For Television, his fourth show at Sadie Coles HQ, Jim Lambie transforms the gallery into an engulfing optical environment. Influenced by everything from Op Art to junk to rock and roll, the exhibition quite literally swallows up visitors—in a good way.
Television acts as a super-installation, no artwork taking precedent over the other, and all working together to give viewers a chance to experience Lambie’s art, rather than simply seeing it. His work is invasive, almost confrontational—forcing viewers to engage and re-examine the parameters of the gallery space. The exhibition has viewers treading across The Strokes, a full-floor vinyl tape installation, in and between smaller sculptural works. Sonic Reducers, concrete blocks containing record spines, jut out of the floor at odd angles and steel chair sculptures are placed haphazardly throughout the room. Some seem to be melting, others broken, and upon closer examination, are all uniquely crafted from metal belts.
On the walls are eight new collage works, which combine photographic images of rock stars with beautifully painted flowers. In Gypsy (Stevie Nicks) (2008), viewers can barely see her eyes gazing out from beneath layer upon layer of vibrantly colored petals. The still-life aesthetic provides an interesting contrast to the fluorescent orange and pink of the tape on the floor and seen alone, the collages are both black and white and color, photograph and oil paint. They are what would happen if an 18th century flower painter had a 21st century rock star crush. Bob Dylan, Grace Jones and Patti Smith also get worked-over.
Television is about disruption. It is about broken lines and cracked mirrors. It is very pop culture, very rock and roll, and an experience not to miss.
-- Ashley Vaughan
All Images © Jim Lambie; Courtesy Sadie Coles HQ, London
(Images from top to bottom: Untitled 2008, Jim Lambie, Courtesy Sadie Coles HQ London; Pretty Flowers 2008, Jim Lambie, Courtesy Sadie Coles HQ London.)