Tuesday 9 April 2013

Sean Scully

Doric, by Sean Scully, at the Dublin City Gallery, The Hugh Lane. (In collaboration with the Benaki Museum in Athens).

Sean Scully was born in Dublin but is now based in New York.

Scully is best known as a painter of monumental works in oil, although he is also a printmaker producing woodcuts and etchings. He abandoned figurative work in the mid-1960s and has since established a reputation as an abstract painter. Drawing on the tradition of Abstract Expressionism, heavily influenced by Rothko, but also by Matisse and Mondrian, his work reduces painting to its simple rudiments of form and colour, revealing paint's capacity for expressive power. He abandoned precise delineation for a looser, more painterly handling of paint, and his use of colour, subtle nuances and stark contrasts testify to a concern with light and beauty. His trademark is the repeated use of horizontal and vertical stripes.

Doric references one of the three orders of ancient Greek architecture, the least ornate, the Doric, and the paintings were conceived as a celebration of the contribution of classic Greek culture. The Doric order impressed Scully for its simplicity and force, 'the spaces between the columns are spaces for thought, for light, for questioning and growth'.

The above are all oil on canvas.

These are monumental works and I hope that this photograph gives an idea of scale

Doric 4, 2012, (charcoal on paper)

Doric 3, 2012, (charcoal on paper)

Hammering II, 1994, (pastel on paper).

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