Sam Lock is a British abstract artist who engages with symbols, semiotics, and 'the presence of absence'. His practice involves not only painting but staining, sanding, and scorching his canvases, resulting in sweeping, gestural works that stand as artefacts of his process.Read More
The son of an artist, Lock grew up in the U.K. and Canada. As a young adult, he studied at the University of Edinburgh, where he graduated with an MFA in 1997. During his degree, Lock was awarded a scholarship to travel to Rome, where he explored the relationship between archeology, history, and the process of painting. These interests would go on to inform his practice, shaping the evolution of his multidisciplinary approach to making.
Sam Lock's large canvas paintings are often subjected to harsh processes and he uses a range of materials, two facets that have come to define his practice.
Lock's interest in archeology and the way time both erases and preserves the physical world can be seen in works such as Corner Stone (2019) or his 33-canvas installation Tempo (2021). The inversion of colour, gesture, and the embrace of negative space highlight the archeological resonances of movement, tempo, and mark, an extension of his previous studies and investigations when studying in Rome.
Deeply personal and informed by lived experience, Lock's works have developed a vocabulary of abstract signs, derived from interior thoughts and conversations.
In Lock's 2021 series 'The Wall', fragments of geometric shapes and scrawling lines echo both childlike, spontaneous creation and complex systems of symbolic language. Part alien, part human, works like 'The Wall' act in dialogue with Lock's more sculptural pieces like All Thought (2021), in which severed, stone heads rest atop rounded mirrors, unfolding a conversation about our relationship to words, forms of expression, and the communication that takes place in the spaces left unfilled.
Sam Lock has featured in both solo and group exhibitions.
Solo exhibitions include The world we live in, Lemon Street Gallery, Cornwall (2021); The fragment and the infinite, Scalo Lambrate, Milan (2021); Tempo, Cadogan Contemporary, London (2021); Presence of absence, Lemon Street Gallery, Cornwall (2020); Aspect, Kunst Rai Amsterdam, Twelve Twelve Gallery. The Hague, Netherlands (2019); in situ, &Gallery, Edinburgh (2019); Unremembered, Twelve Twelve Gallery, The Hague (2018); Liminal Space, Twelve Twelve Gallery, The Hague (2017); Trace Element, Studio 226 Chelsea Design Centre, London (2013).
Lock's group exhibitions include Juxtaposition, Galerie Biesenbach, Cologne (2018); Art the Hague, Twelve Twelve Gallery, The Hague (2017); Drawn, RWA, Bristol (2016); Art at Home, Jenna Burlingham Fine Art, London (2016); Royal Academy Summer Exhibition, The Royal Academy of Art, London (2015).
Sam Lock's website can be found here, and his Instagram here.
Sarah Forman | Ocula | 2021