Kerlin Gallery is delighted to present St Sebastian, an exhibition of new painting by Callum Innes.
Through the ages, painting has endured with a remarkable potential to affect us. Its physicality can overwhelm us. We can experience it with a visceral and emotive response. Or it can whisper and pull us into unknown depths of subtle complexity. It is bodily and sensual while asking us to think, often in the most profound ways.
Over the past 35 years, Callum Innes has developed a completely individual approach to painting that explores all these myriad possibilities. By repeatedly applying and dissolving layers of paint, rich in texture and colour Innes exposes the fundamentals of paint itself. Full of humanity and fallibility, his art strives for a balance between precision and imperfection, opacity and luminosity, contemplation and material presence.
Over the past two years, Innes has continued to develop and refine his oeuvre by introducing colours of heightened intensity and depth and by advancing a new series of circular or 'Tondo' paintings. The paintings in St Sebastian are the result of this intense period of work, paintings that resonate with the history of art and redefine its contemporary potential.
b. 1962, Edinburgh, Scotland
lives and works in Oslo, Norway and Edinburgh, Scotland
Callum Innes creates abstract paintings that carry a powerful tension between control and fluidity. Dissolution is central to his practice: layers of deep pigments are brushed over with turpentine, breaking down layers of paint and leaving residual trace elements, before being painted over again. Repeating this process of painting, dissolving and repainting multiple times, Innes builds depth and a sense of history: oblique panels of dense pigments become embedded and fortified, while tiny trickles or rivulets of liquified paint point to their underlying fragility. This meticulous approach to materials is carried across into the artists’ watercolours and pastels, in which pigment is built up into velveteen layers. Though Innes’s works may seem minimal or geometric at first glance, they are in fact always slightly “off kilter”, governed by imperfectly drawn lines and slightly softened shapes. This fallibility and humanity, put in contrast with the artist’s skill and precision as a painter, results in works of great poetic and contemplative power – cementing Innes’s place as one of the most significant abstract painters of his generation.
Callum Innes has been the subject of solo exhibitions at De Pont Museum, Tilburg; Kunsthalle Bern; Neues Museum, Nürnberg; Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney; the ICA, London; the Scottish National Gallery, and the Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh; Kettle’s Yard, Cambridge; Modern Art Oxford; the Whitworth, Manchester; IMMA, Dublin, and Château La Coste, Provence. His work can be found 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.