From Andrew Frost…
The reduction of things to their essentials can reveal a truth camouflaged by all the little extras. In Joanna Lamb’s latest show she has reduced her colour palette to 15 colours and set about, once again, reproducing variations on a theme. If you’ve seen her previous exhibitions you’ll know Lamb as the painter who had made the exteriors of suburbia her own, certainly in the same neck of the woods as Arkley Estate and Opie Towers, but for Lamb the homes and high-rises of the sprawl were ready-made abstractions awaiting her attention. She produced paintings of town houses, airports and homes before turning her attention to interiors.
In 15 Colour Series, Lamb’s new interiors have that familiar good livin’ tang of colour brochures and real estate web sites, everything arranged just so, looking remarkably chic but also retro and backwards, like one of those schematic rolling backgrounds in a Sylvester and Tweetie cartoon. With the repetition turned up to max, the changes in tone and subject are the highlights, such as the two large-scale canvases of house exteriors and a brilliant tromp l’oeil swimming pool that quotes David Hockney but avoids pastiche. The truth is revealed – good taste is revolting.
Until July 13
Sullivan & Strumpf, Zetland
Pic: Joanna Lamb, Exterior: 15 Colours No. 2, 2013. Acrylic on canvas, 115x155cms. Courtesy the artist, Sullivan & Strumpf.