29 August 1993
Alan Lambert is a young artist whose work was previously unknown to me, so it was refreshing to chance upon his current show at Browne’s on Dawson Street. On a superficial basis, it might be easy to dismiss him as a dye-in-the-wool minimalist but that would be a serious misjudgement. Lambert sidesteps the solipsism of so much of that work by loading his pieces with ironic effects. Ranging from the constant ‘sampling’ of the French impressionists to the deftly imposed touches of order on his constructions of derelict and found objects, he effectively avoids pomposity, even if occasionally succumbing to the temptations of cleverness.
While none of this is particularly new and the quality of works admittedly uneven, a number of pieces are striking for the material puns they embody. Of the larger constructions, the most successful would have to be ‘Pirelli No.3’, which greets you at the door. A rusted bicycle appears tossed on and into a stack of carefully numbered bricks and stone fragments. It’s an effective interplay of the random and the reproducible.