Sean Scully is the first major solo exhibition of the artist in Austria in more than a decade.The presentation of fifty paintings by the Irish artist enables the Lentos to provide a representative overview of his oeuvre.
In Scully’s early work a grid system conjures unusual optical effects by allowing strips of colour to overlap repeatedly. The 1980s saw the artist developing a style of painting in which brush flow is a key element. Hard outlines are softened through painterly means, contours bleed into one another. Strips in bright colours contrast with darker ones to great effect. Astutely chosen colours underline the resulting dynamism. Scully’s large formats, which sometimes spill over into a constellation of two or more paintings, and his Picture in Picture combinations qualify as icons of 20th and 21st century abstract painting. Scully’s oeuvre amounts to much more than a stylish reflection on the art of painting that is effortlessly in control of the means at its disposal. It charts the ways in which painting is capable of evolving as a parallel to life, the life of the artist and the lives of his public. It serves as a storage space for memories, as a poetical effigy of what has entered the mind through the eyes, as an expanded space for possibilities.
The exhibition was conceived and is realized in collaboration with the Kunstmuseum Bern.
Curator: Brigitte Reutner
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