Working in hand-cut paper, Lamarche’s collages draw from a vast archive of found materials, commercially printedpapers, and vintage printed matter. Through an interplay of abstracted graffiti language and commercial design, Lamarche enlists a profusion of graphic styles and bold colors to explore rhythmic repetition, multiple perspectives, and the suggestion of sound and movement. The artist applies a similar visual approach in mural-size wall paintings and large-scale environments installed in recent years.
For Timeless, Lamarche brings together a collection of medium-sized collages, assemblage, and paintings. Each is an exploration of letterforms inspired by graphic design, graffiti, commercial lettering, and art-deco fonts. The works range from the carefully planned and ultra graphic to the completely free-form “design by chance.” Although each artwork has a unique look, the group relates through the consistent use of found and vintage papers. By using materials from the past in a contemporary moment, ordinary notions of linear time are subverted. Lamarche’s works exist in a cultural context all their own.
In the collage Unfettered, for example, a colorful barrage of wildly varying letters rolls across the middle third of a white expanse, gathering momentum just as an avalanche collects mass. Timeless, on the other hand, is a very precise collage on white in which cut-paper forms compose what appear like drafting or carpentry tools, which in turn are arranged to spell out the work’s title. Untitled (remnant series) is more free-form, as abstracted cutout fragments in black form filigreed silhouettes in an all-over composition of black and tan.
In all of his work, Lamarche engages a general familiarity with commercial typography and design as well as elements of graffiti, which by now are ubiquitous within the social and built landscapes of most cities. (As a young teen, the artist cut his creative teeth writing graffiti in the streets and subways of New York.) Variously recombined and deployed, these familiar references speak to viewers across generations, social strata, and global origin. Furthermore, Lamarche’s canny mixtures of form, color, and arrangement break down the now-staid divisions between fine art, graphic art, and architecture.
Reception Thursday October 4 from 6-9pm