new-york

Ingrid Calame

James Cohan Gallery | Chelsea

Everyone who follows contemporary painting knows the peculiar method by which Ingrid Calame makes her work—for others, let it be said that it has to do with transcribing stains found on city streets and sidewalks, then overlapping the resulting forms—but does anyone really care? What seems to matter is this: The paintings incorporate the random and arbitrary (and possibly also what used to be called “the abject”) within a practice that nonetheless requires finical accuracy; there is a degree of almost mindless repetition and filling in involved, but the resulting forms are unpredictable and uncategorizable. Pictorial structures are irregular and full of detail, like a certain kind of Abstract Expressionism, yet there are no free gestures here. Everything is a rendering of a found shape, and the painter’s touch is not warm and expressive but cold and precise.

One’s awareness that the shapes

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