I once sat around in New York with a group of painters, who wanted to meet once a week and have discussions about paintings. This was in the late 70s. And I only went to one meeting, because at the end of a long discussion, it seemed to me that they were trying to make a painting in a way bullet-proof, intellectually. What you could paint was a grey square and the grey had to be a mid-grey square, painted without any expressionistic brush work. That was a minimum painting and that was a painting that you couldn’t argue with. That was also a painting that didn’t say anything. And I don’t think that being an artist is about making yourself bullet-proof. It’s about exposing yourself to attack. Being able to take it.
Sean Scully, interview with Hans-Michael Herzog, ‘The beauty of the real’,
Sean Scully (exhibition catalogue), Milan: Charta, 1996, pp. 55–131 (p. 89).