Callum Innes / Juan Uslé
This is the first exhibition in the gallery’s newly-expanded space which now occupies 59 and 60 Frith Street.
The gallery presents an exhibition of recent paintings by Callum Innes (Britain) and Juan Usle (Spain) which extends through all four galleries.
Innes and Usle first showed together in Painting Alone at the Pace Gallery, New York in 1990. Innes’ last one person show in London was at the ICA in 1992; Juan Usle was recently represented in Mudanzas at the Whitechapel Art Gallery.
Both artists lay claim to the apparently expended field of gestural abstraction with great self confidence and technical ability. In Juan Usle’s earlier work thick layers of emulsion provided a dark ground from which serial motifs made up of short brushstrokes stood out. His recent paintings are characterised by a compelling collision of forms which mimic architecture, technology, textiles, signage and landscape. His extraordinary use of colour adds to his recent compositions: pigment and vinyl emulsion are applied and overlaid with a sponge or hair brushes to achieve a finish of startling luminosity.
Callum Innes’ paintings have always sought to reveal the spatial possibilities of the picture plane by a process of removing and eroding paint with turpentine. While Innes used mainly organic shades in his earlier work, in the last year he has begun to experiment with quite different colours; metallic yellow, grey enriched with blue, deep purple, red and green. Having achieved certain effects with light and shade, Innes is now exploring the possibilities of colour – investing his work with a crisp, new sensuality. The apparently geometrical structure of his latest works is often tempered by the frail edge of colour which Innes creates when he sweeps the paint from the side having left the bottom area of the canvas bare.