Frith Street gallery is pleased to announce an exhibition of new paintings by Callum Innes. Over the past 20 years Innnes has developed one of the most distinctive practices in contemporary painting. His spare yet complex works test and explore the possibilities of this most historical of mediums. This exhibition presents a selection of two distinct and highly contrasting bodies of work.
Prolific and incredibly rigorous, Innes works on several different paintings at a time assessing one against the other. He works in series - Exposed Paintings, Identified Forms, Isolated Forms, Repetition and the two series which form the core of this exhibition - Formed Paintings and Monologues.
The works shown here from the 'Monologue' series are monumental in scale. Here Ivory Black is applied horizontally then turpentine is brushed onto the painted surface from bottom to top, the solvent is in turn allowed to run back through the paint in its own time and space. These particular works are always made in one sitting; the artist describes them as 'instant paintings' yet they are probably some of the rarest within his practice.
Formed Paintings, their surfaces teased into hollows and ridges, are created through the removal of paint. In these particular works the canvas is prepared with two contrasting layers of white paint. Innes then removes the space in between, stroking the paint on and off the support in vertical lines using a turpentine loaded brush.
"Innes's particular process involves the removal as well as the application of paint. Pitting paint against turpentine or less often shellac, he balances painting and unpainting somehow off-balance, the one not cancelling the other out, but adding to it, illuminating it, clarifying it. His combination of creation and destruction destabilises the received idea that while making something takes a long time, unmaking is often the work of a moment. In doing this he introduces into the experience of his paintings a new kind of time." Dr Fiona Bradley
Callum Innes was born in Edinburgh in 1962. He was short-listed for the Turner Prize in 1995 and was a prizewinner in the 1997 John Moores Liverpool Exhibition and the winner of the 1998 Nat West Prize. Notable solo exhibitions include Modern Art Oxford (2007), Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh (2006) and Tate St Ives, (2005). A solo exhibition at Sydney's Museum of Contemporary Art will open at the end of this year. Innes's work is held in many important collections worldwide including Tate Gallery, London, Guggenheim Museum, New York, Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh and Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin among others. 'From Memory' the most comprehensive monograph on Innes's work to date has been recently published by Hatje Cantz.