jim lambie: as complex as it gets

One of the most interesting visual artists of recent times. Born in 1964, Scottish, artist and DJ. His works are in the most international museums around the globe, justifiably so I would say.  I personally got to know Lambie’s works at MIART 2023 in the booth of gallery owner Franco Noero and, like all laymen of the subject, I allow myself to give an opinion.

Long live complex, performative and objectionable art, long live vinyl, music and carrots.

It is time to sit down and think about the fact that art is constantly developing and evolving, this is not clear to everyone, but it is the first step that needs to be taken in order to be able to think about contemporary art, which many times is a ready-made meal for the collector and other times a bland soup, which is not the case with Jim.

Complex, like many sculptures and performances, the art that Jim Lambie proposes must also be reasoned with, because it is industrial pop, very musical and certainly psychedelic. The sculptures are made up of many elements that beautifully express the combination of music and pop, as do the installations. Lambie enters a small room or a stand at a trade fair and transforms that place into his world, which is also ours, he conditions the spaces by changing the shape and colour of the floors, which become smaller or larger depending on what you want to see, once you are inside you are totally immersed in an interactive world of super music and industry perceivable only by observing the colours on the floors, objects on the walls, vinyls and vegetables on the shelves, the whole thing is surreal and when you perceive the sense of it and the silent musicality intoxicates your mind you think you are at a concert of some alternative pop band from the 80s.

Very interesting is the work with the carrots which, if bought, needs a guide on how to arrange them in one’s collection, the carrots are 18 or 14 it depends and must be changed once they rot, the shelf on which they are to be placed must have a given size and the patch of colour, not being reproducible in the same way every time even by Lambie, must be done at the free discretion of the collector. To hush up the useless controversy, the work can be bought and kept in a box so as not to waste the carrots, certainly an ethically understandable sacrifice but one that takes away the beauty of having a living work that forces you to take care of it like a pet. 

Jim Lambie is an artist who can only be for gallery owners who grasp his genius and who do not look for easy money, after all we know that sculpture in itself is not easy to sell, let alone contemporary sculpture.

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