b. 1946, Ireland
A world-renowned abstract painter, Sean Scully is one of the leading artists of his generation. He is best known for his impactful and internationally recognisable paintings balancing dynamic bands of colour in rhythmic formulations, capturing tonality, light and mood with great drama and delicacy. His global but deeply personal perspective has seen him absorb the core elements of the visual world – from the sky and sea to the ascetic modesty of stone architectural structures – as well as the full spectrum of human pathos, from grief and pain to fatherhood. Scully’s art is highly physical, often monumental in scale and populated by vigorous, robust shape and form, and yet it is also an art of great honesty, intimacy, and even vulnerability. An abstractionist but not a formalist, Scully deploys the power of colour, depth and volume not only to give expression to the world around him, but to provide access to the spiritual domain. In recent years, the artist’s explorations of space and volume have continued into large-scale sculptural works – monumental and megalithic-feeling stone blocks that weigh down on the land, as well as airy structures in Corten steel that open up and interact with the landscape. Across these diverse approaches to making art, Scully utilises a consciously constrained system to open up an energetic multiplicity of aesthetic possibility and emotional range.
Born in Dublin and raised in London, Scully now lives between New York and Germany.