About Matt Lamb
As an artist, sculptor, philosopher, and unstoppable
globe-trotting dynamo, Matt Lamb was one of the most
intriguing, confounding, pigeonhole-defying phenomena
in contemporary art.
The intensity of his colors, the topographic sensuality of
his surfaces, and the freedom of his gesture have been
hailed in publications such as ARTnews, The Times of
London, and The Miami Herald as well as celebrated
in exhibitions at:
The State Russian Museum (St. Petersburg)
Centre-Picasso (Horta, Spain)
Centre Joan Miró (Mont-roig, Spain)
Westminster Cathedral (London)
Espace Pierre Cardin (Paris)
Museo di Sant’Apollonia (Venice), and
The Vatican Museums of Modern Art.
“...an artist who celebrates life with big, free shapes and unabashed color,”
Art critic and television personality – Sister Wendy Beckett
“...a hymn to universal forces… seizing the viewer with freewheeling, joyous movement and exuberant, earthy colors.” - Chicago Sun-Times
“...a complete, authentic artist and, I daresay, a genius.” Celebrated Spanish curator – Dr. Josep Felix Bentz
An Irish-American born in Chicago in 1932, Lamb had a successful career as an entrepreneur before a brush with death at the age of 51 led him to reevaluate his priorities, sell his businesses, and dedicate the remainder of his years to art. However, aspects of his business life (he was CEO of Chicago’s largest family-run funeral home franchise) continued to haunt his mysterious paintings, which teem with wraith-like creatures that Lamb calls “spirits speaking to us from the other side.”
By turns whimsical á la Marc Chagall and fearsome á la Jean Dubuffet, Lamb’s paintings were born of a secretive, proprietary process known as “The Dip,” wherein he suffused canvases and panels in an alchemical mixture of corrosive, mutually repellant materials. As they dry over a period of months or years, these materials would pool and pucker into lustrous, craggy surfaces.
Lamb worked obsessively and prolifically in his studios in Chicago, Wisconsin, Florida, Ireland, France, Germany, and Argentina, and consistently to divided his artistic output between figurative, abstract, and semi-abstract modes.
Artist and Peace Activist
A tireless activist for world peace, Lamb augmented his art career with various projects that advanced his personal mantra of “Peace, Tolerance, Understanding, Hope, and Love.” Through his Umbrellas for Peace program, he has instilled these values in millions of school children around the globe, using art as a metaphor for acceptance.
Lamb has organized peace seminars, rallies, and other initiatives to promote harmony between members of different religious faiths. He has painted the interiors of entire Christian churches in five countries, but his work also resides in the collections of the Grand Mosque of Paris and the Spertus Museum of Judaica.
With his wife Rose at his side, Matt traveled widely, spreading a message of optimism and empowerment through his personal appearances and his sumptuous, singularly gripping art.
— Richard Speer, author of Matt Lamb: The Art of Success (John Wiley & Sons, 2005)