Johnny's In The Basement mixing Up The Medicine

Photo: Simon Vogel, 2011

Found cabinet, black household paint and metallic vinyl paint
94.9 x 76 x 43.5 cm
Johnny’s in the Basement Mixing Up the Medicine (2011) uses everyday materials, found objects and the signature pop aesthetic of Lambie’s polychromatic stripes. It is a work which is emblematic of his broader practice. Here, his colored stripes trace a conical excavation into the sculpture’s cabinet body. This cone-shaped intrusion, which is a feature of multiple Lambie works, resembles the diaphragm of a speaker, while its painted stripes evoke the vibrations which might emerge from it. Layered behind the excavation is a print of a music video still for the song that gives the work its title: Bob Dylan’s Subterranean Homesick Blues (1965). In the image, Dylan holds a placard which reads BASEMENT, the last word of the song’s first lyric. The overall effect of these material arrangements makes the work resemble a speaker. It complements other works by Lambie which incorporate record players, vinyl, album covers, and photographs of musicians including Jimi Hendrix and Mick Jagger, and also has a strong aesthetic attachment to the Zobop floor installations for which he is best known. Alongside the references it makes both to music history and more visceral forms of sound, beat and rhythm, the sculpture’s makeup combines the history of the readymade with principles derived from Op Art, Minimalism, and Conceptualism. —Elsa Gray
Jim Lambie (born 1964 in Glagow, Scotland) a contemporary visual artist and was shortlisted for the 2005 Turner Prize with an installation called Mental Oyster. Jim Lambie graduated from the Glasgow School of Art (1990-1994) with a 2:1 Honours Bachelor of Arts degree. He lives and works in Glasgow, and also operates as a musician and DJ.

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