Jim Lambie: A Great DIY Flooring Project at MoMAEmail from 4.21.08

updated Jun 4, 2019
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TRY THIS AT HOME. If you go to the MoMA to see anything right now, you’ll have to walk over Jim Lambie’s work. You can’t avoid it. In the entryway up to the crazy flying fan in the Marron atrium, is a full on, pop color installation by Jim Lambie made out of vinyl tape. Tracking the outlines of the steps up to the next floor, the tape lines both emphasize the architecture and emphasize how much color the MoMA is lacking. Like a Turkish Rug or a Kilim, the color at once warms the space and dissolves into a fuzzy mass…

Jim Lambie is an ex rocker from Glasgow (The Boy Hairdressers and Teenage Fanclub) who found his calling with the visual arts. Or more precisely with his intricate vinyl tape floor installations. Using tape (on sheets), he’s been doing these installations in Europe since at least 2003 and was shortlisted for a Turner Prize in 2005.

The cool thing about this is that is it is born of a very simple idea: using tape to cover entire floors. Strong sticking, semi-glossy and durable, vinyl tape makes an instant hit and can be manipulated (with skill) to create a very striking and beautiful floor. MoMA’s lobby, walked over by thousands of folks, looked lovely.

At the Tate in 2003

Just as Bri and Chad showed us how to use masking tape to add lines to their walls and Post-It’s to create accent walls in Bri & Chad’s Fab on a Budget, you can use vinyl tape on your own floor to create a striking design (which is also removable). Lambie seems to use sheets of vinyl tape (see links below), but you can use rolls to cover much smaller sections. It is also important to vary your widths, which you can do by buying wider tape or putting two widths together. I’ll let you figure it out.

Below, are a bunch of good links that show not only Lambie’s installations, but also a video and stills of his assistants installing (wouldn’t it be nice if we all had assistants). This will give you an idea of the method, you can create your own madness.


Please Note: All of these emails are not sponsored in any way, and I often do not know what I am going to write about until I wake up and walk to work (as if you hadn’t noticed).