In these bodies of work, ground is the subject: the ground we stand on, the ground of the work of art. David Maisel has photographed the topography around Utah’s Great Salt Lake from the sky. The roughly geometrical forms, as well as the startling coloration, result from the combined activity of human and natural processes. Painter Ingrid Calame has stayed closer to earth, tracing water marks, tire tracks, and myriad spills on concrete or asphalt. She overlays these tracings to create a single work, outlining or filling in shapes with saturated color. (There is a wonderful photograph on the Internet of Calame in the process of drawing, paper spread on the floor, the artist squatting low to the ground, a studio cat resting comfortably on the horizontal slab of her back.)
Each ground becomes an index: the earth a repository of nature and humanity; the works a second-order imprint of those impressions. Humans scratch and soil the earth. Light hits emulsion, and pen touches paper. It's all about surfaces and the marks upon them.
terminal mirage 18, 2004(?), chromogenic print
terminal mirage 5, 2004(?), chromogenic print
from #274 drawing (tracing from the indianapolis motor speedway), 2008, oil paint on aluminum
step on a crack . . . msship2 no. 5, 2009, oil paint on aluminum