Acrylic on canvas
Dimensions: 80cm (H) x 120cm (W) x 4cm (D) / 31.5" (H) x 47.2" (W) x 1.6" (D)
Note: Actual colours may vary due to photography & computer settings.
The Template series dates back to 2012 and I have created several versions since experimenting with the technique of pouring. The paint is poured onto fluorescent white, I mix the colour specifically to the shade I want and the preparation is essential to the final result, I control the paint as it flows but it has a life of its own so I can never be sure of the shapes, the canvas is left flat until paint is totally dry and only when I place it upright on the wall can I see the final image, it is always exciting and each one is totally unique, it is impossible to replicate. These works contrast to my other series in that they are more organic in aspect and just use one colour on white, the simplicity of the technique and colour palette contrasts with the complexity of the shapes within the image.
Based in: London
Colin McCallum was born in 1956 in Glasgow, Scotland and studied at Camberwell School of Art, London between 1975 and 1979. He Lived in Barcelona, Spain from 2002 until 2016 and currently lives and works in East London, U.K.
McCallum’s practice extends across painting, printmaking and video-mapped painting installation, through which he evokes the hidden rhythms and patterns of the urban landscape. McCallum makes vibrant, multi-layered abstractions which respond to the visual experience of contemporary urban life and the influence of an ‘always on’ digital culture. His work draws from the vast amount of visual information which informs the sensory experience of urban living, including the pace and speed of the city, its architecture, neon signage, monitor screens, and airport and station displays. Dedicated to exploring the possibilities of abstraction, he has stated that his intention is to “reproduce without representing, evoke without illustrating and express without formulating.”
Recalling computer programming languages or the structure of electrical circuits, the machine aesthetic of McCallum’s work belies its meticulous hand-built method of construction. Juxtaposing technological precision with the imperfection of the artist’s hand, McCallum often uses repeating motifs of vibrating dots and lines, to evoke the colour, light, texture and complex patterns of the city’s digital landscape. In his recent work McCallum is inspired by the vibrance and energy of the city at night, particularly the area around his studio near London’s Canary Wharf, where illuminated skyscrapers rise above a diminishing backdrop of post-industrial docklands.
McCallum’s practice incorporates a variety of materials and techniques, including acrylic, metallic and fluorescent paints, spray paint, stencils and pen. Working in series, his process relies heavily on memory and imagination as opposed to direct observation. In the Template series, paint is poured directly onto the canvas, allowing the material itself to partially dictate line and form. Impossible to replicate, these densely patterned works, like crowd masses or visualisations of digital data, construct an equivalent reality to the immeasurable complexity of the city. In the Flux series, poured paint is dragged across the canvas in long fluid bands of colour, which reveal changing harmonies and disharmonies according to the position of the viewer and suggest a constant rhythm of construction and destruction.
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