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INGRID CALAME - Tracks (installation video), 2013

Press Release

James Cohan Gallery is pleased to present the gallery’s fifth solo exhibition by California-based artist Ingrid Calame, Tracks, on view December 12, 2013 through February 8, 2014. The exhibition includes two new immersive pounce wall drawings and two oil paintings on aluminum.

The centerpiece of the exhibition, entitled Indianapolis Motor Speedway Pits #4, #7, #9, #26, #32, #33, #35, #37, #39, #40, is a vibrantly-colored large-scale pounce wall drawing wrapping around all four walls of the main gallery and incorporating tracings of tire tracks from the Indy Speedway. Calame has worked in the Renaissance technique of pounce transfer since 2010, executed by pushing powdered pigment through a perforated template to apply a dotted under-drawing to the wall behind. This installation is her first to layer pounce patterns, combining the intricate forms of rubber skid marks on diamond-cut asphalt to kaleidoscopic effect. As she explains, “I try to control how the pigment transfers through the holes in the paper but there is a lot of chance—pouncing causes little explosions through each hole that radiate out. It is an event, like a drawing/dance.”

The second wall drawing, ArcelorMittal Steel Shipping Building No 1 Right #270-278, encircles the back gallery with a series of numbers Calame traced from the floor of the ArcelorMittal Steel factory in Buffalo, NY. These poster-sized stencils were used to locate finished rolls of steel from the cranes above. Calame found the disintegrating but legible numbers a beautiful synthesis of rational and natural systems, evocative of human touch and presence.


Calame gives the structure of tarred-over pavement cracks new life in the two paintings, From #301 Drawing (Tarred Over Cracks, Buffalo, NY) and From #423 Drawing (Tarred Over Cracks, Buffalo, NY). These marks, painted in a one-to-one scale, fit together like a puzzle in which documentation and imagination partner. Calame considers her conceptual process of piecing together an image from a set of data similar to science and history’s ambitious attempts to re-imagine the past, ever bound by subjectivity. As she comments, “I use the subjectivity of my eye to accurately decipher a grey mark on grey cement. Conceptually, this human touch is foundational to my practice. It is a practice of being present in the world, of being human. This seems more and more urgent in our technologically-driven world.”


Ingrid Calame goes out into the world to discover what it looks like, tracing the marks she finds on public and private streets from Wall Street to the LA River, from the Indy Speedway to a giant defunct public wading pool. Calame approaches the surface of the world as a drawing that we all crawl, walk, run and ride across, and ultimately get buried under. Her tracings are fragments of this found surface drawing. Like an archeologist of everyday life, Calame excavates the shards of life’s journeys, investigating issues of truth and translation. Since 1994, she has transcribed her tracings into three distinct bodies of work – drawings, paintings and wall drawings.


Ingrid Calame lives and works in Los Angeles, CA. She currently has a solo project on view at MoCA Jacksonville, FL and past exhibitions include 2013, Ingrid Calame, Savannah College of Art and Design Museum, GA; 2011, Ingrid Calame: Trace, Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh; 2009, Ingrid Calame: In Process, Monterey Museum of Art, CA; Step on a Crack, Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY; 2007, Ingrid Calame: Traces of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Forefront Series, Indianapolis Museum of Art, IN; 2006, Ramp Project: Ingrid Calame, Institute of Contemporary Art Philadelphia, PA.

Calame's paintings and drawings are included in many prominent international collections, including the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY; Indianapolis Museum of Art; Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art; Museum of Fine Art, Houston; Whitney Museum of American Art, NY; Museum of Modern Art, NY; Kunstmuseum St. Gallen, Switzerland; and private collections including the Maramotti Collection, Italy; Goetz Collection, Munich; Jumex Collection, Mexico; and Brookfield Properties Corporate Collection, New York, NY.


For further information, please contact Jane Cohan at To learn more about Ingrid Calame, please visit:

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