Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Explore intellectual and abstract art

Northwest artist William Ingham shows at the Y

Express Staff Writer

Will Ingham stands in front of his abstract expressionist work "Mirage," acrylic on canvas, at the Wood River YMCA in Ketchum. Express photo by Paulette Phlipot

Pacific Northwest artist William Ingham combines his intellectual and philosophical musings with his love for the Northwest to create rich and sweeping abstract expressionist paintings.

"I had a lot of classical training," Ingham said in front of his painting "Mirage," at the Wood River YMCA. "I like to come at art from all angles."

Ingham also has a drawing, "Rock Slide," on exhibition at the Y. The graphite-on-paper piece, which portrays broken forms of rock and trees, was created from a trip he took through the Bitterroot Range in Idaho.

Ingham said it took a while to find his direction. He is not a landscape painter but is inspired by nature and said his landscapes are more of a metaphor or the structural equivalent for nature.

"You need to get out and draw things," Ingham said. "You need to encounter things, which can be difficult. I like broken form and chaos. Content becomes a relationship of the natural configuration of forces."

Several modern masters, including Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning, Mark Rothko and Franz Kline, influence Ingham's work, which a viewer can detect in most of Ingham's pieces. His approach to abstract expressionism is based in his exploration of scale, stroke and line with sweeping color and dreamy imagery as well as recognizable organic matter.

"I came into the world with something to say, and 'Mirage' reveals that," Ingham said. "You have to keep the challenge up. The most important value in art is originality."

In the book "William Ingham: Configuration of Forces," leading Pacific Northwest art critic Matthew Kangas explores Ingham's life work and describes him as an intellectual West Coast artist. The book is a full-length study of Ingham's work and reveals the artist's dedication to his intellectual curiosity and abstract expressionist painting.

Ingham continues to explore his craft and is moving beyond his comfort zone of abstract expressionism in a new direction that has a slight hint of cubism.

"I like to go to the cliff and bring myself back from the edge," Ingham said. "Big artists break new territory and do something original. They take things in a direction no one would go."

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