Expressions and memories in the Illawarra

We attended  Wollongong City Gallery this week  to see  the work of Illawarra painter and teacher Ron Lambert. Lambert (1923-1995) was a well – loved teacher at both West  Wollongong TAFE and the National Art School, where he won the admiration and devotion of many students over the years. I remember as a student at West Wollongong myself, hearing about Ron from teachers who knew him. I always got the impression that he was really loved.

His work is certainly impressive, working in a gestural Abstract Expressionist mode, with careful attention to underlying structure.  From the same generation as John Olsen, Arthur Boyd and Robert Dickerson, he possesses some of Boyd’s expressive vigour, as well as an adventurous and passionate relationship with colour. Some of his closely structured pieces reminded me of Jasper Johns.









Stand up close, 1970, oil on canvas, 61 x 92cm












Confront, fancy chip, 1994, oil on canvas, 76 x 76cm


That wasn’t all though. Included in the exhibition was the work of  17 ex-students and friends – all older people now as Lambert died in 1995. They presented work from their time with Ron, and then current work as well. This made for a rich and fascinating show.












Robert Hirschmann, Niemansland, 2011, oil on linen, 183 x 100cm.