Current Works series:
Melissa Ann Lambert employs digital media and photographic elements in a painterly fashion, creating half-submerged half-worlds populated by elusive, febrile presences and potent, concentrated spectacles of pure -- or nearly pure -- light. Nothing is as it seems -- nor, as the Zen koan reminds us, is it otherwise."
- Peter Frank, writer
" Employing an arsenal of digital tools, Melissa Lambert mines a hallucinatory territory embedded with personal codes and signals that lend her dizzying, pixelated surfaces unusual depth."
- Michael Ned Holte, writer
"Melissa Ann Lambert is definitely in the inner worlds mode of Matta, Onslow-Ford, and Paalen. The blurring of inner and outer, micro and macro, she has that. Count me among her fans."
- William Sheehy, Latin American Masters Bergamot Station, gallery owner
"When I first met Melissa Lambert she presented a world to me that blocked out all others, and I received new dimension in my own life. I have collected and followed her work since 2005 and introduced her work to others, who have been as equally taken by her work.
"In a way I see her work relating to, say, the work of Wallace Berman-- one which originated from the verifax machine and the other from digital manipulation through a computer.
"I recently declined to donate work to a Museum because I felt it needed to stay in my collection."
- Diana Zlotnick, collector
“Melissa Lambert gives a new, unusual complexity to the digital photocollage, including an aqueous depth and obscured detail that forces the viewer to oscillate between the overall composition, essentially abstract, and the referential details of the imagery. At the same time, Lambert’s compositions, orbital and heraldic, set up a whole different framework for “reading” her pictures. “
- Peter Frank, writer, curator
Melissa Ann Lambert's work combines a powerful, hallucinatory immediacy with the inexplicable, overwhelming otherness of a religious vision, or perhaps an alien first contact. Working in an eclectic mix of non-traditional electronic media, Lambert creates extraordinary, unforgettable works of art which seize your attention with the astonishing and luminous complexity of their vision. Her work is a bold and passionate exploration of the possibilities of light and color, profound, enigmatic, and moving in a way that brings to mind Kandinsky and astrophysics, Byzantine iconography and the quantum world, archaic dreamtime and the still-in-the-works virtual future, all without being anything less than utterly original.
-Michael Ian Churchman, 2014, collector
MELISSA ANN LAMBERT produces images of profound depth and mystery, even when their sources and subjects are as familiar to us as our own names. Exploiting new technologies and new sources of visual material, Lambert conjures a world – perhaps a universe – that reveals its secrets and its complexities with a reticent grandeur, cloaking them in an obscurity resistant, but ultimately not immune, to the eye’s penetration. In this way, even when creating portraits of well-known people and including well-known things in her atmospheric compositions, Lambert poses us a gentle challenge, to come into her visual realm, where events unfold gradually and resonantly.
-Peter Frank, 2012, writer
Jazz in L.A. Series:
That jazz collection is truly amazing while the video just...shoves it right off the edge and into spectacular.I look at it and I can hear Coleman Hawkins, Miles, Monk, Mulligan, Dizzy, ... A big jam session between my ears.As I watch the video and all this music starts echoing inside my head, and spills out to hug the still art. (Can it *really* be still with Joe Morello?) It's a great big ol' positive feedback loop: the art sparks the music which makes the art come alive.But better...nah. Just as good.It's all breath taking."Melissa Lambert's atmospheric images of live jazz in LA embrace the mood, giving imagery to the music itself. Employing a variety of tools, the photographs exist on multitude of levels. Notes and phrases lyrically weave in and out of one another, providing a rich canvas of rhythm and melody. The image becomes the music."
-- Greg Cohen, photographer, curator, and writer
"Melissa Lambert wants to preserve the magic of the moment as she photographs jazz musicians playing in dark, smoky clubs. She then draws directly onto the photographic images. The result: fresh, surreal and kinetic."
- Diana Zlotnick, collector
That jazz collection is truly amazing while the video just...shoves it right off the edge and into spectacular. I look at it and I can hear Coleman Hawkins, Miles, Monk, Mulligan, Dizzy, ... A big jam session between my ears .As I watch the video and all this music starts echoing inside my head, and spills out to hug the still art. (Can it *really* be still with Joe Morello?) It's a great big ol' positive feedback loop: the art sparks the music which makes the art come alive. But better (than the abstract/current works pieces)...nah. Just as good.It's all breath taking.
- Rick Roberts, collector
Self Portrait series:
These digital photo collages have a remarkable atmospheric, almost viscous depth to them, establishing viscerally felt spaces in which unlikely elements encounter one another.
-Peter Frank, writer
Statement by Howard Fox, curator
Statement from Howard N. Fox,
Curator of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles County Museum of Art
(Juror for 2008 exhibit I showed in)
Digital technology was initially invented for computing and data storage; later it was developed for use in audio and video equipment; and after that was adapted to all manner of communication and imaging, from cell phones to body scans. But all such applications are rooted in the apprehension, storage, transmission, and display of information - that is, of facts, of data, of any useful worldly intelligence - in the form of binary code. At least until the artists got to it.
It is hardly surprising, given the roots of modern art in notions of a revolutionary avant-garde, that progressive artists in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries devoured new materials, new technologies, and new art forms with a prodigious and omnivorous appetite. Digital technologies are no exception, and whether artists today use digital tools to aid in generating traditional art forms (for example by making virtual sketches toward paintings or sculpture) or as the basis of experimental new art forms that are generated by and/or displayed via binary code, many artists around the world have indeed gone digital.
In selecting the works for DigitalArt.LA, no aesthetic parameters or requirements were set. Artists were free to submit work of any artistic persuasion - and they did, with copious entries that ranged from moving images to interactive installations to still images. Yet it seems that certain aesthetic predilections may have been at work. The works that asserted themselves most strongly tended to be those that integrally and overtly engage digital technology in the final form of the work. Thus, while some very compelling "straight" photography made with digital cameras and print methods is deservedly represented, the preponderance of works here tend to manipulate the factuality of the real world or to invent worlds that exist only in a realm of digital generation and display. The exhibition is characterized less by faithful reportage than by invention, transfiguration, and wonderment.
So while the "ancient" history of digital technology may have its DNA in strictly practical, informational tasking, the interests and imaginations of the artists who have appropriated those technologies in recent years have evolved them into agents of human psyche that, like much art throughout human history, has only a passing focus on things as they are and much more engagement with our dreams, our fears, our desires.
Howard N. Fox