Over the past 20 years, Edinburgh born Callum Innes has emerged as one of the leading abstract painters of his generation, making work which stands defiantly against the tide of the quick fix that has dominated the sensibility of so many of his contemporaries. Innes was short-listed for the Turner Prize in 1995, won the prestigious NatWest Prize for Painting in 1998, and in 2002 was awarded the Jerwood Prize for Painting.
Most of his paintings are made by un-painting as well as painting: A language that he has made his own; oil paint is applied in layers and dissolved away with turpentine, forming something quietly and unexpectedly beautiful. All of his paintings share a tension born of fragility and the possibility of failure inherent in this process.
His exhibition for the Edinburgh Art Festival
includes the first showing of a body of new paintings which take a very simple form; a painting in two halves, divided vertically down the centre of the canvas, with layers of coloured pigments coated over black and dissolved away to leave only a trace of colour. They are amongst his most elemental and powerful paintings to date.
A publication for the exhibition celebrating the new paintings includes an essay by Emilie Gordenker, director of Maurithuis, the Dutch Royal Collection, examining Inness unexpected relationship with Vermeer.
Callum Innes has exhibited widely both nationally and internationally and his work is held in public collections worldwide, including the Guggenheim, New York; National Gallery of Australia; Tate, London; and the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art.