Thomas Lenk - Schichtung 38b (Stratification 38b), 1966

Holz bemalt

92 x 148 x 20 cm
36 x 58 x 7 inch

N 9444

About the work

After Thomas Lenk, born in 1933 in Berlin, occupied himself with the combination of blocks and rod elements between 1960 and 1963 in his "Dialektischen Objekten" (Dialectical Objects), works with the meaningful title "Schichtungen” (Stratifications) appeared as of 1964. This group of works also gave him international recognition. In 1968, the director of the New York Guggenheim Museum at the time, Edward F. Fry, saw Thomas Lenk as "the most independent and important German sculptor”.
(cited from: Nicolai B. Forstbauer, Das Wesen der Schichtung - Zum Tod von Thomas Lenk, in: Stuttgarter Nachrichten, 18. 4. 2014)
Lenk’s works could be seen in 1968 at the 4th documenta in Kassel, as well as in 1970 in the German Pavilion at the Biennale in Venice. Here he exhibited together with his artist colleagues Georg K. Pfahler, Heinz Mack and Günther Uecker, which makes clear the intellectual link with the art of the ZERO movement co-founded by Mack.
The works from Lenk’s group of "Schichtungen" are based on a flat, geometrical basic form with rounded corners. Their reproductions are stratified behind one another and are staggered with minimal displacement. Our "Schichtung 38b" presents a triangle in combination with circular forms as a basic form. While Lenk’s work initially appeared to still be influenced by American Minimal Art, with his "Schichtungen" he developed a completely independent group of works, with which he created the illusion of volume and space through the serial staggering of flat forms and yet also remained true to the line figure on the whole. Through the simulation of a body and with the help of a signal colour, Lenk evokes an aesthetic irritation that also always calls for a closer consideration of and involvement with the object.

Text authored and provided by Dr Andrea Fink, art historian

The art historian, curator and freelance publicist Andrea Fink studied art history, cultural studies and humanities, modern history and philosophy in Bochum and Vienna. Doctorate in 2007 on the work of the Scottish artist Ian Hamilton Finlay. As a freelance curator and art consultant, her clients include, among others, the Kunstverein (art association) Ahlen, Kunstverein Soest, Wella Museum, Museum am Ostwall Dortmund, ThyssenKrupp AG, Kulturstiftung Ruhr, Osthaus Museum Hagen, Franz Haniel GmbH, Kunsthalle Krems, Austria.

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Thomas Lenk, Stratification 38b, 1966, 92 x 148 x 20 cm, N 9444
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