Best known as a painter of monumental works in oil, Scully has gained international prominence as one of the most admired painters in the abstract tradition, fusing the conventions of European painting with the distinct character of American abstraction. Working in the mould of Matisse, Mondrian and Rothko, Scully reduces painting to its simple rudiments of form and colour, revealing the medium's capacity for expressive power.

The triptych, which has its roots in Renaissance altarpieces, has obsessed the artist for over thirty years. Scully describes it as: "the other relationship, the number three, which seems to have sacred, mystical implications for us, not least because it gives us relief from the mirror - the simple reflected self."

Whilst Scully creates nuanced abstract paintings that engage with the tactility of paint and surface, he has used the triptych format to meditate upon ideas about existence and human relationships. In the early 1980s Scully was profoundly affected by the experience of seeing Duccio's Maesta (1308) in Sienna, an image of the Madonna and child surrounded by the saints, and subsequently painted an abstract homage made of three panels of unequal width. After the death of his son Scully made a painting that takes refuge in what he sees as the mystic power of the triptych and its ability to give form and place to his sorrow.

This exhibition will bring together major recent paintings, as well as drawings and etchings in the triptych format, presented in a suite of three rooms that mirror the form of his artworks. The exhibition celebrates the Gallery's recent acquisition of a major new painting, Dark Pink Triptych (2011), recently gifted by the artist and an anonymous donor

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About the artist
Although born in Dublin, Scully was raised in London. He attended Croydon Art College in the late 1960s, before studying at Newcastle. He moved to New York in 1975, and became an American citizen eight years later.

Working between New York, Barcelona and Munich, Scully has exhibited widely in Europe and the United States and is represented in the permanent collections of a number of museums and public galleries, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, and the Guggenheim Museum in New York City, the Tate Gallery, London and many other private and public collections worldwide. Scully was twice nominated for the Turner Prize, in 1989 and 1993 respectively. He was a professor at the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich and was elected as a Royal Academician in 2012.

Interviews:
Sean Scully will be available for a limited number of interviews. Please contact Emma Robertson on e.robertson@pallant.org.uk or 01243 770841.

Press Preview:
A press preview for the exhibition will be held at Pallant House Gallery on Thursday 31 October at 2pm. A small number of complimentary train tickets from London Victoria will be available for press. Please contact Emma Robertson if you would like a ticket as soon as possible.

Publication:
A small publication will be published to accompany the show, available to buy in the Gallery Bookshop.

Exhibition sponsor:
Timothy Taylor Gallery