BP Portrait Award), having been commended for two self-portraits. Commissions have included Dr. Rowan Williams (2002), and Robert, Earl of Edgcumbe (2008). Public Collections : Royal Holloway College, University of London. Recent Still-life exhibitions at the Westcroft Gallery, Kingsand, Cornwall. Louise Courtnell runs a regular class in Kingsand following Lenkiewicz’s approach to painting.

Diane Nevitt’s paintings have evolved from a figurative approach to a more subjective abstract style. Initially based on still-life and landscape, they are now inspired more by memory and association. Much of her recent work has been inspired by the colours, culture and landscape of northern Italy and central Europe. Exhibitions include: New Street Gallery, Plymouth; Walton Gallery, Kensington; Cricket Fine Art, Chelsea; Leipzig International Art Fair, Germany; Art London, Chelsea. Corporate and public collections include: Government Offices for the South West; twofourtv.com; University of Plymouth. Monograph: ‘Journey – The Paintings of Diane Nevitt’ (White Lane Press, 2008).

Lisa Stokes (b.1967) studied Graphic Design before moving to London to work as a Medical Artist. In 1990 she met Robert Lenkiewicz, with whom she trained and modelled for until his death in 2002. She has exhibited regularly in the BP National Portrait Award and The Hunting Prize, as well as other national competitions. Solo exhibitions include Plymouth Arts Centre and John Martin Gallery in London. Stokes’ paintings explore the feelings of loss, of physical and emotional experiences when something is destroyed, forgotten or hidden. She draws inspiration from her life, her childhood and her relationships with others.

Yana Trevail (b.1958) studied Fine Art at Plymouth College of Art and Wimbledon School of Art where she was tutored by Prunella Clough and Maggi Hambling. She won the Chairman’s Prize in 2000 and the Meynell Fenton Prize in 2002 at the Discerning Eye Exhibition, Mall Galleries, London. She has had seven solo exhibitions and has had her work selected for numerous exhibitions including the BP Portrait Awards: National Portrait Gallery; The Hunting Art Prizes: Royal College of Art and the Royal Society of Portrait Painters. In 1975 she met the painter Robert Lenkiewicz with whom she studied and sat for. She was his studio assistant from 1997 until his death in 2002.

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