A way to approach life as well as art. At least that’s how abstract artist Edward Lentsch, whose works are in hundreds of public and private collections worldwide, including those of William Shatner and Kelly Ripa, chooses to navigate his journey. He has worked with iconic designers Holly Hunt, Loree Rodkin, Faye Resnick, Terence Disdale, and “Forbes Designated Architect to the Stars,” Ardie Tavangarian and if you thought you saw his art featured in the Grammy Award Winning music video by Enrique Iglesias, “I Like It,” you would be right. Lentsch is represented exclusively in the Hamptons by The White Room Gallery and is featured in their current exhibit YIN YANG. YIN being figurative. YANG abstract.
Lentsch is truly a renaissance man in how he incorporates such a variety of muses to bring the viewer into his creations. His passion for painting is intertwined with a passion for science, logic, literature, mathematics, mysticism and mastery.
Let’s start with the titles. You will never see a piece of his untitled or numbered. His titles are part of the art. There are the Latin maxims. “Credula est spes Improba.” He that lives on hope dances without music. “Semper ad Meliora.” Always for the better. “Auribus teneo lupum.” Holding a wolf by its ears. Not sure how to interpret that one – maybe safe to say that in troubled times let’s hope your grip holds.
Onto mathematics with “The Riemann Hypothesis” which is the conjecture that the Riemann zeta function has its zeros only at the negative even integers and complex numbers with real part 1/2. Many consider it to be the most important unsolved problem in pure mathematics. Personally, I would never title a piece that because I might then have to explain that.
For literature, we have “The Metamorphoses of Ovid” – deciphering history from the creation of the world through the death of Julius Caesar as a series of transformations.
For science, we have “Galileo’s Pendulum” inspired by The Law of the Pendulum which concluded that no matter how big or small the swings, the time it took for each swing to complete was exactly the same.
And then a temporary departure from the erudite to a simple “Kind Of Blue” series dedicated to the inimitable Miles Davis. And to whimsy with “The Industrious Hummingbird.”
The titles are really just a springboard into the mind and intent of the artist as well as to the layers of his process. Here is what London art critic Anna Wallace-Thompson had to say about Lentsch.
“Edward 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.
Edward attacks the canvas starting with a mastic and polymer foundation, followed by stone powders and dry pigments and while the canvas is still wet, he uses trowels and sticks to create visual interventions. Each piece takes on qualities of the organic, such as sandstone or granite, using an intricate network of flecks and dots of pigment to proliferate the densely worked surface. 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. Countless hours are spent perfecting each work before sealed with a varnish that makes the light interact with the vision even more.”
As comprehensive as that review was what it does not touch upon is that Edward’s artistry extends well beyond the canvas. The Artist Giving Pledge Movement, created by Lentsch, worked with moguls, visionaries, and philanthropists to create arts-driven philanthropy around the world, specifically funding humanitarian response organizations. After first meeting William Shatner with his legendary Hollywood Charity Horseshow and then Giving Back Fund’s Founder and CEO Marc Pollick and subsequently Donna Karan, who introduced him to her Urban Zen Foundation, the new brand of “artist” for the 21st Century was defined.
“I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul.” The last line of one of Edward’s favorite poems, “Invictus” by the renowned British poet William Ernest Henley. Another source of inspiration or a kindred spirit? Sometimes you see the artist, sometimes the man, and sometimes both.
Perhaps best to close with one last title, “Carpe Noctem.” Because Edward wanted to explore the darkness? Maybe. Or maybe because Carpe Diem would have been too damn easy.