Eric Lambé

Portrait Eric Lambé
© Creative Commons _File:FIBD2017FauveLambé.jpg

The Belgian artist and illustrator Éric Lambé was born in 1966 in Arlon. After studying art in Brussels, in the early 1990s he founded the Mokka group with Denis Larue and Alain Corbel and published an eponymous magazine. In 1992, the magazine was renamed »Pelure Amère« until it folded in 1994. During this time, Lambé also published his work in other Belgian magazines such as »Frigorevue« or »Frigobox« (in French) and »Bill« (in Flemish).
A larger collection of his francophone comic strips was published in his first book »Les jours ouvrables« (1997; tr: Opening Hours). In the context of the »Bruxelles 2000« year in which the city was the European capital of culture, he published his second book »Ophélie et les directeurs des ressources humaines« (2001; tr: Ophélie and the Human Resources Directors) which references the biography of Fernando Pessoa. »Alberto G.« (2003) is dedicated to the artist Alberto Giacometti and his search for the perfect artistic expression. Lambé opted to use graphic and stylistic distortions for the story narrated via succinct texts. In the love story »La pluie« (2005; tr: The Rain), he allows the lines and colors to gradually mix and thin out as the story unfolds. In 1998, Lambé began working with Philippe de Pierpont, with whom he has published four books. Their book »Paysage après la bataille« (2016, tr: Landscape after the Battle), which was awarded the Prix du meilleur album at the 2017 Angoulême international comic festival, tells the story of a broken woman’s withdrawal to an empty campsite in winter after the death of her child and is characterized by the finely drawn lines that reflect the fragility of life. The impressionistic color palette also points to the feeling of the vagueness of all existence and the emptiness, death, and loneliness lurking within it. The protagonist is mainly shown from the back as her face remains anonymous, thus symbolizing the tragic erasure of an individual. The French writer Mathias Énard described his impression thusly: »The drawings are in the foreground. And that the absolutely fascinating thing about this book: the way the images build a suspenseful story with an unconventional plot that slowly unfolds. This is true psychological tension and a wonderful, quite literary book, a sort of silent literature.«
Éric Lambé also illustrated the books »Le Sac à main« (2004; tr: The Handbag) and »La Photo« (2005; tr: The Phoo) by Marie Desplechin as well as the children’s book »Le Voyage de Djuku« (2003; tr: Djuku’s Journey) by Alain Corbel. His pictures have been presented in numerous exhibitions, including in Bolivia. Éric Lambé has been a professor at the ESA Saint Luc in Brussels since 2003.