Critics’ Picks

Callum Innes, Untitled 2009 No 19, oil on linen, 63 x 61".

Callum Innes, Untitled 2009 No 19, oil on linen, 63 x 61".


Callum Innes

Ingleby Gallery | Carlton Terrace
6 Carlton Terrace
August 5–October 3, 2009

For “I Look to You,” an exhibition by the Scottish painter Callum Innes at Ingleby Gallery, the artist introduces a new series of abstract works. Innes has gently refined his characteristic process of addition and subtraction––applying paint and then removing it with washes of turpentine––by building layers that exude elegance. Most of the works are divided vertically into two equal parts, with one muted side and one dark or bright side painted with a lush hue (blue, red, green, and yellow among them). All exhibit bold horizontal brushstrokes and variegated surfaces.

It has been said that Innes’s interest in light is inspired by the Scottish landscape. In these paintings, however, the artist plays with contrast. Light and colored shadows are revealed beneath the surface as if spilling out through cracks along the centerline or around the edges of the canvas itself. All untitled, these are meditative pieces. Inviting the mind neither to cling to a particular theme nor to wander, they draw awareness to the rigorous procedure of their creation, balancing the tension between staying in the moment and allowing the process to unfold.