Thursday, October 3, 2013

Interview with Emily Noelle Lambert

Interview With an Artist: Emily Noelle Lambert 
Lower East Side Printshop

Emily Noelle Lambert is a current Keyholder Resident at the Lower East Side Printshop.

This interview was conducted by Oscar Montenegro and Paulina Beron, who spent the summer at the Printshop as part of the Studio In A School Internship Program.

How does color influence your artwork? Would you consider it an important aspect of your work? If so, why?

Color is one of the key elements in my work. I think about building with color and the interaction of colors together. Opacity and transparency of the color--that is my starting point. How a line can be delicate and tedious, gestural and weighty.

Do all of your pieces of artwork have a story or a theme behind them?

No, but there is the story behind the making of each piece and whatever kind of path and decisions I made that led me to creating that work. Many times, one body of work will be inspired by a place or a series of objects; so in the end, the story can be about a place, things in my life or in my mind, things that I find that inform the work. The themes change, but it’s all a reaction and processing of life. There is a nod to a diaristic expression, where the mark-making is almost a document of a piece of time.

Would you say there is any pressure or difficulty in attempting to organize sculptures, paintings and drawings into a harmonious exhibition?

I am not interested in having a harmonious exhibition. I want disharmony, but only as it exists as the flip-side of the coin to harmony. The two need one another.  I am always interested in the duality in the work, shadow and lightness. I love the challenge of trying to make dissimilar elements work together. I think all of my work starts as a problem and how I find my way through it is the invigorating part.  

What kind of artist would you consider yourself: impulsive, traditional, or experimental?

Do I have to choose?  All three. There is definitely an impulsive and intuitive approach. I try to keep experimenting to find something new with each work. In some ways, I’m very much traditional. I love color. I grew up looking at modern masters -- Vuillard, Picasso, Matisse, Diebenkorn, Avery, Dove. What drives me is to experiment more and work with different materials. And no doubt my painting feeds from impulse.

Do you approach sculpting in a different way from painting and drawing? What about these three practices motivate you to express your ideas in various forms?

There is a braiding between the three elements for me. All of these different practices help one another. I studied printmaking and painting in college. The reworking of intaglio prints informed my paintings. The sense of malleability stuck in my painting. So there’s something special about the impermanence of the imagery in printmaking which translated into my paintings. I started making sculpture because I was trying to rediscover painting. I wasn’t really enjoying my painting, and started to wonder what would happen if I put different things together in the dimensional world, off the flat canvas world. Instead of chasing down an image via painting, with sculpture I could find it tangible and in my hands; linking the physicality I was searching for in painting. Experimentation, freedom, and a sense of play was what I wanted to bring back to painting. I began to integrate pieces of wood and Styrofoam together and acted a little less precious about the process and just let it flow. The sculpture begins to feel more like painting; the color and the form which felt figurative in the beginning, now feels more abstract. They kind of go back and forth and right now, with printmaking, what I am loving thinking about the key elements in all of these practices. If I’m going to have this reduction of my practices across the board: the most important aspects starting with color, texture, and then trying to think how I can bring remnants of the outside world in, and bring elements of me into my work which is basically a collage.

Can you give us a brief summary of your career as an artist and possibly describe your experience in one word.

My mom made textile paintings with flying creatures, very inspired by the Pattern and Decoration movement of the 1970s.  My dad had a woodshop and built furniture and other odd things. As a student at Antioch College, I came to New York for an internship with Jane Hammond. I moved to NYC after college and began teaching for non-profit arts organizations in the Public Schools.  In 2007 I received my MFA from Hunter and am grateful to the huge supportive community that I met and that continues to nourish me. I am preparing for my fourth solo exhibition in New York at Lu Magnus on the Lower East Side. I am hoping to have a new print in the show as it will be all works on paper. One word to sum it all up: process.

Are there any other forms of art you would like to attempt in your art career?

I hope to work in many different media. I would like to do some public art work and I want to take a dance class!

How have artists such as Jackson Pollock, Lee Krasner, Willem and Elaine de Kooning, and the abstract expressionist movement influenced your artwork?

Well, their sense of freedom, responsiveness, and gestural abstraction inspired me to think about the language of line and how my intentions are visible through the brush strokes and how they create a language of mark-making, brush strokes, colors.
What aspect of the Lower East Side Printshop do you feel is unique among other non-profit organizations and how have you benefited from being a current Keyholder Resident?

It is a very supportive and inspiring environment. The professional development courses and salons with the Keyholders are really helpful. It has been great meeting and working with a new group of artists. I am enjoying more than I could have imagined working in the communal space. It is a refreshing change of pace from the privacy and solitude of my studio. As I mentioned before, the reduction of my practice into key elements and the use of these in developing a work that changes and becomes it’s own.

What is one color you haven’t used in your artwork so far and hope to use in the future?

I just bought some “Interference Blue,”  this morning I am excited to work with that today!

BONUS: Would you sketch or write a poem giving a hint about your next piece of artwork or theme of exhibition?

No comments:

Post a Comment