Sea Star: Sean Scully at the National Gallery

13 April–11 August 2019

Exhibition Overview

Sean Scully, Landline China 8 (detail), Private Collection.

The National Gallery presents an exhibition of new work by Irish-born, American-based contemporary artist Sean Scully (born 1945). Inspired by the National Gallery Collection and his love for Joseph Mallord William Turner’s painting The Evening Star, he charts a personal journey of deep admiration for colour, composition, and the power of painting.

In Turner’s 'The Evening Star', the single figure of a boy on the shore sets off for home as sky and sea darken. For Scully, this elegiac picture is one of Turner’s most profound works and he feels a deep connection to it.

Poignant and poetic, Scully's abstract works are constructed from panels painted in oil, often with thickly applied paint to create rich, textured surfaces. Using the motif of the stripe or chequerboards, the artist evokes landscapes and architecture, horizons, fields, and coastlines; his contemplative forms become reminders of personal experiences and distinctive moments.

(© Sean Scully. Photo: courtesy the artist.)

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