Peter Lamb (b.1973 London) lives and works in London, UK.
Graduating from Camberwell College of Arts in 1996, Peter has exhibited nationally and internationally over the last 25 years with recent exhibitions in Iceland, Usa and The Netherlands. Recent exhibitions include: The Contact Layer, Stewart Hall, Pictura Festival, Montreal; 40th anniversary exhibition, Gallery Corridor, Reykjavik (Touring to the National Gallery, Reykjavik January 2022); YesAnd, MOCA, London; Lucky Coincidence, Gallery Sign, Reykjavik (solo); Redoubling, Torrance Art Museum, California (solo); Destroyed by Shadows, Liverpool Hope University, Liverpool.
His work is held in Amex Group, Deutsche Bank, Iceland Air, The John Jones Collection, Pori Art Museum, Schloss Leinzell Collection, KRC collection and various private collections.
Can you tell me about your practice? How do you get started on a piece of work?
Over the years, I have collated a large bank of photographic images to work from, with each photo being in some way connected to the previous one.
This process began about 11 years ago when I would document the fallout from previous painting attempts - marks on the wall or floor of my studio - and use these as painterly photographic grounds for future works.
I am intrigued by the extents in which you can push the work to a breaking point and beyond and then spend time reassembling and attempting to breathe life back into them.
Who are your biggest influences?
Rauschenburg’s recent show of 1990’s silk-screened photographic work at Thaddaeus Ropac Gallery still looks as fresh as ever. Also, writers such as Italo Calvino and Paul Auster.
How important is photography and print media to your practice?
They are tools of digital reproduction which I can use as a mirror to my painting practice. The photographic documentation helps reimagine the ground to the next painting attempt, whereas digital printing helps add a painterly speed and momentum.
I see the photography/printing as a left hand and painting as the right. With the idea being you jostle them all together to an extent that you might achieve a kind of ignition and then an orchestration of the layered components. Each element becoming more than the sum of their parts.
How important is material in your work?
The photographic and print processes can flatten out and empty the painting to an extent where they are deadened and lifeless. Yet the materiality often remains in the layers of previous painterly imagery such as piles of pixelated powder paint. Often, I will cut and stitch the works back together. The idea in my painting ‘In a dead man’s float’, was to have high-res prints on synthetic canvas taken from micro details of previous digital paintings and then collage, fuse, collide the works back over one another, like extreme pinch points.
What is your most important tool? Is there something you can’t live without in your studio?
My new Epson stylus pro printer. I can make 2m wide digital prints all from the comfort of my studio!
Can you give us a book recommendation that has been important in your practice? And tell us why it’s important.
Italo Calvino’s ‘Mr Palomar’. I can simply open a page and find a word or sentence that I can use or relate to my work. It’s a beautiful book with endless, enveloping flows and ripples that remind me to keep the edges open in each work I make.
Finally, is there anything new coming up that you would like to tell us about?
40th anniversary exhibition, Gallery Corridor, Reykjavik
Touring to the National Gallery, Reykjavik, January 2022
A consignment of a new large scale painting for the relaunch of https://hosb.org.uk/ alongside the release of a limited edition print.
I am curating a show Frozen Assets/Material Gains at http://www.artmoorhouse.com/ in July 2021.
Signi-fiance, Carpenters Wharf Studios, London
In a dead mans float, 2017, digital print on synthetic canvas, 162x333cm
Sphere with 2 handles, 2017, digital print on synthetic canvas, aluminium subframe, 200x134cm
Behind the pyramid, 2020, digital print on canvases, aluminium subframes, 265x200cm
Furrows in which satellites rotate, 2017, digital print on synthetic canvas, aluminium subframe, 119x80cm
In a dead mans float, 2015, digital print on synthetic canvas, 333 x 200cm
Studio shot May 2021
All images courtesy of the artist