Sean Scully – The Inner Meaning of Abstraction


Desert Night, Wall of Light, 1999, oil on canvas, 108 x 132 inches


Beach, Wall of Light, 2001, oil on canvas, 40 x 50 inches


Night, Wall of Light, 2003, oil on canvas, 84 x 96 inches

Irish-born American painter Sean Scully is  a major figure in both the history of Irish art and of contemporary abstract painting.

In a career spanning over thirty years, Scully has gained international prominence as one of the most admired painters in the abstract tradition.
Fusing the traditions of European painting with the distinct character of American abstraction, Scully’s great achievement is the reinvigoration of abstract painting with the metaphorical, the philosophical and the sublime combined with the earthy tangibility of pure paint. (Timothy Taylor Gallery)

In the video below, Structure without Coercion, he talks on the inner meaning of abstraction. The video was produced as the artist prepared his 2006-2007 Metropolitan Museum of Art Exhibition, “Wall of Light.”

Sean Scully was born in Dublin on 30 June 1945. In 1949 his family moved to London, where in the early 1960s he worked as a messenger in a graphic design studio and as a plasterer’s labourer. He then became apprenticed to a typesetter and attended evening classes at Central School of Art, London. From there he went on to Croydon College of Art and Newcastle University.

In 1971 he won the John Moore’s. He taught at Chelsea School of Art and moved to the US, where he received the Harkness Fellowship. He became Visiting Arts Professor at Princeton and Professor at Parsons School NY. He received a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1983 and became a US citizen. He was nominated for the Turner Prize in 1989 and again in 1993. He lives in New York, Barcelona and Munich.

Review of the Wall of Light Exhibition

Sean Scully on Wikipedia

posted by Carmelita Caruana


4 responses to “Sean Scully – The Inner Meaning of Abstraction”

  1. Keith Fillier says:

    Great painter…absolutely the best…I like the simplicity and direct statements Sean makes about his work…and the statements are like his work…they are parallel. I wish I could say more….but there is no need it all speaks very well as it should. Amazing. 

  2. So glad you appreciate, I love his work too, the reason I made this post! Thank you for taking the time to stop by and comment!

  3. Sebastiangeorgvogel says:

    great painting

  4. Sebastiangeorgvogel says:

    great painting……………….

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