Who is Jim Lambie?
Jim Lambie is a visual artist, sculptor, and musician. He is perhaps most famous for his colorful and mesmerizing floor tapestries. Lambie’s floor art is done using differently colored duct tape that runs in straight lines to form colorful repetitive patterns that change the visual dynamics of a space in a big way. For this, he uses everyday generic and contemporary objects and materials such as duct tape, ornaments, furniture, and record sleeves in his art.
How Lambie started his floor works
Lambie’s first work was a series of floor art that was titled Zobop, done as a solo exhibition at a showroom by the same name in London. For this work, Lambie used vinyl tape on the floor and stairs to create repetitive patterns using nine rotating hues.
The art was designed to conform to the architectural space, running along the edges of the rooms as well as hugging the square bases of the building’s columns. The first outline is done at the widest possible edge where the floor meets the wall. As the lines go towards the inside, their widths are alternated between thick and thin strips until the center of the room.
Creating a dreamscape
The Zobop works use concentric and straight line forms. The overall effect of the floor art transforms art spaces into an energetic space that is vibrating and pulsating. The visual effect can get confusing and disorienting to the unpracticed eye. According to Lambie, floor art is an attempt at creating a dreamscape. When looking at floor art like Zobop, the viewer sees so many edges that they seem to be dissolving. There is an illusion that the room is expanding in one moment, and contracting in the next. There is a sensation that the floor surface is dissolving and evaporating, just like in a dreamscape.
What inspired the artist
Lamble’s artwork draws inspiration from iconic figures in the art and music world, including Jimi Hendrix and David Bowie. One of the examples of these influences is in ‘England Dreaming’ which is an oil painting on printed paper.
Jim Lambie was born in Glasgow in 1964. He attended the Glasgow School of Art and then went on to become a man of many hats. But he is best known for his floor art. His works are eye-catching, altering the viewer’s experience of the architecture of art spaces and beyond. His work is largely influenced by his musical background, giving his works a Pop Art feel. His floor art has been described as changing the psychology of space. He has been awarded the Turner prize for his work Mental Oyster.
Photos: Museo Nacional de Arte, 2008
Photos: Martos Gallery, New York, 2013
Photos: The Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh, 2014
Photos: Royal Academy of Arts, London, 2015
Photos: Zabludowicz Collection, London, 2015
Photos: Anton Kern Gallery, New York, 2017
Photos: Galleria d’Arte Moderna Torino, 2017
Photos: Tate Liverpool, 2018
Anselm Kiefer’s abandoned 200-acre studio
German artist Anselm Kiefer has long maintained a studio at Barjac in southern France, where he assembled his large sculptures and painted some of his dark, disturbing canvases. Now he has abandoned the site, with the wish that it be allowed to “revert to nature.” People exploring the site have been struck by these towers, made of concrete slabs held rather tenuously together with steel cables and iron bars.
The lead up to He Xie (Crabs) – 河蟹
Artist Ai Weiwei, it seems, is always surrounded by controversy whether it is in relation to his visual masterpieces or his activism. Mr. Ai’s run-ins with the Chinese government have continued to border on dangerous but the revered artist is always willing to include these elements in his performance art. In 2010, Ai ran into the Chinese police in an unfortunate encounter whereby the local government tore down a large new studio that Ai had built in Shanghai as a result of ‘code violations’.
Before the studio was demolished, Ai hosted a dinner at the Shanghai studio, which he was barred by the government from attending, as a satirical nod to the studio’s planned destruction by the administration. The dinner was characterized by one of Ai’s most talked about installations- He Xie (crabs).
Jaehyo Lee – 0121-1110=193061, 1993, stones
Jaehyo Lee (b. 1965, Hapchen, South Korea) graduated in 1992 with a BFA from the Hong-Ik University in Seoul. Combining distinct traces of Land Art, Arte Povera and Minimalism Lee´s works cast a questioning eye over the roots of form, its function and its role within the natural world.
Lee´s works willfully play with the oft-contested boundaries between modern art and design, referencing the idealist´s cubes, cylinders and cones as perversions of the chaise longue, the coffee table, the lampshade, and even the humble doughnut. Revealing a subtly humorous and unsentimental attitude to nature, what unites these works is a belief that the beauty of art is a product of the labor from whence it comes, whether this be the meticulous carving of larch trunks into the form of a perfect sphere or, equally, the precise bending and sanding of thousands of nails hammered one after another into a hunk of cut lumber.
“Until recently, my work has been about combining wood with nails or steel bars and integrating them into geometrical shapes such as spheres, hemispheres, or cylinders. Whenever I did this, one of my problems was to keep the nails and bolts out of sight. Now, on the contrary, I put an emphasis on the nails themselves. I drive countless nails into wood, bend them, grind them, and make them protrude. I then burn the wood, blackening its growth ring records and its natural color. The glittering metallic nails on the black charcoal become ever more conspicuous, and through this process, I draw a picture on wood using nails. Those who make a hard living may be the ones who make this world a beautiful place. I certainly do not have the power to make it beautiful. I just hope to reveal the beauty in what is usually seen but not noticed. It may be a rusty bent nail. If you take a close look at it, however, you’ll find out how beautiful it can be.”
David Best’s London 1666
London is on fire! This is the scene that artist David Best desired to create when he came up with the idea dubbed ‘London 1666’. This is not the first time that David has created something that he would later burn but it is definitely the first in making a creation of such huge proportion. To bring to life the London 1666 project, and having enlisted the help of volunteers, David oversaw the construction of wooden structures that represent various buildings in London in the 17th century. The huge sculpture was not supposed to give a visual of how London looked like at the time, but to provide an image of the skyline. 2017 marked the 350th anniversary since the Great Fire of London and David Best has done his part in remembering the tragedy.
This expression, although not in words, told the story of the historic event. When you imagine the loss that was incurred by thousands of people then, what David is burning does not even come close to comparison. According to historical records, the fire consumed 13,200 houses, 44 livery halls, 87 churches and 400 streets. The wooden recreation was 120-metre long and comprised of 190 miniature buildings. Observers could see structures of churches, factories, homes and schools that were mounted on barges before being set ablaze to burn away as drifted the course of the Thames river.
Carsten Höller – Test Site, 2007, New Museum, New York – Exhibition: Experience, 2011
Carsten Höller is well known for playfully including his slide installations in major museums across the world. Höller, who is formerly a scientist with a degree in agronomy, is famous for repurposing components of the real world, such as slides, for art spaces. The majority of his works feature aesthetics that are relational, meaning that the projects created are inspired by the relationship that people have with their social contexts. The end result of Höller’s incredible work is an experience that resembles part playground and part lab, which is a crowd pleaser.
Alfredo Jaar – A Logo for America, 1987/2014, Times Square, New York, 1987
About Times Square, New York
The Times Square in New York is characterized by an epic display of contemporary consumerism; it is flooded with tourists from all regions of the world and filled with numerous electric billboards displaying services and a range of products for sale. If you are going to install an art exhibition, and a successful one at that, there is no better location that offers as much visibility as Times Square.