Throughout his 30-year career, the renowned Dublin-born artist Sean Scully has continually sought to reinvigorate abstract painting, and has succeeded in this attempt by finding ways through (rather than around) postwar American abstraction. Scully employs a reductive vocabulary of thick horizontal and vertical bands of color, which perform an interplay of mass, light and shadow, through which he reconciles the ordered character of early European Modernism, with its ideals of harmony and spirituality, and late American Modernism, with its use of less harmonious, expressionistic compositions. Scully has described this tension: “I’m trying to capture something that has a classical stillness and at the same time has enough emotion or dissonance to create an unresolved quality.” This volume, published concurrently with an exhibition at New York’s Galerie Lelong, features 22 recent paintings, including works from Scully’s much-admired Wall of Light and Robe series, plus recent watercolors and drawings.
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