Review: Jim Lambie at Goss-Michael Foundation

[Originally published in The Dallas Morning News; Photograph courtesy of Sadie Coles HQ]

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Like everything at the Goss-Michael Foundation, Jim Lambie’s show is hip. So is he. The artist wears pink Converse sneakers and, to borrow a phrase from Ian Fleming’s description of 007, his hair falls across his forehead in a “dark comma.” The Fleming reference is apt since Goss-Michael focuses on art with a decidedly British flair.

Enter Lambie, who moonlights as a DJ and, like his fellow artists from the Glasgow movement, deploys allusions to music to set a visual pace for his exhibitions. If this sounds like a kind of mental gymnastic exercise, worry not. It all becomes clear once you, literally, set foot on perhaps the primary piece, Zobop Fluoro.

The work is made of carefully delineated vinyl tape applied to the floor, which coincides with the perimeter of the gallery space. The colors are eye-popping fluorescents and their wattage is deflected onto walls and other works. It’s a motif that insinuates itself into the entire space and we’re put on notice that the dancer has merged with the dance. As gallerygoers, we participate in this shared turf. It’s visually exciting and, like most things at Goss-Michael, it’s a tad mind-blowing.

Another, Careless Whisper, serves as the branding motif for the show. It features George Michael, one of the foundation’s co-owners, and displays his portrait surrounded by a collage of painted flowers that would be at home in a Jan Brueghel the Elder painting. Or, if they were more crudely depicted, the florid lushness of Mexican oilcloth might be an apt description.

It’s also worth noting that while you’re visiting the Lambie show, you can step to the back half of the gallery and see Damien Hirst’s St. Sebastian: Exquisite Pain. Its presence here is only marginally less startling than if the space shuttle landed adjacent to Love Field.

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