Sean Scully, Catherine, 1989
102 x 136 in.
Sean Scully (b.1945) is an Irish-born painter who works out of New York. Born in Dublin and raised in South London, he attended Croydon College of Art and Newcastle University. After a graduate fellowship took him to the United States, he decided to settle in New York in the early 1970s. Scully's work consistently features patterns of stripes and lines, influenced by architecture, landscapes, textile, patterns, and artists such as Mark Rothko and Piet Mondrian. Throughout a number of personal hardships, Scully has always continued painting. Although they lack any figurative content, they are rich with emotional content and become totemic. Scully now lives with his second wife, the artist Liliane Tomasko. The "Catherine Series" was painted between 1979 and 1996 during his marriage to Catherine Lee. Together, the couple would select one painting a year from Scully's annual output to be a member of the series, and each named Catherine. The series presents, not only a selection of some of Scully's best works, but also a picture over time of his art. This 1989 entry is an excellent example of Scully's signature style. He uses thick paint with a lot of texture to create his surfaces. His paintings have a somewhat rustic, worked over feel, which makes them extremely engaging and inviting. His colors are especially warm, and they are intense but never imposing. Scully's large canvases make a significant impression and a powerful statement, offering a worldview that is both geometric and emotional.