A skull smoking a cigarette, an oversized duck laying an egg, and a smiling butterfly. These are the eccentric visions of Belgian artist Joachim Lambrechts who plays with composition and form to evoke a sense of childlike joy and spontaneity. While the artist typically employs a vibrant colour palette, his latest solo exhibition at Kristin Hjellegjerde Gallery, London, entitled Siluetas, presents a bold new series of textural, monochromatic works, marking a new found confidence and aesthetic purity.
Lambrechts’ practice embraces and celebrates free creative expression. He never plans his compositions, instead preferring to allow the image to reveal itself through the act of mark-making. Although this new series of black and white paintings expresses a certain restraint, the images retain a powerful sense of dynamism which reflects the artist’s spontaneous process. With these works, he began by pasting pieces of coloured paper onto the canvas to create a sense of texture and depth before applying layers of black paint. Wide brush strokes and lines of white paint were then used to delineate the outlines of objects and animals so that from a distance they appear as silhouettes or shadows, while closer inspection reveals flashes of colour breaking through the surface where the artist has scratched or scraped away the paint. This creates a palpable tension between mark making and erasure, movement and stillness, artistic abandon and creative control.