Callum Innes: Turn
1357 Highland Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90028, USA
Saturday, March 16 at 6:00 PM 8:00 PM
Ends May 4, 2024
Sean Kelly is pleased to present Turn, Callum Innes’s first solo exhibition in Los Angeles in over thirty years. The exhibition features a group of his latest Tondo works, alongside his iconic Exposed Paintings, Split Paintings, and Shellac Paintings. From the onset of his career, Innes has created lushly painted and subtly nuanced canvases in a rectilinear format. In 2022, the artist added a striking new format to his repertoire, the Tondo. The catalyst for this transformative shift occurred when Innes was asked to paint the end of a whisky cask for a charity event. With these works, the artist mastered an entirely new set of technical and aesthetic challenges, confronting a format rich with art historical resonances. While his working methodology remains consistent—the repeated addition and removal of pigment in the Exposed Paintings and Split Paintings and the interaction of two different substances in the Shellac Paintings— the Tondos have necessitated a number of important evolutions in the way that Innes makes the work, both psychologically and formally. “My approach hasn’t changed. You have to solve the composition regardless of what the format is. What has changed is the way I paint. And you know, with a rectangular or square painting, you have a distinctive edge. With a tondo you have a curve or a turn. And when the brush hits the edge, it reacts in a very different way.” - Callum Innes The materiality of the plywood panels accelerates Innes’s practice, providing a quick, firm surface. He also uses a smaller, rounded brush which introduces a completely different physicality, offering more fluidity and enabling a more direct interaction with the work. In contrast, his previous works on canvas offer a slower, softer surface, inviting a more meditative way of working. The exhibition also includes rectangular Exposed and Split Paintings. The rectangle, with its rational four points and sides, symbolizes elements, seasons, and reason itself, while the oval, with its earthier, sensuous nature, signifies unity and balance. This exhibition makes evident the expansion of Innes’ language and his mastery of technique, materiality, and emotional resonance throughout his acclaimed body of work. Callum Innes’s new publication, extensively illustrated with images from the Tondos series and installation views of key exhibitions, explores how the artist has challenged traditional perceptions of shape and form to create dynamic and immersive visual experiences. A pivotal essay by art historian Éric de Chassey, traces Innes’ encounter with the tondo and its progenitors in the history of art, firmly cementing his breakthrough in the pantheon of important works rendered in this distinctive style. Callum Innes lives and works in Edinburgh, Scotland and Oslo, Norway. In 1992, Innes had major exhibitions, at the ICA, London, and the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh. In 1995, he was short-listed for the Turner Prize and was awarded the Nat West Prize in 1998 and the Jerwood Prize for Painting in 2002. His critically acclaimed museum exhibition, From Memory, traveled throughout Europe and Australia from 2006-2008. In 2016, he was the subject of a major retrospective survey exhibition and accompanying monograph, I’ll Close My Eyes, at the De Pont Museum in Tilburg, Netherlands. In 2018, his first major solo exhibition in France, In Position, took place at Château la Coste in Provence, with an accompanying publication. Innes will have an exhibition at Kode – Lysverket Museum, Bergen, Norway in 2024. His work is included in major public collections worldwide including: the Tate Gallery, London; the Kunsthalle, Bern, Switzerland; the National Galleries of Scotland, Edinburgh; the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; the Centre George Pompidou, Paris; The Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin; The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; the Museum of Modern Art, Fort Worth; The Dallas Museum of Art; The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; The Philadelphia Museum of Art; the Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C.; The National Gallery of Australia, Canberra; the Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona; the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York; the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto; the Hilti Art Foundation, Vaduz, Lichtenstein; and Deutsche Bank, London, and Sydney. For media inquiries, please contact Adair Lentini at For all other inquiries, please contact Thomas Kelly at or Cecile Panzieri at
  • Curate LA Partner