deluge contemporary art

January 25 to March 2, 2019

Night Moves

Todd Lambeth

Opening Friday, January 25, 7 to 10pm

Artist Talk: Saturday, February 16, 3pm

Night Moves is a series of paintings that investigates the abstract relationship between space and colour. Influenced by Cubism, hard-edged Modernist painting, comic books and candy wrappers, the colours in these paintings reference the world of advertising and design. These visually stimulating works express the artist’s interest in perceptions of pictorial space and are a direct response to the proliferation of digital imagery and imaging technology.

Combining manual and digital techniques, Lambeth’s paintings are initially designed as collages on a laptop and are translated in the studio directly from the glowing screen of a tablet. Through applications of contrasting regions of flatly applied paint, this optically challenging work presents areas of unfixed space, where the figure-ground relationships appear to flip and the viewer’s sense of space is questioned. Like the famously ambiguous picture known as "One Vase/Two Faces"* in which the figure and ground switch places, Lambeth’s paintings elicit a similar visual phenomenon where these relationships are not permanent, but transitory.

Lambeth combines the organic with the structure and rigidity of the grid. He flirts with the viewer by providing them with almost fully-rendered plant forms, but before they can completely register these biological shapes, the imagery slips back into the architectural network of the painting’s digital origins. Further emphasizing the synthetic qualities of his work and distancing himself from the painterly gesture, Lambeth meticulously applies crisp layers of flat colour, contrasting the quick gestures of his digital sources through the slowness of the medium of paint.

These paintings explore optical perceptions of space. Emphasizing the formal properties of structure and design, Lambeth’s images present the viewer with a sense of visual pleasure. With their bright, welcoming colours and forms the paintings in Night Moves foreground ideas of beauty and express Lambeth’s desire to create optimistic works that distract the viewer from the difficult times in which we live.

* Mitchell, W.J.T. "Foundational Sites and Occupied Spaces." Image Science Iconology, Visual Culture and Media Aesthetics, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2015. p.158.

Todd Lambeth was born in Calgary, Alberta and currently lives in Victoria, British Columbia. He studied visual art at the Ontario College of Art and Design and received his MFA in studio art from the University of Victoria where he currently teaches drawing and painting. His work has been exhibited across Canada in both commercial galleries and artist-run centres. In recent years he has participated in exhibitions at The Penticton Art Gallery (Penticton, BC), Open Space Arts Society (Victoria, BC) and Chernoff Fine Art (Vancouver, BC). Lambeth is the recipient of numerous grants and awards, and his work is held in private, corporate and public collections including the Alberta Art Foundation, Nordstrom and Shell Canada.
Fire (Johnny Storm), Todd Lambeth, 2018, acrylic on canvas, 70x52.5"