Indepth Arts News: |
"Peter Lamb and The Art of Dickies and Pollocks"
2006-10-28 until 2006-11-25
Los Angeles, CA,
USA United States of America
Peter Lamb transcribes an immediate raw state to paper or canvas and then
edits by subtraction and addition, moving collage pieces around,
over-painting and drawing, translating work from one medium to another.
It‚s a very physical process. What he ends up with is a junk pile of
marks, motifs and images, the tangled bundle of an emotional state spread
across a variety of surfaces - paper, canvas, di-bond and sculptures.
Lamb talks about his method as a trawl through personal history and
memory, seeing what the day's catch might yield. It also throws up bits
of art history. You couldn't call these quotations, more found‚ images:
the odds and ends, the broken bits, art‚s refuse; artist as rag and bone
man, art as eschatology. It's a form of pastiche in which Lamb cobbles
together borrowed finery, which every so often resolves into something. A
Tal R hotchpotch of imagery there, an ugly Albert Oehlen smear here, Rene
Daniels bow tie, a Rauschenberg wash, Kippenberger, the Ab-Ex's. Besides
his hommages to the late-, and not so late-greats, Lamb's work also
dresses up in second-hand rags from his peer-group in London‚s East End:
Phillip Allen, Danny Rolph, a bit of Boo.
Yet, despite its physicality and abundant art allusions, its barrow-boy
aesthetic, Lamb‚s work is also about language: language as preverbal and
chaotic which reflects the fragmented and dismembered state of being, the
broken sense of identity and authority that his work explores; language
that is not wholly differentiated from the body, but exists in a realm
where identity, language, authority and sexual potency are interlinked.
Verbal language is attacked: words as naming devices are struck through.
In their place, mouths, eyes, ears and nostrils spit and spout seemingly
caustic sprays of marks and pours of colour which pool and pattern in
deceptive charm. Heads, a common signifier for speech are consistently
de-faced by shrouding, erasure and deforming, further obstructing
identity. Given that the head is the location of four of our senses, it
makes sense that the experience of articulation that Lamb offers us is
disabled, leaving us groping towards meaning.
Whilst Lamb creates works as individual pieces, they too, exist as
fragments of a dismembered totality. His acts of translation from one
medium to another requires understanding to be chased across a
multiplicity of objects and surfaces, retrieved from the flotsam and
jetsam that his memory and experience cast across them, to engage us in a
dialogue about art and aspiration and a bitter romance of ruination.
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