"Color Harmonies" presents a selection of new paintings by the British artist Chloë Lamb, her fist solo exhibition at Hollis Taggart Galleries. As a painter, Lamb delights in surface and process, working intuitively to create richly layered compositions. Her stated goal and constant challenge is to balance these complex compositions with structural simplicity, thereby creating an overall sense of order. Many of these new canvases sport a nearly architectural feel, with bold, sensual color held in place by strong, structuring line. Yet Lamb’s passion for color remains apparent in deep brick reds, strong shining yellows, and transcendent blues. Lamb works instinctually with her materials, progressing without forethought to allow each canvas to evolve organically, in a way conjuring her compositions from the materiality of paint itself.
Lamb’s process involves building up complex areas of paint across the canvas and gradually simplifying, letting the composition slowly settle into a cohesive whole. Working while the paint is still wet, the artist scrapes and rubs off layers of surface, rebuilding them to create a greater depth of color and structure. Throughout, Lamb plays with levels of transparency and opacity but also with negative space, which she considers crucial to a painting’s success, allowing for “space and air,” as she says. This transformation leaves a ghost trace of previous brushstrokes, creating an integral structure of underlayers that gird the remaining surface. The resulting work contains a depth that allows the viewer to sink into the painting, exploring its present for hints of its past.
Lamb was born in 1960 and grew up in Wiltshire, England. The artist studied at the Heatherly School of Fine Art and the Lydgate Art Research Center. She currently lives and works in Hampshire and exhibits regularly in both the U.S. and the U.K.