Beyond decoration

A preview of Providence painter Kirstin Lamb’s show, Floral Remix, at the Jennifer Terzian Gallery in Litchfield, Conn.

"After French Wallpaper with Red Scribbles" 2022, acrylic and acrylic gouache on printed canvas on panel [in progress], 50” x 42”

“After French Wallpaper with Red Scribbles” 2022, acrylic and acrylic gouache on printed canvas on panel [in progress], 50” x 42”

PROVIDENCE – Providence painter Kirstin Lamb’s early paintings were mushrooming accumulations of appropriated images that grew out of the history of domestic décor, portraiture and still life.

Rendered in a style of artless caricature that masked her superior drafting skill, the encyclopedic scope of her imagery always suggested richer undercurrents.

Lamb’s early paintings and drawings reflected the vanitas tradition of Dutch Master still life. She tossed in every kind of object or image that might grace a home or studio’s walls, complicating these collections with her own striped and dotted abstract designs and further adding repetitive textile patterns and floral displays copied from collected ephemera, historical compilations of home décor, and reference works on domestic and feminine-identified crafts.

These led to burgeoning 3-D installations in the studio of individual works and groupings copied from her walls. Some hung salon-style, others were stacked against the wall or spilled onto the floor. The installations of pictures in her studio projecting into three dimensions induced the nausea of an infinite regress. [I curated one such installation in an exhibition studying women artists’ critique of the domestic sphere at the Art Complex Museum at Duxbury in 2017.] Read Full Article