In the art of Sean Scully — widely acknowledged as among the most important proponents of abstraction during the last half-century — particular attention has often been paid to the potential significance both literal and metaphorical of the square .
This exhibition traces that history in the evolution of Scully’s unique contribution to abstract painting. A career that infused the limited vocabulary of minimalist with the raw spirit and muddy emotion of the lived experience.
From the earliest work in the exhibition, a Gouache on paper from 1968, described by the writer Kelly Grovier as ‘an abacus of thirty shuddering circles squeezed within as many squares’ to his more recent ‘Dark Window’ series where dense black squares are squeezed within his landlines, (made during lockdown and unveiled in the New York Times in April 2020) Scully has returned time and time again to test, tease and push against geometry.
SQUARE also includes a new series of prints made with the artists finger on an iPhone screen. Shown for the first time, these playful and expressive drawings are teeming with life and energy, expressing the haptic and creative potential of the screen. A celebration of tactility in an age of immateriality, they carve out a space for drawing and mark-making in the age of the smartphone while reconsidering the legacy of minimalism and abstraction in the 21st Century.