James Cohan Gallery is pleased to present our third solo exhibition by the California-based artist, Ingrid Calame.The exhibition will consist of drawings and paintings from her two newest bodies of work, “Tracings up to the LA River placed in the Clark Telescope Dome, Lowell Observatory, Flagstaff, AZ” and “Traces of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway”. The Speedway project was commissioned by the Indianapolis Museum of Art and will be presented as a solo exhibition, Ingrid Calame: Traces of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway opening November 2, 2007 through March 16, 2008 at the Museum.
Calame has been working on a vast body of work including paintings, drawings, and wall drawings since 2000 that she collectively refers to as Secular Response. Calame generates abstract forms by tracing the contours of stains such as graffiti and paint spills directly from city streets and other locations. She then constructs overlapping arrangements of these tracings into what she terms as “constellations”. In the Secular Response series, Calame superimposes tracings from the street with those from the interiors of the edifices of religion, economics and science. Karen Lang states in her essay for the accompanying exhibition catalogue “Calame’s secular responses do not provide an answer. Instead these projects call into question outside and inside, the local and the universal, as well as the assumptions, ideas, and concepts on which religious, economic, and scientific institutions rest. Secular Response is an intervention in the very best sense of this term as an artistic tactic: these projects implode categories and concepts.”
“Tracings up to the LA River placed in the Clark Telescope Dome, Lowell Observatory, Flagstaff, AZ” presents the first works that are part of Secular Response 3, in which the concentric circular markings from the footprint of the round building that houses the Clark telescope are laid out with the messy “micro-histories” found in the markings on the concrete embankment of the LA River.
In “Traces of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the LA River” Calame has made a conceptual shift from the abject and everyday to the mechanical spectacle of the Speedway. Calame thinks of the Speedway as a gladiator ring for carsÂ—technological extensions of our bodies that drive out our dreams of speed, death and victory. She documents the details of tires on asphalt that are made by the accumulation of rubber left by the high speed in and outs of refuelling in the Pit, by the skid marks of crashes and by the victory donut loops. Calame pairs the Speedway tracings with those from the LA River, whose neglected cement banks have hosted their share of drag races but are a quite different forum than that of the famous Motor Speedway.
Calame’s paintings and drawings are included in many prominent international collections including the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art; Museum of Fine Art, Houston; Whitney Museum of American Art, NY; Museum of Modern Art, NY, and Kunstmuseum St. Gallen, Switzerland.
The James Cohan Gallery is publishing a full-color catalogue “Constellations” to accompany the exhibition, with essays by art historians Karen Lang and Pepe Karmel.