Callum Innes

November 9 through December 9, 2006


Sean Kelly Gallery is delighted to announce a new exhibition of paintings by Callum Innes. This will be his fifth exhibition with the gallery.

Innes' exhibition is comprised of five distinct groups of paintings which include: Identified Forms, Monologues, Formed Paintings, Exposed Paintings and a rare group of early works on paper made exactly ten years prior to the most recent body of exposed paintings. The exhibition offers a unique opportunity to trace developments in Innes' work, not just between individual works but between specific groups which are actually all intimately related, whilst seemingly disparate.

In the new "exposed paintings," two unique colors, created by the artist, are applied to the canvas, while turpentine is utilized to remove a section of the paint before it dries. Innes washes away, or as he describes it, "unpaints" the canvas, leaving all but the faintest vestigial traces of color. The result reveals varied veils of color buried within the seemingly single surface pigment. The interplay between the additive and subtractive processes, making and unmaking, underlies this ground breaking and sophisticated body of work. The lyrical and luminous paintings that result are both conceptually complex and evocative. Working within an abstract tradition closely linked to minimalism, Innes appears to limit his vocabulary, but in doing so explores the possibilities inherent in his varied and dynamic process. As Michael Auping, chief curator of the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth writes: "the paintings represent a delicate balancing act in which presence and absence play a subtle shell game".

Concurrent with the exhibition which opens on November 8th is the publication of an important new monograph on Innes' work From memory. This major publication, with essays by Fiona Bradley, Richard Cork, Eric de Chassey and Michael Auping, provides an overview of the oeuvre of Callum Innes over the last fifteen years. From memory is published by the Fruitmarket Gallery in Edinburgh, Scotland, and Hatje Cantz on the occasion of the solo exhibition at the Fruitmarket Gallery that will subsequently travel to the Modern Art Museum in Oxford and Sydney's Museum of Contemporary Art, Australia in 2007.

Innes has emerged as one of the most significant abstract painters of his generation, achieving widespread recognition through major solo and group shows worldwide. Innes was awarded the Jerwood Prize for Painting in 2002, and the Nat West Prize in 1998. In 1995 he was short listed for the Turner Prize .