Tarred over Cracks

NOVEMBER 16, 2013 - MARCH 9, 2014

Los Angeles artist Ingrid Calame completes a dramatic wall painting in the Atrium Gallery. Although abstract, Calame's drawings, paintings, and wall projects are firmly grounded in reality. Based on urban spills, stains, and graffiti marks painstakingly traced and rearranged in the artist's studio, the works combine these precise gestures with Calame's equally focused use of color, which allows her unlikely sources to transcend the mundane and approach loftier heights. Visible from the Abstraction over Time galleries, Calame's wall painting and Michael Goldberg's works maintain a steady dialogue over the course of the several weeks during which their exhibitions overlap.

Throughout her career, Calame has generated ideas for her paintings through a close examination of the world around her, using detritus left by people in passing as her source material. She focuses her gaze on the left-over and often overlooked--stains on a sidewalk, graffiti on a river bank, tire skid marks on a roadway. After tracing the shapes of these discarded marks, Calame uses this representational and yet not necessarily recognizable information to generate abstractions. She refers to this process as a “representation of loss,” resulting in paintings that function in part as landscapes or historical referents to the forgotten, disregarded or unobserved. Calame transcends the documentary aspect of her source material in the creation of formal compositions that engage in layering and fragmentation, softening the movement from line to shape. The complement of this rigorous conceptual methodology is a freedom of experimentation, particularly with color assignment, as evidenced in the riotous explosions and challenging combinations found in Calame's most recent paintings on aluminum panel.


portrait of Ingrid Calame


Ingrid Calame was born in 1965 in the Bronx, New York. She received her BFA from the State University of New York at Purchase and her MFA in art and film from the California Institute of the Arts in Valencia, California. Calame's work has been the subject of solo exhibitions at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo, the Indianapolis Museum of Art, the Institute of Contemporary Art Philadelphia, Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland in Ohio, Monterey Museum of Art in California, Art Gallery of Ontario in Canada, and the Kunstverein Hannover in Germany. A mid-career survey on the artist opened at The Fruitmarket Gallery in Edinburgh, Scotland, in fall 2011.

Image courtesy of Thomas Hager.