* 15 06 1933 | Berlin
† 15 09 2014 | Schwäbisch Hall
Thomas Lenk contributed new and spectacular concepts to sculpture with his expansive statuary of industrial materials like steel, aluminium or concrete. As of 1964, he developed his Schichtungen (stratifications), works in space in which flat basic elements in brilliant colours are placed behind and on top of one another, which, due to their dynamic staggering and radiant colour, elicit the illusion of movement and appear to expand in the space.
Works by Thomas Lenk
Vita Thomas Lenk
Born in Berlin as a son of the painter Franz Lenk.
Politically motivated resettlement of the family to Thuringia.
War-related resettlement to Württemberg.
Brief period of study at the Kunstakademie Stuttgart, followed by an apprenticeship as a stonemason.
First sculptural works.
Lenk worked on non-figurative sculptures.
Friendship with artist colleague Georg Karl Pfahler.
Participation in an international competition for a memorial in the former Auschwitz concentration camp.
First solo exhibition in the Galerie Boukes, Wiesbaden.
Marriage to Maria Bendig.
Produced his Dialektischen Objekte (Dialectic Objects): statuary that combines a reference to landscape and to physicality with abstract concepts like space and time.
Several journeys to Yugoslavia.
His first bibliophilic book was created together with Theodor W. Adorno.
His daughter Mia was born on 19.9.
First Schichtungen (discovered in a chance game with beer coasters) created: statuary with areas offset against one another that appear to lie on top of and behind one another, thus creating an illusion of space.
His daughter Ilona was born on 19 May.
Occupation with silkscreen printing.
Travel to New York and London.
He was awarded the International Purchase Award Prize of the Carnegie Institute in Pittsburgh.
Resettlement to Stuttgart.
Designs for the project Inn-Skulptur (Inn Sculpture).
Beginning of an occupation with architecture-related projects, this year including a sculpture-space conception for the Stadttheater Münster, realised in 1972.
Designs of the series Schicht-Block (Layer Block).
Lenk took part in the 4th documenta in Kassel.
Several trips to Italy, Hungary, Poland and Czechoslovakia as of 1968.
Designs for books and participation in the film project Dreimaligkeit.
He was awarded the Socha Piešťanských Parkov third prize, Bratislava.
Work on the project of a Phono-Skulptur (Phono-sculpture) together with Erhard Karkoschka .
He produced a Schichtung (Stratification) from 70 galvanised steel plates with a height of 3.70 metres, which initially found a home at the Museum Folkwang in Essen and can now be found on the “Tummelwiese” in the Grugapark in Essen.
The Kulissen (Scenery) series was created.
Domestica, Manhattan and Die Kammer und das Monster (The Chamber and the Monster) series; project of a theatre-sound sculpture.
Varia, variable sculpture of identical elements, as well as the model series Kraków and Idem were created.
Resettlement to Tierberg Castle near Schwäbisch-Hall.
Prize of the second Norwegian Graphic Biennial, Frederikstad.
His Schichtungen were shown in the Museum Folkwang, Essen.
Trip to Cairo on the occasion of participation in the exhibition Licht und Geometrie (Light and Geometry) in the Bab – el Louk.
The Salome model series was created.
Exhibition in the Kölnischer Kunstverein (Cologne art association).
Project of a sound fountain (with Erhard Karkoschka). The Lemuren (Lemurs) (photo collages) and ADGA, as well as experiments with the element of the yardstick were produced.
First experiments with the element of the yardstick.
Second trip to Egypt, guest professorship at the Helwan University, Cairo.
First exhibitions of the yardstick sculptures: the AGDA series was presented in the Kunsthalle Düsseldorf, in the Kunsthalle Tübingen and in the Westfälischer Kunstverein (Westphalian art association) in Münster.
Projects of a static ballet with the title Kolo de mort. The video projects Schichten (Layers) and Körperʼs ADGA (together with Irm Sommer) and the Orient und Okzident (Orient and Occident) series of drawings were produced.
Architecture project Stadt über dem Davidstern (City above the Star of David); series of Alpha/Omega drawings.
Trip to Austria and Czechoslovakia.
Kalender (Calendar) (paper objects) series.
Travel to Catalonia.
The Hohenlohe (drawings) and Rotation (sculptures) series were created.
Honourable membership of the Art Gallery of Ontario/Musée des beaux-arts de lʼOntario, Toronto.
Honorary professor of the federal state of Baden-Württemberg.
As of 1990
Hexa (sculptures) series.
Member of the Humboldt Society.
ADGA-ALUP (drawings) series.
On the occasion of his 80th birthday, his works were shown in the Kunstverein Schwäbisch Hall – Galerie am Markt.
Thomas Lenk died in Schwäbisch Hall.