Scottish artist Jim Lambie is the third artist to participate in the series RSVPmfa, in which the Museum invites artists to consider the extraordinary collections, architecture, and grounds that comprise the Museum of Fine Arts as a background for the installation of their work.
Lambie transforms ordinary objects—vinyl tape, turntables, speakers, doors, mirrors, clothing, chairs—that he finds on the street or buys in secondhand and hardware stores into vibrant sculptures and site-specific installations. Lambie champions sensory pleasure over intellectual response, approaching his work with a simplicity and straightforwardness of form and material. “I’m not an information artist, I’m not like a schoolteacher, I’m just working with materials,” says Lambie, who experiments with space and form in a way that breaks with traditional notions of elegance, deploying humble materials to create objects and installations that challenge the high-tech, high-brow aesthetics common to much of contemporary art and design.
Lambie redefines the shapes and relationships of the materials he uses without veering too far away from simply letting them be what they are. Like music, which serves as an artistic model for him, Lambie’s art fills its surroundings and transforms the environment: “You put a record on, and it’s like all the edges disappear. You’re in a psychological space. You don’t sit there thinking about the music, you’re listening to the music. You’re inside that space that the music’s making for you.” In Jim Lambie’s hands, ordinary objects are transformed into powerful, enigmatic, and compelling environments where the edges disappear and the space he makes is for you.
This exhibition made possible by The Contemporaries, whose generous donations directly support the Museum’s Department of Contemporary Art.