Alison Lambert was born in England in 1957. She studied at Leek and Coventry Schools
of Art, graduating in 1984 with a BA (Hons) in Fine Art. Over the past thirty-two years her work has been exhibited widely and she has established a reputation as one of the foremost British artists working with the human figure.
During the early part of her career she produced many powerful paintings and drawings of animal and human forms, often combining them in mysterious and dream-like tableaux which evoked a world of mystery and impending violence. She subsequently produced calmer and more monumental images, deriving her subject matter from classical Greek statuary and literature. Later, following visits to medieval churches and other religious sites, she was deeply moved by early Christian iconography which led her to abandon her classical, idealised influences and to produce figures and portraits which displayed greater emotional intensity. As her work gradually took on a more naturalistic appearance, she was drawn to the photographs of Native Americans, made by Edward Sheriff Curtis (1868-1952) – images which led her to escape the influence of classical idealised forms and stylised religious iconography to produce a series of portraits with a greater sense of realism. It was this development that permitted her a deeper exploration of the subjective states of her characters.
Text extract: Alan Dyer in ‘Alison Lambert, Emotion and Expression’, Coventry Canal Basin Trust, 2005.
More recently Alison Lambert has been focusing on the human head. These heads are not portraits of particular people but heads that have evolved through a process of drawing and re-drawing in charcoal on paper and – in the case of monotypes – in ink on copper plate. She does not work from life but refers to photographs of different people that she finds from several sources, often referring to many images for one piece of work. The aim is for the resulting image to take on an inner life of its own that is both timeless and universal.
In 2016 two of Lambert’s large drawings were acquired by
Victoria and Albert Museum
Minneapolis Institute of Art
Victoria and Albert Museum, London; Minneapolis Institute of Art, Minnesota, USA; British Museum; Harrow School Collection; Coopers and Lybrand Deloitte; Bank of America, Jersey; Birmingham Corporate Collection.
Private collections in the UK, Europe, USA Canada and Australia.