From a critical moment in the history of non-objective painting, exemplified by Suetin’s Suprematist ‘White Square’, we arrive at the work of one of the most singular present-day practitioners of abstraction. Callum Innes is one of very few living artists who can justifiably claim to have invented their own way of making pictures, in Callum’s case with a painterly language that involves the play of additive and subtractive processes,
The present work, 'Resonance no. 1, 2019’ is from an on-going series of white paintings in which paint is applied and dissolved almost simultaneously, one brush putting it on, just ahead of a second dissolving it away, so that pigment and turpentine run in channels down the canvas. Unlike his (probably) better-known ‘Exposed’ paintings, which are typically made in layers over many weeks, a ‘Resonance’ work is the product of a single intense day in the studio – the process once begun having to be pushed all the way to completion. He doesn’t make them very often and so they appear almost like punctuation marks between other series. The resulting paintings are curiously contradictory: amongst the quietest and most subtle in the artist’s repertoire and yet also the most demanding to make and, in their finished state, the most active and alive to the play of light across their delicate surface.
Callum took part in our very first exhibition in July 1998 and his friendship and support have been hugely important to us over the past 22 years. We have made six solo exhibitions together in the years since, including most recently an exquisite installation of paintings filled with colour and light to mark the opening of our current gallery in Edinburgh’s former Glasite Meeting House two summers ago. These days he is spending his time between studios in Edinburgh and Oslo, from where he has sent us this short film to mark the end of the 7th week of ‘the Unseen Masterpiece’. Thank you, Callum.