New YorkChloë Lamb: New September
Hollis Taggart presents Chloë Lamb: New September, the British artist’s second solo exhibition with the gallery and the first dedicated to her work in New York in several years.
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The exhibition features a selection of abstract oil paintings as well as several wood constructions, marking the first time the artist’s sculptural works are shown in the U.S. Lamb is inspired by nature and found everyday objects, embracing the beauty and emotive qualities of surrounding landscapes and also the grace and texture of common materials like scraps of wood. The ongoing pandemic has only heightened Lamb’s attraction to these elements, as the world has slowed and the desire for simple pleasures has intensified. The exhibition includes a number of works Lamb created during the COVID-19 related shutdown in the U.K.
Lamb began working with wood collages and constructions several years ago. To create these works, she gathers objects from her surroundings, including discarded and aged window shutters, fallen, decades-old cladding from a local railway station, and boards from old wooden boats. Particularly drawn to the aspects that suggest a lived history, such as nail holes and paint remnants, Lamb often retains the original characteristics of her materials. She develops her collages organically, joining together pieces from disparate places to explore form and color and in some instances to create subtle suggestions of representational elements. The works are further infused with Lamb’s application of paint, which she uses to emphasize particular original components and to breathe new life into the objects.
While the wood collages mark a new approach in Lamb’s practice, she is most readily recognized for her large-scale abstract oil paintings. These works she also develops freely and instinctually, building and thinning the paint as the gestures accumulate on the canvas. For Lamb the process of creating is as important as the final composition. She is attracted to the qualities of oil paint—the pigments, how it responds to the motion of her brush, and the way it can be made both dense and nearly translucent. Lamb’s deep engagement with her materials results in paintings that are visually rich, drawing the viewer into a depth of color and interior space. While Lamb’s paintings are predominantly abstract, they often reveal momentary glimpses of her inspirations, whether garden views or wider vistas.
Of her most recent painting, Lamb says, “At the beginning of the lockdown, I started working on some small canvases where I felt I had more control. It seemed reassuring and absorbing. However, I was quite quickly drawn back to the larger canvas. It’s more complex and challenging, but also less constraining. It seems rather like the difference between being in a small enclosed garden and out on the open downs. I felt I needed the space and to be braver again.”
Lamb was born in 1960 in Wiltshire into an artistically inclined family. Her father graduated from London’s prestigious Slade School of Fine Art, while her mother took handicraft to new heights at home and in the garden. While Lamb had lifelong passion for painting, she did not pursue an artistic career until after she was married and had her first child. In the 1990s, she attended the Heatherly School of Fine Art and also took classes under Robin Child (part of the pedagogical lineage of Walter Sickert) at Lydgate Art Research Center in Wiltshire, honing her skills and approach. She now lives and works in Hampshire, and exhibits regularly across the U.K. and U.S.
“Chloë’s work is incredibly sumptuous and captivating. Collectors are often attracted to the texture, color, and intrinsic spirit of her work,” said Hollis Taggart. “Chloë has a dedicated and active following in England, and we have been actively building the market for her work in the U.S. over the last four years. Her acute understanding of and engagement with her materials, and the expressive nature of her compositions deserves further and greater attention. Her work is a significant contribution to the lineage of abstraction.”
Courtesy of the artist and Hollis Taggart, New York