As an artist, sculptor, philosopher, and unstoppable globe-trotting dynamo, Matt Lamb was one of the most intriguing, confounding, pigeonhole-defying phenomena in contemporary art.
The intensity of his colors, the topographic sensuality of his surfaces, and the freedom of his gesture have been hailed in publications such as ARTnews, The Times of London, and The Miami Herald as well as celebrated in exhibitions at:
- The State Russian Museum (St. Petersburg)
- Centre-Picasso (Horta, Spain)
- Centre Joan Miró (Mont-roig, Spain)
- Westminster Cathedral (London)
- Espace Pierre Cardin (Paris)
- Museo di Sant’Apollonia (Venice), and
- The Vatican Museums of Modern Art.
“an artist who celebrates life with big, free shapes and unabashed color,”
Art critic and television personality – Sister Wendy Beckett
“a hymn to universal forces… seizing the viewer with freewheeling, joyous movement and exuberant, earthy colors.”
“a complete, authentic artist and, I daresay, a genius.”
Celebrated Spanish curator – Dr. Josep Felix Bentz
An Irish-American born in Chicago in 1932, Lamb had a successful career as an entrepreneur before a brush with death at the age of 51 led him to reevaluate his priorities, sell his businesses, and dedicate the remainder of his years to art. However, aspects of his business life (he was CEO of Chicago’s largest family-run funeral home franchise) continued to haunt his mysterious paintings, which teem with wraith-like creatures that Lamb calls “spirits speaking to us from the other side.”
By turns whimsical á la Marc Chagall and fearsome á la Jean Dubuffet, Lamb’s paintings are born of a secretive, proprietary process known as “The Dip,” wherein he suffuses canvases and panels in an alchemical mixture of corrosive, mutually repellant materials. As they dry over a period of months or years, these materials pool and pucker into lustrous, craggy surfaces.
Lamb works obsessively and prolifically in his studios in Chicago, Wisconsin, Florida, Ireland, France, Germany, and Argentina, and continues to divide his artistic output between figurative, abstract, and semi-abstract modes.
Artist and Peace Activist
A tireless activist for world peace, Lamb augments his art career with various projects that advance his personal mantra of “Peace, Tolerance, Understanding, Hope, and Love.” Through his Umbrellas for PeaceSM program, he has instilled these values in tens of thousands of schoolchildren around the globe, using art as a metaphor for acceptance.
Lamb has organized peace seminars, rallies, and other initiatives to promote harmony between members of different religious faiths. He has painted the interiors of entire Christian churches in five countries, but his work also resides in the collections of the Grand Mosque of Paris and the Spertus Museum of Judaica.
Today, with his wife Rose at his side, he travels widely, spreading a message of optimism and empowerment through his personal appearances and his sumptuous, singularly gripping art.
— Richard Speer, author of Matt Lamb: The Art of Success (John Wiley & Sons, 2005) -