Kirstin Lamb

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The Pattern Room, 2015 Acrylic And Gouache On Canvas And Linen With Upholstery Tacks Variable © Kirstin Lamb
Detail of The Pattern Room, 2015 Acrylic And Gouache On Canvas, Linen, And Panel With Upholstery Tacks Variable © Kirstin Lamb
Selfie with Cat Ears, 2015 Gouache And Acrylic On Panel And Linen With Shelf, Oilcloth And Upholstery Tacks Variable © Kirstin Lamb
Girly Show / Pink Props, 2014 Acrylic On Canvas And Board Variable © Kirstin Lamb
Selfie as Heap, 2014 Acrylic, Gouache And Oil On Linen, Canvas And Board Variable © Kirstin Lamb
Bitch Please, 2015 Gouache 8 X 10 In © Kirstin Lamb
Studio Wall with Flowers, 2015 Gouache On Paper On Panel 8 X 10in © Kirstin Lamb
Zebra Rug, Hex and Other Props, 2014 Acrylic And Gouache On Panel And Canvas Variable © Kirstin Lamb
Arrangement, 2015 Gouache On Paper On Panel 8 X 10 Inches
Studio with Props, 2015 Gouache On Paper On Panel 9 X 12 Inches
Picture of pictures in an Interior, 2013 Gouache On Paper On Board 10 X 20 Inches © Kirstin Lamb
Venom, 2014 Gouache On Paper On Panel 16 X 20 Inches
Glamour and Charts, 2011 Gouache On Paper On Board 12 X 12 Inches
Pattern and Display, 2012 Gouache On Paper On Board 20 X 20 Inches
Damn Romantic, 2012 Gouache On Paper On Board 20 X 20 Inches
Ennui, 2011 Gouache On Paper On Board 12 X 12 Inches
Better Materialists, 2008 Gouache On Paper 12 X 12 In © Kirstin Lamb, photographed by Karen Philippi
Quick Facts
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.




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