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Kirstin Lamb

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Birth year


Brown University, 2001, BA
RISD (Rhode Island School of Design), 2005, MFA

Representing galleries
in Lincoln, Nebraska, Darger HQ



The studio is full of props.  I collect skulls, taxidermy, ribbons, fabric, vintage photographs and paper ephemera.   I organize these objects and stage compositions. 

I create abstract pictures and portraits, large and small, to add to the still life objects staged in space.  My recent work features both acrylic prop-paintings and miniature gouache paintings informed by the arrangements of these props.

 The miniature gouache paintings depict pictures of pictures or salon images. These pictures are derived from a fascination with Vanitas still life, cabinets of curiosity, and paintings of paintings ranging from Matisse's Red Studio to David Teniers' depictions of the collection of Archduke Leopold of Austria.  I am interested in how paintings retain their relevance by taking on ideas of death of painting or a kind of comedic curation-as-painting.

 The prop paintings are primarily abstract, though some are awkward genre pictures, ham-fisted portraits and sometimes landscapes. I confront the doubt so prevalent in painting by channeling the narrative content of my work through a distended process of accumulating not only imagery but multiple surfaces and frames within the one composition.

Over the past year I have dedicated myself to a series of arrangements of paintings in space.  I lean pictures on top of one another, hide one patterned canvas beneath another laden with similarly heavy pattern, or stack pictures on top of painted rugs.  I have made hide rugs and begun to make wall treatments, all hand painted.  In addition to rugs and patterned works I include portraits, floral flights of fancy, images reminiscent of sweaters, color wheels, or Pennsylvania Dutch Hex Signs.  There is a kind of demented devotion to hand painting every last detail.

In my most recent installation, the Pattern Room, the hand-painted props have overtaken a wall in pattern and sweetness.  Each gridded canvas is meant to evoke a sweater pattern or embroidery.  I reintroduce the traditionally feminine lap-crafted originals as less diminutive cherished objects and more a billboard for the feeling of a handmade and intimate craft, here restaged in paint. The girlish whimsy of pinks and saccharine decorative marks gives way to sardonic text and lonely pinups and portraits.  I want to both overwhelm and overfeed with sweetness and also quietly chastise that impulse and its attendant guilt.  I’m hoping for a kind of stifling, claustrophobic saccharine space, intimating that maturing into my gendered role was not all I’d hoped for or all I was promised.




Recent Exhibits

Kirstin Lamb participated in these exhibits:

Oct, 2015 The Pattern Room / Kirstin Lamb
Bunker Projects
May, 2015 Lincoln Country Club Show
Darger HQ
Mar, 2015 Love and Loss: Fashion and Mortality
LENTOS Kunstmuseum Linz
Apr, 2014 Kitsch-In Exhibition
Root Division
Jan, 2011 Insatiable: Our Rapacious Appetite for More
Kniznick Gallery, Women's Studies Research Center, Brandeis University
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