b. 1945, Dublin, Ireland
Sean Scully is considered to be one of the world’s leading abstract painters. Born in Dublin and raised in London, he now lives between New York and Germany. Appropriately, therefore, Scully’s art is thoroughly international in perspective, drawing on the diverse historical and cultural influences of places that, at different times, have been profoundly important to him. He has taken inspiration from many cherished, varied elements of European culture (ranging from the harmonic ideals of ancient Greek architecture to the vernacular design of stone walls in rural Ireland) but he has also successfully responded to – and built on – the legacy of abstraction in the United States. Scully’s commanding, internationally recognizable style of abstract art – based on repeating and steadily adapting arrangements of discretely nuanced blocks of colour – combines considerable painterly drama with great visual delicacy. It is an art of tremendous vigour: Scully is a forceful, physical artist, who creates intentionally monumental spaces. But it is also an art of acute concentration and care: his work involves an ongoing negotiation between the monumental and the intimate.
Scully's many worldwide solo exhibitions include the Met Museum, New York; Whitechapel Gallery, London; the Hirshhorn Museum, Washington; the Philadelphia Museum of Art; Kunstsammlung Nordrhein Westfalen, Dusseldorf, the Haus Der Kunst, Munich and IVAM, Valencia; The Phillips Collection, Washington DC; The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Fort Worth; Cincinnati Art Museum, Cincinnati and The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.
Recent solo exhibitions include: Insideoutside, Skulpturenpark Waldfrieden, Wuppertal, Germany (2020-21), Opulent Ascension, LWL-Museum für Kunst und Kultur, Münster, Germany, (2020); Aeternum, Forum Paracelsus, St Moritz, (2020); Eleuthera, Centro de Arte Contemporáneo, Málaga, Spain,(2019/2020); Long Night, Villa e Collezione Panza, Varese, Italy,(2019 / 2020); Sean Scully. Celtique at Picasso House, Château de Boisgeloup, Gisros, France,(2019); Landline, The Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford, Connecticut, (2019); Eleuthera, Albertina, Vienna, (2019); Sea Star, National Gallery, London, (2019); Vita Duplex, Staatliche Kunsthalle Karlsruhe, Karlsruhe, (2018); Landlines and other recent works, De Pont Museum of Contemporary Art, Tilburg (2018); Sean Scully: 1970, Walker Art, Liverpool Museum, (2018); Inside Outside, Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Wakefield, (2018) & THE LAND / THE LINE, Kerlin Gallery (2018).
Scully celebrated his 70th birthday in June 2015 by unveiling a new permanent site-specific installation at the world-famous Romanesque chapel Santa Cecília de Montserrat, near Barcelona.
Scully's work is represented in the collections of The Guggenheim Museum, New York; Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Hugh Lane Gallery, Dublin; Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin; Tate Gallery, London; Ulster Museum, Belfast; National Gallery of Art, Washington; San Diego Museum of Art, San Diego; Nagoya City Art Museum, Tokyo; International Forum, Tokyo and many more collectors both private and corporate collections in Ireland and abroad.