Sean Scully: Body of light
What does the practice of painting look like at the beginning of a new century? What does it mean to be a painter, when critics and artists have argued for decades that painting is ‘dead’, that it has nothing left to ‘say’? In the face of photographic, cinematic, digital imaging and new media processes now available to artists, how can we understand the centuries-old practice of oil painting as anything but outdated?
The work of the Irish-born painter Sean Scully makes clear that painting is, in spite of pronouncements of its death, both alive and well. This exhibition introduces Australian audiences to a selection of Scully’s paintings, watercolours, prints and drawings from the last 16 years.
Scully was born in Dublin in 1945. His family left the Irish capital in 1949 and lived, like many Irish immigrants, on London’s working-class Old Kent Road. Inspired by paintings he saw in his local church, Scully decided at a young age to become a painter. After studying painting in London and Newcastle during the late 1960s and early 1970s, Scully moved to the United States of America in 1972, before settling permanently in New York City in 1975. Scully now divides his time between New York City, Barcelona, Spain and Mooseurach, Germany
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