Join us for Brunch with the artist, Jesse Lambert - Sunday, December 4th at 2PM.
Jesse Lambert’s ink and watercolor paintings on paper depict ad-hoc structures constructed out of scraps of wood and debris such as bent nails, string, cloth, clothespins, discarded tools and other household implements. Evoking the universal human desire for shelter and protection, these assemblages reference domestic spaces, but fail to function as those spaces normally would. Whether it’s through the dispersion and fragmentation of objects and materials in the small “School Days” drawings or through the decay of structures in the larger paintings, the work shows the accumulated effects of time on objects and our environment.
Lambert’s use of color washes and highly pigmented grounds with muted hues create a harmony of and rhythm that competes for the visual space of each piece. Within this optical tension ones eye moves from the foreground to the back as if objects are suspended in a thick soup of color. In “Sink” a ramshackle edifice is erected on the trunks of of three small trees. Wooden mounts support a bathroom sink. One of the faucets has fallen onto another crude shelf, and to the other side of the sink four nails support toothbrushes. The nails securing the pieces are all bent and crooked and the boards are tied together with rope, mimicking the shapes of the natural elements in the trees. Butterflies float and rest on the boards, shelf, sink and ropes. This whole tableau seems to have been abandoned, and retaken by nature.
This feeling of deterioration is emblematic of the slow decline of memory. At the same time, the constructions become a metaphor for how we assemble fragments of the past into some kind of understandable form and how that undertaking is an ongoing process of constant revision. They reflect the generative and reconstructive action of memory. The absence of an active subject building the environment suggests that this could be an unconscious activity, as if memory is working against the impersonal processes of deterioration.
Jesse Lambert received a BFA from Cooper Union and a MFA in Painting from Hunter College. He attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. He has attended residencies at the Vermont Studio School in Johnson, Vermont and the Armenian Center for Contemporary Experimental Art in Yerevan, Armenia. Jesse's exhibitions have been reviewed onHyperallergic.com, artnet.com, in the The New York Times, The Boston Globe, The Brooklyn Rail, The Yale Daily News and The Aravot Daily, Yerevan, Armenia. He was featured in New American Paintings #32.