Artist Spotlight: Chyrum Lambert

Anna Buckner


I recently finished the last lemon in my fridge and casually tossed the yellow, plastic mesh sack in the trash. Unburdened by the weight of the fruit, the sack adopted its own shape, catching the light in some places and creating value variations where it doubled over. I took the sack out of the trash and pinned it on the wall alongside paintings by Greg Burak and Maddy Winter. On the wall the sack had transformed – undistracted by its utility, I could recognize the intricacies of the mesh and the subtlety of color.

This is what I love about Chryum Lambert’s work. There is uncertainty in his process, imagery and even medium – but it is simultaneously as familiar as a lemon sack. With uncertainty comes awareness. We look more closely. Notice more. Chyrum’s works are perfectly unresolved, and that’s precisely why they are so stirring.

Because I know a lot of readers are interested in talking shop, I’m going to share an excerpt from an email exchange I had with Chyrum. You’re welcome.

I get asked about my process often as it can be hard to tell from photos of my work just how they’re made. I work primarily on paper that’s been mounted to wooden panels(that I construct myself). I paint- using acrylic, oil, dye, ink wash, wax, onto large sheets of paper or fabric(muslin, cotton, denim). The paper/fabric is then cut, rearranged, and adhered onto the panels. So really the process of painting and the process of composing the images have been completely separated whereas in a more traditional painting approach these processes are one and the same. And I work in two different studios, one for each process, so the painting process never really gets involved in the compositional process and vice versa. I paint a lot and have quite the backlog of colors and textures, some are years old before I finally get around to using them in a composition, so the rediscovery of the shapes I cut out of the abstracted paintings make the process more like I am uncovering something new and not necessarily from myself. This helps I think in that I’m looking at the material I’m using with relatively fresh eyes. Makes me look harder at my own process.

Self-taught, Chyrum Lambert, lives and works in LA. His work is featured on Grizzly Bear’s newest album, Painted Ruins, to be released in August. This seems like a marriage that could last. Like Grizzly Bear, Chryum’s compositions are painstakingly detailed, yet effortless and full of emotion. Both gorgeous on the surface and rich with surprises as you dive deeper. And I’m diving.


40 x 52 inches
ink wash, acrylic paint, pencil, collage material, hand painted, cut, and adhered onto an 80 lb cover sheet

CL5Parts And Labor ( YES WE CAN )
40 x 26 inches
ink wash, oil paint, wax,
acrylic paint, pencil, rit dye, rust wash, hand painted, cut, and adhered onto an 80 lb cover sheet


26 x 40 inches
ink wash, pencil,
acrylic paint, rit dye, hand painted, cut, and adhered onto an 80 lb cover sheet

CL3Towards Our Bathroom Mirror, A Fang Is Growing
26 x 40 inches
ink wash, acrylic paint, pencil, dye, muslin, wax, hand painted, cut, and adhered onto an 80 lb cover sheet



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