Karel Lek (1929- 2020)

Karel Lek was born in Antwerp, Belgium in 1929 but moved with his parents to North Wales as refugees when he was a young boy.  Karel studied at Liverpool College of Art, 1946-1952.  Notable teachers included Karel Vogel and Geoffrey Wedgwood.

Lek said that “the country of my birth, regarding my mode of expression, which is emotional,” was important to his output. “My concern is humanity. I very often see beauty in what is often neglected.” Karel regarded the streets as his studio and always kept a sketchbook on him.  He captured people and the immediacy of the fleeting impressions they created.  “If others were trying to sum up my work, I hope that somewhere the words ‘compassion and honesty’ might appear.”

Lek was a member of the RCA (Royal Cambrian Academy) since 1954.  He exhibited across north Wales as well as in London, Amsterdam and Chicago.  His work is in private and public collections, including the National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth.

For more information about the exhibition, click here.