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.