An artist emerges from a landmark Dalston house

Lenny Lee's house Sandringham Rd Dalston London E8 080914 Rear 20 Cecilia Rd Dalston Lon E8 2EP © david.altheer[at]gmail.comLenny Lee's house Sandringham Rd Dalston London E8 080914 Rear 20 Cecilia Rd Dalston Lon E8 2EP © david.altheer[at]
Lee: “original artist”
Lee: “original East London artists artist”

THE HOUSE pictured above is one of Hackney’s better-known eccentric residences. Now you can meet the man who painted the Dalston maisonette and the works he has created in it.

They will be on show at the Invisible Line, an innovative gallery in Dalston Lane, priced between £1,000 and £5,000 (some posters at £100 to £150).

Leonard “Lennie” Lee sees himself as one of “the original East London artists and curators”. He is from South Africa but studied at Oxford University.

His home has, he says, stood over the decades “as a landmark host for exhibitions and performances by international artists”. He once offered a prestige exhibition a painting with a £1 million price tag, higher at the time than the fees for works by increasingly famous Young British Artists. His offer was declined.

In Lee’s latest paintings death is a theme: he made them after heart surgery restricted his ability to indulge his liking for performance art.

One of Lee’s “beautiful angels of death” from the show

Tara Aghdashloo, of TIL, says of the exhibition, Shifting Sensations: “His bright, beautiful angels of death, cartoonish skeletons and secretive gazes are composed in calculated pop arrangements that are at once traditional and contemporary.”

As for for Lee’s home, which faces the north side of St Mark’s church, its lively decoration, applied in the 1980s before Pop Art had gained a second life and psychedelia was fading into the greyness of the Thatcher era, may well be his enduring memorial. So because the designs were applied before the street became part of a conservation area, any future owner of the Sandringham Road building would have to apply to Hackney council planners to change the colours and patterns.

Hamish Scott 151214

*  Shifting Sensations at Invisible Line, 87 Dalston Lane E8 2NG, Fri 19 Dec 2014 (preview the previous night at 7) to 11 January 2015, Wed-Sat, 1pm-7pm. Free. Disabled access is, says the gallery, easy.

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