Callum Innes. With Curve
17 Mar — 29 Apr 2017 at Sean Kelly Gallery in New York, United States
Sean Kelly is delighted to announce With Curve, a major one-person exhibition of new work by acclaimed artist Callum Innes. The exhibition will occupy each of the gallery’s three spaces with an extraordinary presentation of new paintings and works on paper representing four different bodies of work, most never before exhibited. This will be Innes’ first exhibition in New York since 2013. An opening reception will take place on Thursday, March 16 from 6-8 pm. The artist will be present.
The exhibition’s title, With Curve, is inspired by Innes’ newest series of paintings made on large-scale, asymmetric aluminum panels. Presented in the main gallery, the works are a subtle sculptural extension of the site-specific, monochromatic wall paintings Innes first created for his recent survey exhibition at the De Pont Museum in Tilburg, Holland. Each geometrically shaped painting is subtly distorted by an almost imperceptible curve on one or more sides. The large-scale panels both occupy and activate the walls on which they hang, expanding the pictorial field of the viewer, creating subtly undulated spatial and perceptual references. A related series of new pastel works on paper will be on view adjacent to the panel works. Initially, these pieces may appear as straightforward, abstract rectangular compositions of flat color. But a deep richness rapidly reveals itself upon closer inspection. Deep black and vibrant hues of red, blue, and yellow pastel chalks have been heavily worked and rubbed into the handmade paper, nearly covering the entire surface with a seductive and velvety texture. Hints of underlying layers of contrasting color are most evident at the decalled edges of the works, exposing traces of the human gesture and their inherent fragility.
In the front gallery, Innes continues his interrogation of bisected canvases with the most rigorous, meditative and elegant works yet in his series of Untitled Lamp Black Paintings. Vertically split in half, he applies two separate colors across the entire surface and then fastidiously removes paint from one side. One half of the painting is left covered in a deep, resonant black whilst the other half is a smoky violet, or dark blue, pigment that has been intricately altered by the process. Intensely dark and brooding, these works combine Innes’ formal precision with a poetic, contemplative beauty.
In the lower gallery Innes will present three new large-scale paintings from his renowned and ongoing series of Exposed Paintings. In these works, a single tone of blue pigment, created by the artist, is painted on to the canvas. Turpentine is then repeatedly applied by brush to remove the paint before it dries, washing away or, as Innes has described it, "unpainting" the surface, leaving all but the faintest vestigial traces of color. The result reveals varied veils of alluring color buried deep within the seemingly monochromatic single pigment, glowing with intense luminosity.
Callum Innes is without question one of the most important abstract painters in the world. His work can be found in major public collections worldwide, including the Tate Gallery, London, England; the Kunstmuseum, Bern, Switzerland; the National Galleries of Scotland, Edinburgh; the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; the Centre George Pompidou, France; The Irish Museum of Modern Art; the Museum of Modern Art, Fort Worth; The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; The National Gallery of Australia, Canberra; the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo; the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, Canada; and Deutsche Bank. Recent critically acclaimed museum exhibitions include From Memory, which traveled throughout Europe and Australia in 2008-9, Callum Innes: Recent Work at the National Galleries of Scotland, Edinburgh in 2010 and Callum Innes at the Whitworth Art Gallery in Manchester, England in 2013. In 2016, Innes was the subject of a major retrospective survey exhibition and accompanying major monograph published by Sean Kelly and Hatje Cantz, I'll Close My Eyes, at the De Pont Museum in Tilburg, the Netherlands. The catalogue will be available for purchase at the gallery during the exhibition.
Callum Innes lives and works in Edinburgh, Scotland.