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Museum presents major exhibition of work by Abstract painter Sean Scully
"Doric Blue and Blue," 2015, by Sean Scully. Oil on linen, 28 x 32 inches. Collection of Andy Song. Image courtesy of the artist. Photographer: Robert Bean. © Sean Scully.



PHILADELPHIA, PA.- This comprehensive fifty-year survey exhibition features the artist’s most significant works from the 1970s to the present to closely examine his contribution to the history of abstract art and his mastery of technique by focusing on the various mediums, motifs, and scales that have defined the artist’s practice over time. Sean Scully: The Shape of Ideas centers on paintings, drawings, prints, and pastels, demonstrating the integral relationships between works in various media, which are rarely exhibited together.

Scully (American, born in Ireland in 1945) is a painter, printmaker, sculptor, and poet. He is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Peter Stuyvesant Foundation Prize, a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and the Harkness Fellowship, as well as a two-time Turner Prize nominee. Scully’s works are in numerous private and public collections, including the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, and the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art. In 2015, Scully participated in the Venice Biennale with his solo exhibition Land Sea at the Palazzo Falier. The upcoming survey will be the artist’s first of this scale in the United States since Sean Scully: Twenty Year, 1976–1995, which was presented in 1995 at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, D.C. The artist divides his time between New York, England, and Germany.

Catalogue

A new publication accompanies the exhibition, authored by Timothy Rub, the George D. Widener Director and CEO, with Amanda Sroka, Assistant Curator of Contemporary Art. It is the first to thoroughly examine Sean Scully’s art within a biographical context. Co-published by the Philadelphia Museum of Art and Yale University Press, the catalogue presents an in-depth account of Scully’s work and his most significant bodies of work informed by extensive and recent interviews with the artist. The book begins with a preface by Marla Price, Director of the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth and author of Scully’s multivolume catalogue raisonné, and an essay by the poet and art critic Kelly Grovier on the unique contribution Scully has made to the history of abstraction. Featured contributions include reprints by which historically contextualize Scully’s work by William Feaver, Deborah Solomon, Donald Kuspit, Arthur C. Danto, and Michael Auping. 256 pages. ISBN: 9780876332955.

Curators

Timothy Rub, Director Emeritus
Amanda Sroka, Associate Curator of Contemporary Art










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