David Ingenthron: 65grand

By Yood, James | Artforum International, February 2008 | Go to article overview

David Ingenthron: 65grand


Yood, James, Artforum International


David Ingenthron's recent work might be thought of as slacker neo-surrealism, consisting as it does of meandering excursions into a strange but gentle fantasy universe where much is evoked but--purposefully, of course--little is resolved. Ingenthron drifts across mediums, styles, and formats, finally suggesting that integrity can exist within ambivalence, and that honest indecision is the best policy. The drawings, sculptures, and paintings in his recent exhibition evoke a stream of consciousness--albeit a stream that branches off into odd pools, forgets it's a stream, or suddenly flows backward.

Attachments Thread (all works 2007), for instance, presents five different profiles. It begins with a weird, clumsy, gritty plaster-and-sawdust figure painted a pop pink, its somewhat forlorn black face also drizzled with the color. It has no arms, and stands on one leg while the other stretches out horizontally, almost as if the figure were dancing. This is accompanied by five caricaturish plaster attachments (a green hoop, a scooped-out gray shell, an ancient Egyptian head, an encrusted branchlike form, and a smooth, pale head) that can be screwed one at a time onto the end of that extended leg. None of these attachments particularly resolve the figure; they are playful options that make the viewer a collaborator, postponing the sense of the object ever being finished. But while Ingenthron may choose to elide stability of meaning, he still provides the context of mood; whatever attachment you append to the figure, it remains frozen in a kind of pathetic ballet position.

Triumph, a sculpture in plaster and papier-mache, also pits decision against indecision. A slender figure rises from the floor to the ceiling, its neck appearing to penetrate the roof. …

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