b. 1962, Edinburgh, Scotland
Callum Innes is among the most significant abstract painters of his generation. His paintings are highly disciplined but also uncertain spaces, combining the controlled authority of monochrome geometric forms with ever-present traces of fluidity and an always-apparent tendency towards formal dissolution. Central to his distinctive artistic process is a dual activity of painting and ‘unpainting’. Innes begins by applying densely mixed dark pigment onto a prepared canvas before then brushing the wet surface with turpentine: strategically stripping away sections of the painted space before it has entirely settled and solidified. In an ongoing series such as his Exposed Paintings, solid square blocks of deep, complex black are accompanied by lighter zones of varying, more transparent colour – from dioxazine violet to cobalt blue to veronese green – each separated section being the contingent outcome of Innes’s methodical erasure of the painting’s primary material substance.
Recent solo exhibitions include: In Position, Château La Coste, Le Puy-Sainte-Réparade, (2018); Callum Innes, Kerlin Gallery, Dublin, (2017); I'll Close My Eyes, De Pont Museum, Tilburg, (2016); Callum Innes, Malerei-als-Prozess, Neues Museum, Nurnburg (2013); Callum Innes, Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester, (2013); From Memory, a major touring exhibition visiting Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh; Modern Art Oxford, Oxford; Kettle’s Yard; Cambridge; Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, (all 2007–2008); Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin, (1999); Kunsthalle Bern (1999); ICA, London, (1992) and The Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, (1992).
Innes' work is represented in the collections of Albright-Knox, Buffalo; Centre Pompidou, Paris; Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin; Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Texas; Museé des Beaux Arts, Lausanne; National Galleries of Australia, Canberra; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, CA; Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh; Solomon R Guggenheim Museum, New York and TATE Gallery, London.