Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Alison Lambert

Plate XX
Job (2005)
Charcoal and pastel on paper 157 x 145 cm
A piece featured in Lambert's 2005 Emotion and Expression Exhibit

Depicting the “human condition” is the object of Alison Lambert’s desire (Jones). Lambert, a contemporary British artist born in 1957, creates pieces that serve as carriers of human identity (Dyer, McCarthy, and Racy p.7). The progression of Lambert’s work reflects her quest to achieve more expressive art. Lambert began as a painter at the Lanchester Polytechnic Coventry in the early eighties from where she received her Bachelor’s in Fine Arts (Pratt Contemporary Art Limited). Yet, inspired by the works of Diego Velasquez and Francisco Goya, she realized that “[one] can’t really paint figuratively without knowing how to draw (Jones).” Gradually, she exchanged her brushes and acrylic hues for charcoals and pastels.
Plate XIX
Prometheus (2005)
Charcoal and pastel on paper 157 x 147 cm
Also featured in the Emotion and Expression Exhibit
Throughout her career, Lambert’s pieces evolved from mythical dream-like beings to classical Grecian inspired figures to romantic Christian idealistic characters to her more recent expressive realism based images of human form (Dyer, McCarthy, and Racy p.3). Her study of the human figure established her reputation as one of the foremost British artist of her time.  She has been represented by the Jill George Gallery in London since 1999 (Pratt Contemporary Art Limited) and has pieces exhibited worldwide. (Dyer, McCarthy, and Racy p.3).  In 2001, she began her traveling retrospective exhibition at the Quay Art Centre on the Isle of Wright  and her solo exhibition a year later accompanied by a comprehensive book of her pieces entitled The Human Image. However,  it was her 2005 exhibition "Emotion and Expression" and 2008 exhibition "Face to Face"  that solidified her stake in the art world displaying her astounding ability to capture human presence through emotion (Jill George Gallery). Many audiences described Lambert’s work as “steeped in expression” (Jones), “unmasked, stripped of pretence, ideology and self-delusion (Dyer, McCarthy, and Racy p. xii).”
Cromus (2005)
Charcoal and pastel on paper 157 x 140 cm
Another piece a part of Lambert's groundbreaking 2005 exhibit
I chose Alison Lambert as my muse for this assignment not only for her incredibly graphic emotional pieces but also because she is an icon for young artistic females like myself. While searching in the library for an artist to write about for this project, it astonished me to discover that the majority of well known historical artists were male. Thus with this assignment I wanted to give a voice to those whose voices have been quieted for many years. Additionally, I decided to focus on a modern artist to debunk stereotypically notions that drawing is a thing of the past.
Plate  XVII
Saul (2005)
Charcoal and pastel on paper 157 x 147 cm
Also included in Emotion and Expression. Many of Lambert's pieces including those seen in this article contain fragmented surfaces and networks of expressive marks.  Lambert suggest these features  metaphorically represent the internal state of her subjects and the emotional journey she made in creating her works.

Works Cited:
Dyer, Alan, Peter McCarthy, and Ray Racy. Alison Lambert
Emotion and Expression. Coventry, UK: Coventry Canal
Basin Trust Ltd, 2005. xi-10. Print.

Jill George Gallery,"Alison Lambert. Emotion and Expression."
         Jill George Gallery Contemporary Art. Jill George Gallery,
         n.d. Web. 29 Feb 2012.

Jones, Matt. "Alison Lambert. Emotion and Expression." Now
Then. May 2011: n. page. Web. 29 Feb. 2012.

Pratt Contemporary Art Limited, . "Artist- Alison Lambert." Pratt
Contemporary. Pratt Contemporary Art Limited, 2012. Web.
29 Feb 2012.

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