With an emphasis on materiality and form, the work of painter Scott Ingram in Seams and Transitions engages the artist’s contemporary surroundings with an established modernist dialogue.
Ingram has spent years exploring the material nature of urban architecture through various mediums including sculpture, installation, drawing and photography. Made entirely from construction materials this body of work calls to mind both the physicality of Formalist painting as well as the theoretical impact of Modernism. This dialogue surrounding materiality has influenced Ingram’s aesthetic and ethos through out his career.
Deeply influenced by the reductive language of Franz Kline and Brice Marden as well as the architectural influence of Frank Lloyd Wright, Ingram’s work attempts both to communicate with and to build upon the existing languages imbedded within this modernist context. In recollection of a specific moment of transition in his work after having seen a Franz Kline painting at the St Louis Art Museum Ingram made the decision to approach his work more formally. Following there after was the creation of Ingram’s Sheetrock paintings, a moment in which the artist noticed a vital shift affected by the new work, “creating an immediate visual reference while also speaking of nothing.”
In Seams and Transitions white paint, mixed to resemble joint compound, is troweled across squares of drab brown and gray-blue, alluding to both modernist painting and to humble construction work.
Functional aspects of the made world also act as a lens of reinterpretation here. In this regard, Ingram follows a tradition marked by others in the late 20th century. Seminal modernist works such as Haim Steinbach’s shelves and consumer objects come to the viewer’s mind, as well as Scott Burton’s benches and the austere crates of Richard Artschwager.
Ingram lays out a profound respect for certain humble human endeavors, such as construction and building. He couples this attitude with a sense of admiration pertaining to the grand narrative of modernism. In keeping with the self-referential and philosophical back bone of the modernist ideology these works are executed somewhere in between the bold gesture of Abstract Expressionism and the pragmatism of a building project.
Employing both experimentation and deliberate intention, this new exhibition of work displays Ingram’s sensitive approach and close examination of the reprised nuances of materiality, aesthetic and art historical theory in contemporary painting.