Sean Scully, Pink Dark Triptych, 2011, Oil on linen Presented by an Anonymous Donor through Timothy Taylor Gallery (2012) © Sean Scully
In the last decade Scully has employed richly tonal colours in his work, applying paint in a sensuous and fluid manner. His paintings have become increasingly poetic and mysterious. He has spoken of the ‘metaphysical relationship with materials, which is of course fundamental to all of my work – that relationship between materiality and light.’ Although Scully’s paintings have a powerful physical presence that is rooted in his expressive brushstrokes, together with the underlying associational forms of the triptych they are concerned with expressing a sense of spirituality.
In the words of the artist: “Painting takes a lot of years, it takes a whole lifetime. It’s not about having an idea [but] rather being able to express it in painting. I have worked alone in the face of so many movements, against other forms of art. I’ve never thought of myself as an ‘artist’ nor as some sort of superior being. I try to take advantage of an urban language, a language architecturally grounded yet impregnated with emotion. I want it to be [a] common, normal urban language able to transform my painting into a sensation, into a feeling. Taking a look at myself in the mirror of Rembrandt or of Cézanne when they were in their twilight years, I would like to make a deeper painting, give it a sense of spirituality and give the world a more human sense, incorporating the sky, nature, living beings. A world of feelings and poetry.”