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‘An Opera for Animals’ at Rockbund Art Museum Ocula Report ‘An Opera for Animals’ at Rockbund Art Museum 19 Jul 2019 : Penny Liu for Ocula

An Opera for Animals was first staged at Para Site in Hong Kong between 23 March and 2 June 2019, with works by over 48 artists and collectives that use opera as a metaphor for modes of contemporary, cross-disciplinary art-making. The exhibition's second iteration takes up a large portion of the Rockbund Art Museum (RAM) in Shanghai (22 June–25...

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Zoe Butt on the Challenges and Rewards of Curating Ocula Conversation Zoe Butt on the Challenges and Rewards of Curating

Zoe Butt is the artistic director of The Factory Contemporary Arts Centre in Ho Chi Minh City, the first purpose-built space for contemporary art in Vietnam. Founded in March 2016, the Centre was designed by HTAP Architects in an old steel warehouse, with cargo shipping containers added to its structure. Initiated as a social enterprise...

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Ocula 报告|Condo Shanghai 2019 展览看点 Ocula Report Ocula 报告|Condo Shanghai 2019 展览看点 11 Jul 2019 : Penny Liu for Ocula

即将于2019年7月13开幕的第二届 Condo Shanghai,联合上海7座画廊/艺术机构与14 家来自全球11个不同的城市,如东京、首尔、雅加达、巴尔的摩、洛杉矶、伦敦、纽约、危地马拉城、利马和墨西哥城,为实验性展览营造了一个更切实可行的国际环境。以下是Ocula的展览看点。周奥,《景观/对象WA》(2016)。橡木上固化油墨打印,左: 55.88 × 147.32 cm,中: 121.92 × 152.4 cm,右: 55.88 × 147.32 cm,图片提供:马凌画廊,上海。马凌画廊 × 80m2 Livia Benavides × LABOR × Proyectos Ultravioleta马凌画廊 |...

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Sean Scully

b. 1945, Ireland

Best known for his large-scale, grid-like paintings, artist Sean Scully has long been a proponent of abstraction. Desiring to rescue the mode from remoteness and re-inject it with exalted feeling, in a 2016 interview with Ocula Magazine, Scully explained his devotion to the style, saying, 'in my paintings, I don't paint space. I paint things. I paint the stripe as if it's a kind of life and death.'

Born in Dublin, Scully grew up south of London and studied painting at Croydon School of Art, London, and Newcastle University, where he was inspired by the colour field paintings of Mark Rothko and the minimalist abstraction of Bridget Riley. In the 1970s, he moved to America for a graduate fellowship at Harvard and later settled in New York, where he still lives part-time, in addition to Bavaria. His status as an immigrant and outsider has long been an important part of his philosophy about life and art.

Scully's earliest paintings, made in the UK, were inspired by the bright colours and wild stripes of Moroccan textiles. However, following his move to America in the 1970s, Scully simplified his motif and reigned in his palette. His paintings from that era to the present day are characterised by their compositions that are made up of several rectangular or square sections painted in various colours—often deep, rich and stormy or autumn-toned hues. Several thickly brushed layers of oil paint on each section result in illusions of luminescence or movement, with a dynamic surface texture often compared to skin.

Reflecting his upbringing in working-class neighbourhoods and his adult life in cities, Scully's works from the 1980s were inspired by conflict, discord, haphazard urban planning and human competition for survival—weighty themes reflected in the paintings' sombre palettes and cramped, brick-like compositions. While in such early works Scully used tape to delineate the clean, structured sections on his canvases, he later abandoned that hard-edge aesthetic and began painting more loosely, allowing the shapes to breathe and show evidence of their making. In Battered Earth (1988), for example, patches of cream-coloured rectangles belie their earthy underlying layers, as do the blood-coloured sections with the umber paint beneath.

Showing a further loosening up of technique, Scully's major 'Wall of Light' series works (1998–ongoing) are first drawn out with charcoal stuck to the end of a long stick before being filled in with paint. The series begun when the artist was travelling in Mexico and was struck by the play of light on Mayan stone walls. Indeed, the combination of vertical and horizontal bars in Scully's paintings are often compared to architectural elements; the sections are said to resemble Stonehenge-like structures.

While he mostly works with oil on canvas, Scully also uses watercolour, pastels and aquatints, as well as painting directly on aluminium—a support that enhances the thickness of the oil paint and its illusion of emitting light. His recent sculptures borrow the same compositions as his paintings; Air (2018) is a large cube made of multi-coloured recinto, marble and cantera, assembled in blocks that create asymmetrical grid patterns when viewed from each angle.

Scully has been named as a Turner Prize nominee twice: in 1989 and again in 1993.

Elliat Albrecht | Ocula | 2018
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Featured Artworks

In the Old Style by Sean Scully contemporary artwork
Sean ScullyIn the Old Style, 1980 Oil on canvas
102.5 x 51 cm
Galerie Lelong & Co. Paris
Battered Earth by Sean Scully contemporary artwork
Sean ScullyBattered Earth, 1988 Oil on canvas
183 x 183 cm
ShanghART
WALL OF LIGHT KOREA by Sean Scully contemporary artwork
Sean ScullyWALL OF LIGHT KOREA, 2012 Oil on linen
160 x 160 cm
Wooson Gallery

Current & Recent Exhibitions

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Contemporary art exhibition, Group Exhibition, Painters Reply: Experimental Painting in the 1970s and now at Lisson Gallery, New York
Open Now
27 June–9 August 2019 Group Exhibition Painters Reply: Experimental Painting in the 1970s and now Lisson Gallery, 10th Avenue, New York
Contemporary art exhibition, Group Exhibition, Painters Reply: Experimental Painting in the 1970s and now at Lisson Gallery, New York
Open Now
27 June–9 August 2019 Group Exhibition Painters Reply: Experimental Painting in the 1970s and now Lisson Gallery, West 24th Street, New York
Contemporary art exhibition, Group Exhibition, Lignes at Galerie Lelong & Co. Paris, Paris
Closed
18 May–13 July 2019 Group Exhibition Lignes Galerie Lelong & Co. Paris, 38 Avenue Matignon

Represented By

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In Ocula Magazine

Sean Scully Ocula Conversation Sean Scully Artist, USA

Already recognised in the Western art historical canon, 71-year-old Irish-born, American-based artist Sean Scully’s oil paintings are characterised by their geometric constructions and painterly expression. These two disparate modes marry in the artist’s canvases and act as a retort to the rigidity of last century’s hard...

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In Related Press

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The Best Things to See at the 2019 Venice Biennale Related Press The Best Things to See at the 2019 Venice Biennale AnOther : 13 May 2019

The 58th edition of the Venice Biennale, May You Live in Interesting Times curated by Ralph Rugoff–from London’s very own Hayward Gallery–proves to be as interesting as its title promises. Venice is an easy city to get lost in, and it’s easy to see why Proust dubbed the city’s labyrinth of alleyways a network of 'innumerable slender capillary...

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Sean Scully’s Figurative Leap Related Press Sean Scully’s Figurative Leap Hyperallergic : 9 March 2019

When I became an art critic in 1981 one of the first artists I met and wrote about was Sean Scully. At that time I was teaching philosophy in Pittsburgh and he, having recently moved to New York, was as yet without a dealer. We are almost the same age, and to some extent we grew up together. When we first met, he had just made the transition from...

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Frieze Sculpture 2018: the highlights Related Press Frieze Sculpture 2018: the highlights Wallpaper* : 4 July 2018

Between Wimbledon and the FIFA World Cup, there's been plenty of distractions from London's unusually Mediterranean weather of late.

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Sean Scully on Bank Robberies and Expectations Related Press Sean Scully on Bank Robberies and Expectations Elephant : 9 May 2018

When I was last in New York I took the bus an hour’s ride north of Manhattan, to historic Tappan, and visited Sean Scully in his studio. I first met the contemporary painter at his other New York studio in Chelsea, and also spent a great weekend with him when he was over in the UK, looking around Yorkshire Sculpture Park near Wakefield, as he...

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