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Stanley Lench exhibition

March offers the rare chance to see an exhibition of works by artist, Stanley Lench, at the Stockport Art Gallery.

Ldbth193 David Hockney I 1978 B
David Hockney, 1978

Stanley Lench is a self-taught artist whose work shows influences of religious iconography and stained glass. This exhibition is focusing on 25 of his portraits, ranging from ones produced for his first exhibition in 1954

through to later works he finished in the 1990s, shortly before he died. Portraits on display will include Oscar Wilde, Cecil Beaton, David Hockney and Dusty Springfield. Most are painted in goache, Indian ink and acrylic.

As a young man, Stanley spent many hours at the cinema watching silent films. He admired the screen goddesses and the illusion they created with fabulous clothes, masks and fans. To combat loneliness he visited the theatre and opera. Here he could admire the elaborate costumes and illusions created by great actors, which he could then reflect in his art. After some early successful exhibitions of his work, Stanley began to suffer from bouts of depression and feelings of rejection. He was hospitalised twice at the ages of 38 and 45 with depression, which led to him becoming a recluse.

In the latter years Stanley became obsessed with the ageing process and the lengths women went to avoid it. He was an attendant at the Tate Gallery for 18 years where he observed important figures from the art world. They became the ‘evil one’s of art’ who failed to recognise the true artist in their midst. He felt excluded by the art establishment. He was an outsider.

For more information about the exhibition and how to visit, please click here.