“Boulders is a deeply personal pilgrimage to the mountain landscape surrounding the Italian village of Carisolo, an exploration of the waterfalls and river ways of Adamello. On the five or so previous trips to visit Pedretti Graniti, I had hiked some of the mountain trails on route to the quarry, and collected from the rivers a handful of the smooth rounded pebbles of the same black and white speckled granite found in the quarry. The power of the fast paced river can be heard, felt and even tasted in the air due to the fine spray drifting down the valley from the thundering Cascate di Nardis waterfall. The power of the river is also immediately visible in the way it has carved the landscape over millions of years, and perhaps only slightly quicker, shaped the riverbed and eroded the loose granite rocks as they tumble down stream until they become perfectly smooth rounded boulders.”
— Max Lamb, October 31, 2017
Max Lamb designs sophisticated and personal bodies of work particular to material, location, and tradition. His series unfold intimate stories from conception, creation, and to completion. He has carved stone from China to Italy, and Vermont, and cast bronze from polystyrene molds.
For his first solo exhibition with Salon 94 Design, Lamb presents Boulders, a new series consisting of eleven chairs and nine stools telling the story of the Adamello mountain range, their geology, and the force of the river that continues to sculpt the Tonalite granite into smooth boulders in perpetuity.
With Boulders, Lamb playfully riffs on ancient rings and standing stones found in his native England. Still more than a 1000 examples exist from the Bronze Age such as Avebury, Ring Brodgar, and StoneHenge. During his upbringing, Lamb was fascinated with a neolithic stone circle close to his home in Cornwall the Merry Maidens or Dawn’s Men, similar to the Cornish Dans Maen which translates as “Stone Dance.”
After millions of years, nature gradually and imperceptibly moulds the landscape and moves the Tonalite rocks down the river. In a single action Lamb lifts the boulders from the riverbed and slices them into furniture. One clean cut exposes the heart of each Tonalite boulder. Lamb's elegant, modern and anthropomorphic intervention makes each work unique. Alongside Boulders is a film of their making: following their path down the waterfall and river to their selection, extraction, cutting, grinding, and polishing. Lamb’s obsession with the mechanics of moving stone is evident.
Max Lamb was born in St. Austell, Cornwall, England, in 1980. He lives and works in London, United Kingdom. He is presently on a residency at The Wornick Distinguished Visiting Professor of Wood Arts within the Furniture Program of California College of the Arts in San Francisco. His work has been widely exhibited at galleries and institutions both in Europe and the US. His work was included in the Design Triennial Beauty at the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum in New York in 2016. In 2017, Salon 94 Design featured his thermal spray work at Design Miami/Basel. His work was also prominently present inMidtown, a group show at Lever House in New York. In 2018, he will have a solo show, Exercises in Seating at the Art Institute of Chicago. His presentations have been featured in numerous design magazines. He currently designed the interior of the Acne flagship store on Madison Avenue in New York and on Geary Street in San Francisco.
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