Monday, August 6, 2012

Amazing abstract compositions that exude depth and warmth

The works of painter Sean Scully are largely indebted to the varied influences of Piet Mondrian, Henry Matisse and Mark Rothko. While functioning as apprentice with a typographer, he started studying at the Central School of Arts in London, completing his further education in art at Croydon College, Newcastle University and also at the University of Harvard.

From 1970 onwards, and from his detailed research on perception of serial structures, optical illusions and the sense of movement grasped through superposition, he minimized his iconographic repertoire to a subtle series of lines, bands, blocks etc. They have now become apt representative of his work. Sean Scully assembles all these elements in an alternative order as part of his painting and, he builds monumental arrangements. In them the contrast between background and figure is neutralized.

The treatment of color implies a handcrafted process in his work: the progressive superposition of thin layers apparently impregnated of different pigments revealed by transparency offer some unique tones, of immense depth, to confer sensual warmth as well as emotion upon his amazing abstract compositions.

The series conceived as a celebration of the classic Greek culture’s contribution to humanity, includes works that embody a metaphor of great Greek architecture, as Scully writes, ‘the spaces between the columns are space for thought, for light, for questioning and growth.’

Both light and dark tones tend to intervene in a complex, continual game of solidity and shadow. Athens, there is no doubt, is the inspiration of the series. However, the role of captivating countryside location of the artist’s studio (Mooseurach) near Munich is also very crucial. It was here that most of the paintings started, on a very particular wall he grew to think was extremely essential to the process, as he explains, ‘...that’s where I would make the Doric paintings, and I would paint them into the evening when I could hardly see what I was doing. I like that clarity.’

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