BOSTON, MA.-Artist Jim Lambie has turned 50 ordinary chairs into one extraordinary work of art when he debuted his site-specific installation at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (MFA), for RSVP: Jim Lambie. The chairs, sliced in halfsome painted in pulsating colors, some covered with broken mirrors, and some with objects attached animate the Museums public space with a rhythmic and kaleidoscopic energy. Lambies installation is part of the series RSVPmfa in which artists are invited to respond to, and work among, the exceptional collections, architecture, and grounds of the Museum of Fine Arts with creations that extend beyond the traditional gallery. For this project, specifically designed for the MFA, the artist installed a group of chairs emerging from the expansive first floor Galleria wall of the I.M. Peidesigned West Wing. Lambie and his assistants began installation of his work the week of November 5 and complete it by November 10. RSVP: Jim Lambie will be on view through May 25, 2008. It is made possible by The Contemporaries, MFA art enthusiasts whose generous donations directly support the Museums Department of Contemporary Art.
Jim takes what others normally overlook and creates visually dynamic and vibrant works which reference contemporary culture, but are linked to the history of artMarcel Duchamp, Arte Povera, and Op Art, among others said William Stover, assistant curator in the Department of Contemporary Art, and curator for RSVP: Jim Lambie.
Renowned for his works that have been described as an exhilarating giddiness combined with a perfect sense of form, Lambie takes the everyday ephemera of modern lifeduct tape, turntables, speakers, doors, clothing, and mattresses found on the streets near his Glasgow studio, as well as those sourced in second-hand shops and hardware storesand turns them into vibrant sculptures and site-specific installations that champion sensory pleasure over intellectual response. Some objects to be included in the piece will be found in thrift shops and junk stores in Boston during the artists time here. Although Lambie has designed groupings of chairs in previous installations, the MFA creation is his largest and most ambitious work using this motif. Often, Lambies projects are devised in relation to a specific space, and are a reflection of careful planning and yet shaped by a series of intuitive and spontaneous decisions made during installation. If the work isnt made entirely in the space, its put together in the space, Lambie confirms. The conceptual basis for the piece was there in my head, and the conceptual base in terms of the materials I wanted to use was there, but then for the art part of it I had to run about for two days gathering materials up and work out the best way to put those materials together.
A native of Scotland (born in 1964), Lambies creativity is rooted in Glasgow and its music scene, where he played in a band and DJs. His years at the Glasgow School of Art also provided a strong influence, offering him opportunities to explore a variety of media, thereby making edges disappear and giving him the freedom to break down divisions between sculpture and other modes of expression. Lambie, a 2005 Turner Prize finalist, is also known for his ongoing installation series Zobop (1999), which features psychedelic, undulating floor works using vinyl tape (in vibrant colors, or simple black and white) to faithfully mirror the parameters of a room or a staircase (Tate St. Ives, Modern Art Oxford, and Tate Britains Duveen Gallery). His distinctive, playful transformations have been described by cultural commentators as visual arts equivalent of glam rock and optical fizz.
RSVPmfa was launched by the MFA in 2000 as an invitational series featuring site-specific installations by rising stars of the contemporary art world. It began with RSVP: Jonathan Borofsky (2000), and later continued with RSVP: Sarah Sze (2002). RSVP: Jim Lambie is the third installation in this series.