Lambert Kriedemann was born in 1951 and has lived in Cape Town since he was 11 years old. He taught himself to paint in watercolour when he was 10 and sold his first oil painting at the age of 13. He finished school in 1968 with art as a subject and began studying architecture in 1970. In spite of good results, he left at the end of his first year. After several art-related jobs in the theatre and film industries he became a full-time art student. Six months later he abandoned his studies in order to work as art director in a series of film advertisements. In 1972 Lambert spent almost a year on the island of Formentera in the Mediterranean, where he made a precarious living as an artist. On returning to Cape Town, he worked for an architect before returning to painting permanently. Soon after his return to Cape Town he married, and now has four grown-up children.
Career as an Artist
Lambert has been a full-time artist since 1975. He has held 17 one-man shows and taken part in many group exhibitions. His work has generally been well received by the critics. For instance, a 1979 critique by Eldred Green in The Argus appeared under the heading: "Kriedemann shows much promise.” His talent also attracted generous sponsorship from the corporate sector. In 1979, 1980, 1993 and 2002 he held sponsored exhibitions.
Between 1986 and 1994 Lambert designed ten sets of postage stamps. His third series won him the second prize in the national “Stamp Designer of the Year” competition. His last first-day cover, featuring Namibian fossils, was published early in 1995. Five calendars of his paintings have been published, as well as several editions of art prints. Many of his best works have recently become available as high quality digital prints.
In 1995 Lambert won the prize for: Best Work on Show in the “Pulse of Africa” exhibition – one of the fringe events at the first Johannesburg Biennale. In the same year one of his paintings was included in the Art ‘95 “Top 70” exhibition in New York.
As a result of his successful participation in a group show by South African artists in the Netherlands in 1998, Lambert was sponsored to hold a one-man show in The Hague in October 2002. The exhibition was opened by the South African Ambassador to the Netherlands, Ms P. Jana. He subsequently held his 17th one-man show at the Johans Borman Fine Art Gallery in Cape Town, in October 2003.
During his long career, Lambert has received widespread media coverage. His work has been featured in a number of newspaper articles. He has been interviewed on radio. His paintings and postage stamps have appeared on South African television. He has been interviewed and filmed at work in his studio for German television. He is listed in Grania Ogilvie’s “Dictionary of South African Artists” and the Africus Institute’s “Directory of South African Contemporary Art” as well as the “ Collector’s Guide to Art and Artists in South Africa” and various other publications.
Lambert Kriedemann’s work has found its way into private and corporate collections in many countries of the world. For instance, Lloyd’s of London and the Sultan of Oman each own one of his paintings. In South Africa, Lambert’s work is to be found in the collections of several large corporations, notably First National Bank and The Board of Executors. In 1996 /7 he was commissioned by Sun International to paint a mural and several large oils which are prominently displayed in the Table Bay Hotel. He also painted two large oils and several smaller ones for the GrandWest Casino in Goodwood.
STYLE AND TECHNIQUE
Having been a long-time admirer of the old masters and having studied their work at first hand in Europe, Lambert learned from Ralph Rillman Miller, the well-known portrait painter, how to make his own paints and mediums according to traditional formulae. For five years he worked almost exclusively with hand-made paint before adapting the technique for use with modern tube paints.
His lifelong dedication to the Western European tradition of naturalistic illusionism has been tempered by an open-minded study of the theories and techniques of modern artists. His approach combines traditional naturalism with aspects of modern photo-realism and with compositional ideas and painting techniques gleaned from the study of a number of styles of modern painting, including various forms of abstraction. His ability to combine the old and the new will surprise and delight the discriminating viewer.
Since 2003 Lambert has been actively seeking opportunities to pass on his knowledge of painting. In 2004 he held a two-day workshop on advanced oil painting techniques for members of the South African Society of Artists. In 2005 he held a 3-day workshop for honours and masters students from the University of the Orange Free State, at which he taught them the basics of making and using their own home-made paints and mediums. More recently he has been invited to give talks and demonstrations at various local art societies, and has followed these up with workshops on oil painting technique.
During his student years Lambert dabbled in various forms of abstraction and surrealism, but eventually settled on realism as his main career path. In 1999 he once more began to experiment with a form of abstraction in his spare time. Having been fascinated for many years by the relationships between painting and other arts such as music, dance, theatre and the martial arts, he now felt able to begin to give form to his ideas. At first he experimented on a miniature scale, but as his confidence increased, so did the scale of the work.
Lambert’s first efforts were erratic, and so different from his realistic work that it was difficult to believe they could be by the same artist. Gradually a definite style emerged, in which his interest in abstraction merged with his interest in surrealism and fantasy. It is difficult to classify these works, as they are neither wholly abstract nor typical of surrealism or fantasy painting. The artist suggests subject matter without defining it, with the result that viewers project their own fantasies onto the ambiguous images, with each person seeing something unique.
Since the middle of 2012 Lambert has begun to explore the middle ground between his realistic and abstract styles of painting. As a realist he no longer sees the world as a collection of essentially separate physical objects, but rather as a unified field of energy within which physical objects emerge as part of an intricate dance of local energies responding to planetary rhythms and cosmic melodies. As an abstract artist he plays with the suggestion of form while exploring the possibilities of using paint as an end in itself. A new style seems to be emerging which is neither one nor the other, but a blend of both.
Turn Around Time, annual Winter Solstice exhibition at The Cape Gallery
Continuum, Annual Winter Solstice exhibition at The Cape Gallery
Artist: LAMBERT KRIEDEMANN
Title: Cape Farm Fantasy
Size: 76 x 50 cm
Media: oil on canvas
Price: R 24 000 Unframed