Sean Scully

United States 1945

Abstract Art

Sean Scully
Sean Scully
United States
May 30, 2016
Music, Gestalt, .

One of the most prominent abstract painters, Sean Scully creates under various historical and cultural influences of places that were important for him in some period of his life. His work is based on repetition of the carefully arranged discretely nuanced blocks of color that make a dramatic effect and visual pleasure. Although his spaces are intentionally monumental, his paintings express distinctive intimacy in the essence. The highly sensual and tactile materiality is a result of his approach that includes paint manipulations with the different brushstrokes. Simplifying his compositions, Scully’s repetitive forms resemble architectural elements and harmonious interaction of the colors evoke the profound emotional associations.

Sean Scully - Blue Orange Wall, 2014 home news exhibition gallery scully paintings 2015 exhibitions
Sean Scully – Blue Orange Wall, 2014

From Dublin and London to New York

Born in Dublin in 1945, he was growing up in south London where his family moved four years later. He started his painting career in the late 60’s. Scully studied at Croydon College of Art and Newcastle University and was a recipient of a graduate fellowship at Harvard. In 1975, he moved to New York and eight years later became an American citizen. His art, entirely international in perspective, shows an influence of both Europe and America. From harmonic forms of ancient Greek architecture and stone walls in rural Ireland, he made the legacy of abstraction in the United states. He has exhibited worldwide and his work is a part of the permanent collections of a number of museums and public galleries, as Metropolitan Museum of Art, Guggenheim Museum and MoMA in New York, the Tate Gallery in London and the Irish Museum of Modern Art in Dublin.

In 1975, Scully moved to New York

Sean Scully - Cut Ground Blue Pink, 2011 (Left) - Put This Back, 2011 (Right) home news exhibition gallery scully 2015 exhibitions
Sean Scully – Cut Ground Blue Pink, 2011 (Left) / Put This Back, 2011 (Right)

Brick as the Main Motif of the Artworks

Consisting of a number of panels, his abstract paintings are made of thick layers of the oil paint which create textured surfaces. The brief period of hard-edge painting at the very beginning of his artistic expression left the trace and highly influenced by his latter approach. Although he abandoned the masking tape, the characteristic motif of the stripe remained present, but accomplished and refined over the time. In his recent works, Scully enhanced his distinctive stripes, but also evolving a principle of compositional patterning that reminds of a checkboard. As the artist himself stated, his style represents the dicey society of Ireland. He remembers that everything was in that shape, “even the fields and the people”.

His distinctive stripes and thick layers of paint are the main expression of his arts

Sean Scully - Small Grey Wall, 2002 scully
Sean Scully – Small Grey Wall, 2002

Search for the Balance Between the Intimacy amd Monumentality

The describing geometry of his work creates the structure for the expressive rendering of color, light and texture. In his strivings to combine intimacy and monumentality, Scully makes an emotional abstraction in his paintings. The integration of structured composition with the idiosyncrasies of the chosen medium is typical of Scully’s work; the artist has described this duality as a “battle between system and emotion.” Although he has spent almost his entire career working with the idea of the stripe or painted band, Scully’s body of work is complex and extensive, rigorously trying out new compositions and stretching the possibilities of a single motif.

Sean Scully currently lives and works between New York, Barcelona and Munich.

Featured image: Sean Scully – Artist portrait
All images copyright Sean Scully

YearExhibition titleGallery/MuseumSolo/Group
2015 Sean Scully Palazzo Falier, Venice, Italy Solo
2015Sean Scully Kewenig Galerie, Berlin, Germany Solo
2015Different Places Château La Coste en Provence, Le Puy-Sainte-Réparade, France Solo
2015Sean Scully Monastery of St. Cecília de Montserrat, Barcelona, Spain Solo
2015Sean Scully Kerlin Gallery, Dublin, Ireland Solo
2015Carinthia Museum Liaunig, Neuhas, Austria Solo
2015Sean Scully. Moving or profound or necessary or beautiful Pinacoteca do Estado and Centro Universitário Maria Antonia, São Paulo, Brazil Solo
2015Sean Scully: Land – Sea Palazzo Falier, Venice, Italy Solo
2015Sean Scully National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin, Ireland Solo
2014Sean Scully: Kind of RedTimothy Taylor Gallery, London, England Group
2014Sean Scully: Follow the Heart Shanghai Himalayas Museum, Shanghai, China Solo
2014Figure Abstract Ludwig Museum, Koblenz, Germany Solo
2014Sean Scully Encounters: A New Master Among Old Masters Christ Church Picture Gallery, Oxford, England Solo
2013Farbiges Grau, Mies van der Rohe Haus Berlin, Germany Edge, Order, Rupture, Galerie Lelong, New YorkGroup
2013Sean Scully: Triptychs, Pallant House Gallery Chichester, West Sussex, England Solo
2013Sean Scully: Doric, the Hugh Lane Gallery Dublin, Ireland Solo
2013Sean Scully: Night and Day Cheim & Read, New York Solo
2013EDGE, ORDER, RUPTURGalerie Lelong, New York, USAGroup
2013Sean Scully: Iona & Related Paintings Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, USA Solo
2012Sean Scully: Change and Horizontals Timothy Taylor Gallery, London, EnglandSolo
2012Sean Scully: Works on Paper Wall of Light Red Shade, Van Every Smith Galleries, Davidson College, Davidson, North Carolina, USA Solo
2012The Verey Gallery Eton College, Windsor, England, UK Solo
2012Sean Scully: The Evocative Capacity of Painting Wooson Gallery, Daegu, South Korea Solo
2011Sean Scully: Works on Paper Luther W. Brady Art Gallery at George Washington University, Washington D.C. Solo
2011The Minimal Gesture Timothy Taylor Gallery, London, EnglandGroup
2011Creating the New Century: Contemporary Art from the Dicke Collection Dayton Art Institute, DaytonGroup
2011The Shadow of the Corner of the Wall: Liliane Tomasko and Sean Scully,Das Haus am Lützowplatz, Berlin, GermanyGroup
2010Liliane Alexander and Bonin, New York, USA Solo
2010Sean Scully Timothy Taylor Gallery, London, England Solo
2010Iona Ingleby Gallery, Edinburgh, Scotland Solo
2010Sean Scully: Works from the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth Old Jail Art Center, Albany, USA Solo
2010Works from the 1980s Carlow, Ireland; Leeds Art Gallery, Leeds, England Solo
2010The Pictorial World of Sean Scully Kunstsammlungen Chemnitz, Chemnitz, GermanyGroup
2010Building a Collection: Recent Acquisitions of Prints and DrawingsNational Gallery of Victoria, AustraliaGroup
2009Recent Paintings Galerie Lelong, New York, USA Solo
2009Sean Scully Walter Storms Galerie, Munich, Germany Solo
2009Modern & Contemporary Art at Dartmouth: Highlights from the Hood Museum of Art Hood Museum of Art at Dartmouth College, Hanover, USAGroup
2009Shaping Reality: Geometric Abstraction after 1960 Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Minneapolis, USAGroup
2009Histories of the Frontier Institut Valencia d'Art Modern, Valencia, SpainGroup
2009Preview for upcoming exhibitions Jamileh Weber Gallery, Zurich, SwirtzerlandGroup
2009Pop to Present Cantor Arts Center at Stanford University, Stanford, USAGroup
2008The Prints of Sean Scully Hyde Collection, Glens Falls, USA Solo
2008The Painted Surface Galerie Lelong, Paris, France Solo
2008The Art of the Stripe Hood Museum of Art at Dartmouth College, Hanover, USA Solo
2008Abstraction in the IVAM Collection Institut Valencia d'Art Moderne, Valencia, SpainGroup
2008Monet-Kandinsky-Rothko and Aftermath: Paths of Abstract Painting Bank Austria Kunstforum, Vienna, AustriaGroup
2008Sean Scully Galeria Carles Taché, Barcelona, Spain Solo
2007Sean Scully: Walls of Aran Kerlin Gallery, Dublin, Ireland Solo
2007Photos and Prints Galerie Kluser 2, Munich, Germany Solo
2007Aran Galerie Lelong, New York, USA Solo
2006Sean Scully L.A. Louver Gallery, Venice, USA Solo
2005Sean ScullySala Alcala 31, Madrid, Spain Solo
2005Sean ScullyIngleby Gallery, Edinburgh, Scotland Solo
2005Sean Scully: New Work Galerie Lelong, New York, USA Solo
2005Sean Scullyle centre de la Gravure et de l’image imprimée, La Louviere, Belgium Solo
2005Sean ScullyFaith – Hope - Love, Augustinerkloster, Erfut, Germany Solo
2004Sean Scully: Body of Light National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, Australia Solo
2004Sean Scully: Holly Paintings Kunstverein Aichach, Germany Solo
2004Sean Scully: Winter Robe Galerie Lelong, Paris, France Solo
2004Sean Scully: Prints 1983- 200Irish Cultural Centre, Paris, France Solo
2004Sean ScullyCentro Jose Guerrero and Federico Garcia Lorca Foundation, Granada, Spain Solo
2004Sean ScullyKerlin Gallery, Dublin, Ireland Solo
2003Sean Scully: Wall of Light Figures, Timothy Taylor Gallery, London, England Solo
2003Sean ScullyGaleria Carles Taché, Barcelona, Spain Solo
2003Sean ScullyHôtel des Arts, Toulon, France Solo
2002Sean ScullyCamara de Comercio de Cantabria, Santander, Spain Solo
2002Sean ScullyGemaldegalerie, Berlin; Galerie Neue Meister, Dresden, Germany Solo
2002Kunstsammlungen Dresden, Germany Solo
2002Sean ScullyLA Louver Gallery, Venice, USA Solo
2002Sean ScullyCentro de Art Hélio Oiticica, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil Solo
2001Sean ScullyBarcelona Etchings for Frederico Garcia Lorca Instituto Cervantes, London Solo
2001Sean Scully: Light and Gravity Knoedler + Company, New YorkSolo
2001New Works on Paper and Photographs Galerie Lelong, New York Solo
2001Sean ScullyLe Musée Jenisch, Vevey, Switzerland Solo
2000New Works Galerie Jamileh Weber, Zurich, SwitzerlandGroup
2000On Canvas: Contemporary Painting from the Collection Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New YorkGroup
2000L’Ombra Della Ragione Galleria D’Arte Moderna Bologna, Bologna, ItalyGroup
2000September Selections Knoedler & Company, New YorkGroup
1999Sean ScullyGalerie Lelong, Paris, France Solo
1999Print Retrospective Graphische Sammlung Albertina, Vienna, AustriaSolo
1999Sean Scully: New Paintings and Works on Paper Danese Gallery and Gallery Lelong, New YorkGroup
1999Sean Scully South London Gallery, London, England Solo
1999Sean Scully: Work From Garner Tullis Workshop Galerie Kornfeld, Zurich, Switzerland Solo
1999Sean ScullyGalerie Bernd Klüser, Munich, Germany; Timothy Taylor Gallery, London, England Solo
1998Zeit und Materie Baukunst, Cologne, GermanyGroup
1998Contemporary Art: The Janet, Wolfson de Botton Gift Tate Gallery, London, EnglandGroup
1998The Edward R. Collection: A Selection of Works Orlando Museum of Art, Orlando, USAGroup
1998Photographies Galerie Lelong, Paris, FranceGroup
1998On A Clear Day Graphische Sammlung, Staatsgalerie Stuttgart, Stuttgart, GermanyGroup
1997Sean Scully 1987, 1997Sala de Expositions Rekalde, BilbaoSolo
1997Sean Scully 1982, 1996 Manchester City Art Gallery, Manchester, England Solo
1997Recent Paintings Galerie Lelong, Paris, France Solo
1997Sean ScullyKerlin Gallery, Dublin, Ireland Solo
1997Floating Paintings and Photographs Galerie Lelong, New York, USA Solo
1997Sean ScullyGaleria DV, San Sebastian, Spain Solo
1996Catherine Paintings Casino Luxembourg, Forum d’Art Contemporain, Luxembourg Solo
1996Sean ScullyEditions T, Barcelona, Spain Solo
1996Paintings and Work on Paper Galeria d’Arte Moderna, Villa delle Rose, Bologna, Italy Solo
1996Sean ScullyGaleria Carles Taché, Barcelona, Spain Solo
1996Pastels Galerie Lelong, New York, USA Solo
1996Prints Galerie Angelika Harthan, Stuggart, Germany Solo
1995Sean ScullyGaleria El Dario Vasco, San Sebastian, Spain Solo
1995Sean ScullyGaleria De l’Ancien College, Chatellerault, France Solo
1995Sean ScullyWaddington Galleries, London, England Solo
1995Sean ScullyMary Boone Gallery, New York, USA Solo
1995Sean ScullyGalerie Bernd Klüser, Munich, Germany Solo
1995Catherine Paintings Kunstalle Bielefeld, Bielefeld, Germany Solo
1994Sean ScullyFuji Television Gallery, Tokyo, Japan Solo
1994Works on Paper Knoedler and Company, New York, USA Solo
1994Sean ScullyButler Gallery, Kiken Castle, Ireland Solo
1994Sean ScullyKerlin Gallery, Dublin, Ireland Solo
1993Sean ScullyMary Boone Gallery, New York, USA Solo
1993Catherine Paintings Fort Worth Modern Art Museum, Fort WorthSolo
1993Sean ScullyWaddington Galleries, London, England Solo
1993Sean ScullyGalerie Bernd Klüser, Munich, Germany Solo
1992Prints Weinberger Gallery, Copenhagen, Denmark Solo
1992Woodcuts Pamela Auchincloss Gallery, New York, USA Solo
1992Prints and Related Work Brooke Alexander Editions, New YorkSolo
1992Woodcuts Bobbie Greenfield Gallery, Los Angeles, USA Solo
1992Four Series Of Prints John Berggruen Gallery, San FranciscoGroup
1991Paintings and Works on Paper Jamieh Weber Gallery, Zurich, Switzerland Solo
1991Small Format Works on Paper John Berggruen Gallery, San FranciscoGroup
1991Post-modern Prints Victoria and Albert Museum, London, EnglandGroup
1991La Metafisica Della Luce John Goode Gallery, New YorkGroup
1990Sean ScullyKarsten Greve Gallery, Cologne, Germany Solo
1990Drawings: Joseph Beuys, Paul Rotterdam Anthony Ralph Gallery, New York Group
1990Sean Scully - Donald Sultan: Abstraction – Representation Stanford Art Gallery, Stanford University, StanfordDuo
1990Geometric Abstraction Marc Richards Gallery, Santa MonicaGroup
1989Sean Scully. Bilder und Zeichnungen Galerie Karsten Greve, Cologne, GermanySolo
1989Sean Scully Pastel Drawings Grob Gallery, LondonSolo
1989Sean Scull New PaintingsDavid McKee Gallery, New YorkSolo
1988Sean ScullyFuji Television Gallery, TokyoSolo
1987Sean Scully The Art Institute of Chicago, ChicagoSolo
1987Sean ScullyGalerie Schmela, Düsseldorf, GermanySolo
1987Sean Scully Monotypes David McKee Gallery, New YorkSolo
1986Sean Scully Paintings. 1985-1986 David McKee Gallery, New YorkSolo
1985Sean Scully Neue Arbeiten Galerie Schmela, DüsseldorfSolo
1985Sean Scully Paintings and Drawings Barbara Krakow Gallery, BostonSolo
1985Sean Scully New Paintings David McKee Gallery, New YorkSolo
1984Sean Scully schilderijen – tekeningen Galerij S65 - Aalst, BelgiumSolo
1983Sean ScullyDavid McKee Gallery, New YorkSolo
1983Contemporary Abstract Painting Muhlenberg College Center for the Arts, AllentownGroup
1982Sean Scully Recent Paintings William Beadleston Inc., New YorkSolo
1981Sean Scully Recent Paintings McIntosh Drysdale Gallery, Washington DCSolo
1981Sean Scully Recent Paintings Rowan Gallery, LondonSolo
1981Sean Scully Susan Caldwell Inc, New YorkSolo
1980Sean ScullySusan Caldwell Inc, New YorkSolo
1980Marking Black Bronx Museum of the ArtsGroup
1980The International Connection Sense of Ireland Festival, Roundhouse Gallery, London, EnglandGroup
1980Irish Art 1943–1973 Crawford Municipal Art Gallery, Cork, IrelandGroup
1979Sean Scully Paintings 1975 – 1979 The Clocktower, New YorkSolo
1979Sean Scully Recent Paintings Rowan Gallery, LondonSolo
1979Fourteen Painters Lehmann College Art Gallery, City University of New YorkGroup
1979New Wave Painting the Clocktower, New YorkGroup
1979UnknownSusan Caldwell Gallery, New YorkGroup
1978UnknownRowan Gallery, London, EnglandGroup
1978Small Works Newcastle Polytechnic Art Gallery, Newcastle upon Tyne, EnglandGroup
1977Sean Scully Paintings & Drawings Rowan Gallery, LondonSolo
1977Post-Minimal Works Nobe Gallery, New YorkGroup
1977British Painting 1952–1977 the Royal Academy of Arts, London, EnglandGroup
1976Sean Scully Works on Paper La Tortue Gallery, Santa MonicaSolo
1976Invitational Exhibition Susan Caldwell Gallery, New YorkGroup
19767 Artists from the Rowan Gallery Sunderland Arts Centre, Sunderland, EnglandGroup
1976Invitational John Weber Gallery, New YorkGroup
1975Sean Scully Recent Paintings Rowan Gallery, LondonSolo
1975Contemporary Art Society Art FairContemporary Art Society, Mall Galleries, London, EnglandGroup
1974British Painting ’74 Hayward Art Gallery, London, EnglandGroup
1974John Moores Liverpool Exhibition 9Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool, EnglandGroup
1973Recent Paintings. Sean ScullyRowan Gallery, LondonSolo
1973Critics ChoiceGulbenkian Gallery, People’s Theatre, Newcastle upon Tyne, EnglandGroup
1973La Peinture Anglaise Aujourd’hui, Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, ParisGroup
1972Sean Scully Bookshop Gallery, Ceolfrith Art Centre, SunderlandSolo
1972John Moores Liverpool Exhibition 8 Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool, England Northern Young Painters, Stirling University, Stirling, ScotlandGroup
1971Annual Students’ Summer Exhibition Hatton Gallery, University of Newcastle, Newcastle upon Tyne, EnglandGroup
1970Northern Young Contemporaries Whitworth Art Gallery, University of Manchester, ManchesterGroup
1970Contemporaries Royal Academy, LondonGroup