If art is a form of cultural communication, then Scott Ingram is one of Atlanta’s underground switchboard operators in contemporary art. An emerging Atlanta-based artist who shows with Solomon Projects, Ingram breaks new ground with a project opening this month at Scott Reilly’s design mecca, Retromodern.
Ingram’s intellectual curiosity and ingenuous personality make him a natural collector of people from all corners of the creative scene. The open-door policy in his Midtown studio – which includes his framing and art fabrication business, is often a meeting place for artists, collectors, critics and museum officials. If there’s a visiting art world luminary in town, chances are they’ve put Ingram’s studio on their tour.
The Iowa native moved to Atlanta in 1995 as the city’s cultural scene exploded in the run-up to the 1996 Summer Olympics. His observations of the new urban model springing up here during the past decade nurtured his interest in the sociology and aesthetics of the built environment, providing the platform of his current artistic practice.
Ingram did not attend art school, but sharpened his eye and mind through travel, reading and professional experience. As an exhibitions specialist at the High Museum of Art, Ingram has worked with several important living artists who have shown at the High, including Anish Kapoor and Ellsworth Kelly. Both artists provided influential inspiration for Ingram’s own artistic practice, in that he explores color and geometry in their most essential forms.
Ingram’s work, be it paintings, prints, wall constructions, murals or installations, depends on the interrelationship between color, geometry, cultural cues and the socialization of public space. It reflects the artist’s deep understanding of the history of 20th-century modernism with a contemporary touch. His series of large-scale nail-polish wall paintings, gently invoking the spirit of Abstract Expressionist painter Morris Louis, were featured in a 2002 exhibition at the Atlanta Contemporary Art Center, as well as in a 2005 solo show at Solomon Projects. His series of wall painting/ sculptures, based on the 1950ís Case Study House project in Los Angeles, grace the homes of many collectors, both locally and internationally. These will be featured in two upcoming exhibitions in Vancouver (July 2007) and Madrid (February 2008). He will premier a new body of work at Solomon Projects this fall.
In his forthcoming project at Retromodern, Ingram will transplant his elegant visual forms from the gallery to the shop front, inviting pedestrians and design patrons to consider the sources of design in art and the sources of art in design. He will partition the window and shop floor space with vertical planes of color and insert his own work into commercial space. How he draws us in, delighting and challenging our eye at once, will send us back out to the world with a deeper understanding of these questions.