Born and raised near Mount Rainier in Washington state, Chyrum Lambert deeply misses the forest of his youth. Without conscious effort, his work reflects a reverence for nature. Through a lush color palette and breathing vernacular, he summons intimations of stone, leafy overgrowth, fire, and ambient fog. Oddly, Lambert’s work does not contain any representational imagery. Instead, the artist recontextualizes these primordial elements through ecosystem-like structures that illustrate the connections between forms and states of existence. In the words of the artist: “Sometimes what is hidden is more reliant on the one looking rather than the object being looked at. A belief of mine is that looking can be a type of changing—if one points their attention in the right direction.” Prioritizing exploration as a key tenet of his practice, Lambert’s biological altars provoke a fundamental desire to discover that which is beyond the horizon.

His process begins with a meditative approach to painting, a raw mark-making of sorts, focusing on texture and color, using a slew of different media, often stumbling upon happy accidents. Lambert completely separates constructing his collaged compositions from the physical act of painting textures, instead clearing his mind and reveling in the satisfaction of pushing pigment across a welcoming surface of paper. Lambert is drawn to high-contrast jumps in color and is particularly concerned with opalescence and tonal value, taking great pleasure in influencing his materials in order to extract their unique characteristics. Drawing from a massive collection created over a period of years, the artist reuses and retires his painted surfaces as he sees fit.

Lambert arrived at his unique methodology as a means to mitigate the innate fear that accompanies all creative acts. By compartmentalizing the act of painting from constructing, he maximizes spontaneity without sacrificing control. When he’s ready to focus on a singular work, Lambert carefully extracts desired shapes, sometimes cutting out dozens of delicate arrangements for one piece. While undefined, the forms that populate these pieces exist at the edge of recognition, somehow a cross between knowing what it is and not knowing at all. Attracted to ambiguous forms that oscillate between abstract and familiar, the artist seeks to create images that challenge or defy the rules of known logic.

Winnowing figures from an ether of watercolor washes and acrylic brushstrokes, Lambert animates these forms across mounted paper on a self-made wooden board. The artist seeks resolution through contemplation and play, using painters-tape to rearrange and pose the collage elements before gluing them in place upon his cream, and now black colored stage. This ever-evolving process is beholden to the artist’s unconscious. Repetitive, glyph-like symbols, added in colored pencil, serve as navigational tools for the artist as much as the viewer. The artist describes the action as purely reactive, forcing him to slow down and relinquish control of his creation. As if whispering a spell, Lambert’s works often display illegible characters, rune-like textual fields, somewhat like mystic debris or evidence of the ritual of creation. Lambert writes,

“...for something like an image of fire, to appear hot like a flame, but also add to what that flame emotes…and if successful, create a space where the basic assumptions about the orthodoxy of these objects can be questioned according to the needs of those who look.”


Born in 1980 near Tacoma, Washington, Chryrum Lambert is a self-taught artist who lives and works in Los Angeles, CA. Using a unique process that blurs the line between collage and traditional painting, Lambert creates forms that ambiguously oscillate between completely abstract and vaguely familiar. Lambert begins each piece with raw mark-making on paper before carefully extracting his brushstrokes in their organic shapes, eventually reassembling the pieces upon his signature surface consisting of cream-colored paper mounted on handmade wood panels. Drawn to dynamic, high-contrast jumps in color and particularly concerned with texture and tonal value, the artist takes great pleasure in altering and affecting his materials in order to extract their unique characteristics. More than anything, Lambert is interested in images that are in transition: growth, decay, signs of age or change, these are the qualities the artist seeks to embody through his work.    


Internationally published and exhibited, Lambert has shown at Palazzo Monti, Italy; Underdonk, New York; DTN Gallery, New York; Ed. Varie, New York; Charlie James Gallery, Los Angeles; Hashimoto Contemporary, San Francisco; Independent Art Book Fair New York and Untitled Miami Beach Art Fairs among others. Lambert's work has been written about in New American Paintings; Artsy; The Wild Magazine; Juxtapoz Magazine; The Last Magazine; Sight Unseen; It's Nice That; and Paper Magazine amongst others.

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