Kind of Red: An Ode to Jazz in the Paintings of Sean Scully
There are a handful of major 20th century painters who either completely switch or explore photography for a significant part of their careers. David Hockney and Chuck Close are but a few to consider.
And of course there is the Irish artist Sean Scully (b. 1945) who since the 1980's has been revered internationally for his abstract paintings composed of grid-like forms - ofter inspired by construction and architectural motifs.
Scully has been working with photography since the 1970's but it was in the 1990's that his photographs transitioned from being inspiration and reference to independent works of art.
His photographs explore highly textured, color-blocked architectural elements such as doors and borded-up walls in locals including Mexico, Scotland and his native Ireland.
This work from the "Harris and Lewis Shacks" series seems closest in tone and palette to Scully's canvases - which ofter favor shades of grey, rust, charcoal, and taupe.
An ideal piece for a young collector interested in abstraction in both photography and painting.
Signature: Initaled, dated and numbered verso by the artist
Mira Godard Gallery, Toronto
Demonstrating an unwavering commitment to abstraction, Sean Scully’s paintings and works on paper combine an underlying geometric structure with soft edges and uneven application of pigment. Scully’s compositions often employ stripes, grids, and dark, earthy tones, as seen in early watercolors where Scully allowed the paint to puddle and overlap with a larger stripe motif. This 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.”
Irish, b. 1945, Dublin, Ireland