Edward Lentsch’s expansive artistic practice explores his relationship between the self, nature and the universe. From the Fibonacci sequence to the teachings of Aristotle, Lentsch attempts to create a bridge between the natural world and these intellectual canons, exploring the interconnection between the realms of science and mysticism, the metaphysical and the spiritual. He explores how these three facets are integrated within a global environment and moreover how we, as humans, fit within this complex matrix of thought using the ideas of some of the world’s greatest writers and scholars.
Lentsch works across a variety of media to create an ‘energy of intention’, in which textures, compositions and colours (or their absence) are combined. At first glance, his abstract canvases bring to mind the earthen tones of Kiefer, or the scratched surfaces of Tàpies. Lentsch, however, draws from a broader art historical canon, and painting becomes an extension of the life force around him, a transformative experience through which he can mediate a pure experiential moment. Flowing from a nonverbal intuitive state of creative expression, Lentsch bridges a complex visual language in which colours and textures are lifted from the natural world. On canvas, they are refracted and tessellated, at times put through the process of entropy, which allows for them to be transformed and transmuted.
Lentsch starts with a mastic and polymer foundation, before working with stone powders and dry pigments. Here, while the work is still wet, he uses trowels and sticks creating visual interventions. Before encapsulating the work in shellac and various varnishes, each works’ effervescence is enhanced and its distressed surface is developed. Works take on qualities of organic surfaces, such as sandstone or granite, using an intricate network of flecks and dots of pigment to proliferate the densely worked surface. One can imagine soft, snowy landscapes of white and grey or the verdant green of a tranquil overgrown pond or even the harsh dark lines of barren twigs and brush against an autumn landscape. Lentsch’s technique allows for the translation of our natural landscapes into abstract environments.
It is the complex relationship between what is known, or the skill and technique, and what is manifested, the interpretation or intuition, that lies at the heart of Lentsch’s painterly technique. He uses the force of the paint as it is applied to the canvas as a sensory way to connect with the energy of the life force around him. Lentsch’s paintings also use logic existing within nature; for example, the number sequences that comprise the fractals of a snowflake. This ontological approach is spurred by the artist’s interest in Synectics, a methodology that seeks to explore how creativity works by a connecting of dots to reach a higher plane of understanding that encompasses the physical, psychological and symbolic. In this way Lentsch explores links between elemental phenomena and more ethereal, spiritual and magical experiences.
Each of Lentsch’s works refers to a particular theory or intellectual or spiritual manifesto. His titles are not intended to act as complete narratives for individual paintings, but rather to demonstrate their significance as a theoretical foundation where each piece is connected to the other. His work becomes a series of links within a chain creating an intuitive dialogue between the conscious and subconscious. Just as his paintings make connections between the natural world and abstraction, it is the force of painting that helps him completes the circle. In diving into the canvas Lentsch understands his connection to the beauty and complexity of life that allow him to find freedom and personal empowerment.
WRITTEN BY GALLERIE KASHYA HILDEBRAND
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