Sean Scully

Uninsideout

Blain|Southern London
3 October - 17 November 2018

'I want my paintings to be obvious, so that when you see them you feel that I have painted something you were thinking yourself, as if I have stolen the thought from you.'
Sean Scully

Uninsideout, Sean Scully’s first exhibition with Blain|Southern, will offer an overview of the artist’s multi-faceted practice. Opening in the London gallery during Frieze week, the presentation will encompass large-scale, multi-panel paintings, as well as works on paper, sculpture and a group of his celebrated Landline paintings.

In recent years, Scully has started painting on both aluminium and copper, exploring the interaction of paint on metal, and the 'dull but vibrant light' it yields. The Landline paintings and multi-panel works in this exhibition, all oil on aluminium, showcase the artist's 'inexplicable fascination' with this medium.

Born in Dublin in 1945, Scully grew up in London and settled in America in the mid-1970s. One of the most admired abstract painters working today, his work draws on the traditions of European painting, invigorated with the distinct character of American abstraction.

Scully views abstraction as ‘an equal opportunity art form’; a universal language that can be read by all. In a career spanning six decades – and counting – Scully has risen to international prominence, with work held in major public collections worldwide.

Read more about Sean Scully

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Sean Scully in his NY studio, 2018, Image courtesy of Galerie magazine, Photo Michael Mundy

Sean Scully in his NY studio, 2018, Image courtesy of Galerie magazine, Photo Michael Mundy

'One stripe is a note, many are a chord, all are played by hand'

Sean Scully

Rhythm has always been of central importance to Scully, and much of the work in Uninsideout has a palpable musical structure.

Rhythm emerges from both his sources of inspiration, such as music and poetry, but also in his process, visible in the fluid handling of his medium and his own powerful movement as he paints.

Scully grew up in his grandmother's house in London surrounded by poetry and music, not least the homesick songs of the matriarchs and Irish workers who lodged there. He went on to play in a band and also ran a blues club. Witnessing the explosion of rock 'n' roll, he was enthralled by its immediacy and ability to transcend divisions of language, race, class and politics. This led to his interest in developing an artistic language that was abstract and minimal, yet profoundly human, feeding his belief in a rhythmical structure that binds the world, unconsciously, together.

'What Art Is', Sean Scully, June 2004

'What Art Is', Sean Scully, June 2004

'I try to paint this...sense of the elemental coming-together of land and sea, sky and land, of blocks coming together side by side, stacked in horizon lines endlessly beginning and ending'

Sean Scully

Land Sky Sea Land Sky Sea

Sean Scully, Land Sea Sky (1999)

Sean Scully, Land Sky Sea (1999)

Landline

The landline has been one of Scully’s recurring themes since 1999, a series of paintings composed of wide horizontal stripes that, in the absence of any vertical architecture, appear to lean into each other. The sense of movement in these paintings is palpable, intensified by fissures of colour that hold the viewer in an uncertain, infinite space.

The Landline series makes reference to the edge of land. Scully has removed almost all vertical forms from the works to create, in his own words, 'a side-to-side motion'. The horizontal band becomes the central motif, mirroring land as it meets sea and air – but far from serene, the works capture movement and energy, showing an increased freedom of brushstroke. Scully’s loose horizontal bands mimic the repetitive yet wholly unpredictable rhythm of the sea, embracing its overlap and irregularity



The Making of Landline Near Blue

Watch Sean Scully painting Landline Near Blue (2018) in his studio in Tappan, New York.


Museum Exhibitions

Alongside works on permanent display, Sean Scully has a number of major solo exhibitions in museums around the world in 2018-2019.

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Blain|Southern London: Location

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