Sean Scully, ‘This Way Up’, 1993, Phillips

Image: 43 3/4 x 33 in. (111.1 x 83.8 cm)
Sheet: 50 x 36 3/4 in. (127 x 93.3 cm)

Printer: Garner Tullis at Garner Tullis Workshop, Santa Barbara

From the Catalogue:
This Way Up is one of a series of thirty-nine monotypes which Scully made over a period of eleven days at the Garner Tullis Workshop.
Scully had previously made etchings and woodcuts but this series marked his first attempt to make monotypes.
The series was printed from pieces of Douglas Fir timber which were painted and pressed onto paper. This wood has a hard grain and a soft heart, and is indigenous to the West Coast of America. The pieces of wood were cut initially in the proportion of three to one, that is their length was three times their width. Some were then cut to shorter lengths, but always as a proportion of the width. The use of wood blocks has given the image a grained texture which has an affinity with the combed and rubbed surface of Scully's paintings.
The printing was achieved as follows: the blocks were laid down like a jigsaw, inked and then paper laid on top and pressed. The paper was taken off, and then a freshly inked board was placed on top of the paper and pressed, superimposing a layer of color. Subsequent layers of color were then added using blocks laid down in exactly the configuration of the first printing. While the first printing was in ink, the later printings may have been in ink or oil paint.
Courtesy of Phillips

Signature: Signed, dated, inscribed 'For Benjamin' and numbered 1/2 in pencil (one of two variants)

Publisher: Artist

About Sean Scully

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