The London gallery will present six new paintings from Sean Scully’s Landlines series; a body of work that has preoccupied the artist since 2013. These works will be exhibited alongside a selection of 24 drawn-notes–individual pages in Scully’s written hand–that allow insights into the mind of the living master and his personal process.
Scully is one of the most admired contemporary abstract painters, easily recognised for his distinct striped paintings. Early in his career, Scully’s works comprised tightly-controlled grids involving multiple layers of precise stripes. A move to New York in the 1970s ruptured this grid, inspiring the artist’s first paintings of singularly horizontal elements. By the
Since 2013, Scully has intensified his focus on the Landlines series. Composed of wide horizontal stripes, that in the absence of any vertical architecture lean into and against each other, these paintings offer the viewer an uncertain, infinite space. These modular forms become units to be deployed; abutted, inset and interlocked against each other, whilst the choice of an aluminium ground keeps the brushwork fluid, capturing the rhythm of the artist at work. For Scully, a particular concern has consistently been the quest for expressive power within the application of his deliberately restricted repertoire of motifs. As the artist states, 'at some time in the evolution of the
Inspired by the artist’s perpetual travelling as well as the landscapes glimpsed from his multiple studio spaces, these works are infused with a shifting range of emotions and associations, articulated through a sophisticated command of colour: shocks of vibrant red against greying flesh-toned reds and muted, blunt greys, as in Landline Red Veined, 2016, and pulsating blues in Landline Blue Veined, 2016.
In Scully’s paintings, the catalyst in charging formal rigour with emotional content has been the application of liberated brushwork, which charges even the liminal spaces where forms and colours meet with meaning.
Compression, 2016, offers an insight into the artist’s reflections on his journey to becoming an artist, as well as the context from which his world view was being formed.
The artist describes moving his studio back to nature, the influence of the natural world, and especial- ly in relation to the colour green, as seen in the painting Landline Green Green, 2015.
“I was always looking at the horizon line...One day I was standing off Ireland, on the edge of Aran Is- land, looking out. Next stop, America. Standing on the Old World looking out at....the New World, as many people have done before....I think of land, sea, sky. ..I try to paint this, this sense of the
About Sean Scully
Scully’s work is held in the world’s most prominent public collections including, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, and Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; The National Gallery of Art, the Corcoran Gallery of Art, and Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C.; Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Texas; Tate, London; Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen K20K21, Düsseldorf; Albertina, Vienna; Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid; and Instituto Valencia d’Arte Modern, Valencia.
Sean Scully was Born in Dublin, Ireland in 1945. He was elected a Royal Academician in
Press release courtesy Timothy Taylor.