A show including new work by CALLUM INNES and the late PATRICK HERON bridges abstract painting's generation gap. Words: Moira Jeffrey
When Patrick Heron died in March of this year in his late 70s. Britain lost one of the great colourists of modern painting as well as an important writer and artistic father figure. In I998. the Tate Gallery held a major retrospective of his work which revealed the vitality of the many stages of his rich career. Although Heron was most famous for his vivid abstractions of the l960s. the exhibition also revealed the precocious work of his teens. Stunningly. his most recent paintings showed that. in his maturity. he remained an exuberant painter.
It is. therefore. in a mixture of sadness and fond celebration that the long- planned Festival exhibition at Edinburgh‘s lngleby Gallery has become a posthumous show of Heron’s final work — a series of eleven coloured etchings. But the gallery will also celebrate the living tradition of British painting with the opportunity for a rare glimpse on home territory of new work by the current master of abstraction. Callum lnnes.
‘We‘re absolutely thrilled at the combination of the grand old man of abstract painting and the greatest of the new generation.‘ says gallery owner. Richard lngleby. With a current show at the Irish Museum of Modern Art in Dublin and having received the Nat West Prize for painting in I998. Edinburgh-born lnnes is in phenomenal demand. and the chance to see some recent paintings should
'Innes's paintings are so incredibly luminous, really vibrant and gutsy.’ Richard lngleby
Exposed painting charcoal grey/yellow, red oxide on white
not be missed.
lnnes will show oils from his series of exposed paintings. in which the periodic absence of paint — stripped or lifted from the canvas by the application of turpentine — is a presence in itself. The work has been created with the particular gallery space in mind. The artist will also show watercolours intended to be looked down upon rather than hung on the gallery wall. ‘They are so incredibly luminous.’ lngleby enthuses. ‘really vibrant and gutsy.‘
Heron believed that ‘the finished painting should also end in pure sensation of colour’ and his work was characterised by his love of violet and cadmium. He appears to have rediscovered that vibrancy in the final months of his life. The Tate retrospective revived and strengthened him. and he was reported to have visited the show on a number of occasions. reliving his youth and seeking further inspiration.
The etchings promise to echo his best work and are also imbued with a special magic. as a memorial of the artist. He was working on the new series on the very day of his death. ‘That morning he chose the colour of the cloth and drawing for the presentation box and did the drawing for the title page.’ explains lngleby. Returning to Eagles Nest. his famous Cornwall home. Heron ‘went to the kitchen and was trying to open a bottle of wine. When he couldn’t find the corkscrew. he phoned his daughter. She suggested he drink champagne instead. which he did. Shortly after. he died.’
With Patrick Heron and Callum lnnes at the lngleby and the legendary elder stateswoman Agnes
Martin showing in lnverleith House. Edinburgh is .
holding its own festival of abstraction this summer. Abstract painting is currently infused with the vision of a brilliant young radical and you can‘t get a better memorial than that.
Edinburgh: lngleby Gallery, Wed 4 Aug-Sat 11 Sep.
Sketches of the art world.
INVERLEITH HOUSE AND the Scottish Arts Council have announced details of ‘Absolut Open’. a major open show for the end of the year. Submissions in any media are invited from artists living and working in Scotland. The selectors will be Callum lnnes. Mel Gooding and SAC's Susan Daniel- McElroy, and the exhibition will run from 21 November to 9 January. Submissions must be in by 21 September and full details are available from lnverleith on 0131 248 2849.
AT TIME OF going to press, the secret treasure hidden by artist Hugh Pizey, as part of the Lapland exhibition at the Glasgow Print Studio has not yet been found. Purchasers of Pizey's mystery kit are eagerly awaiting the new clues that will be posted over the next few weeks until there’s a result.
THE FOUR MONTH fellowship by artist Lucy Heyward at Dundee Contemporary Arts ended last weekend. But it ain't over ‘til it's over. The final element of Heyward's show, Tightle, has just been released: it's a multiple containing a drawing, a conversation with the artist and a text from an anonymous mountain climber.
THERE’S A CALL for short media works as part of the Scottish Touring Exhibition Consortium's lottery-funded project, Monumental Miniatures for the Millennium. STEC are preparing a DVD-ROM compilation to be curated by artist Daniel Reeves. Gordon Rodgers can expand on that, so contact him at the Dick Institute, Kilmarnock on 01563 526401.
IT’S THE END of an era for Visual Art @ The Cameo, as the cinema's showcase for emerging artists comes to a close. The final show. Departure Lounge, surveys projects and exhibitions from the last three years with contributions from some of the 70 or so artists who have benefited from this lively space. Curator Duncan Ganley is heading off to America in August and The List wishes him well. (Moira Jeffrey)
the last call
8—22 Jul 1999 THEIJSTN