Date: 16 Sep - 16 Oct, 2019
“Tedi’s artwork is astounding” Neville Blanch Lena does not paint them in one fell swoop, he takes time capturing the subtle social and private lives of his sitters with the care demonstrated by Mary Cassatt and the audacity of Pablo Picasso who declared, “Painting is not made to decorate apartments; it is an offensive and defensive instrument of war against the enemy.” Lena has this in buckets, his paintings are often powerful social statements of sheer outrage as he asserts himself in a world dominated by aggression.
They are also delicate in the way Vermeer captured subtle changes of light, a focus that seemed to anticipate photography, Lena’s painting make photography irrelevant, everything is depicted using a degree of detailed realism that makes objects seem perfectly tangible. The realism of his observation can feel brutal and yet he handles paint in caresses as well as daubs. What we see here is the metaphysical moment, a new kind of dynamic composition whose focus is the highly expressive language of paint, creating the illusion of atmosphere, qualities that make Lena’s figures come to life, some features appear in focus, while others seem out of focus on close inspection, and objects are depicted with a foreshortening that resembles emotional memory, yet grounded in a deep observation.
Isabel H Langtry, Principal HSoA