Sean Scully

Contemporary and Old Art Reviews

Sean Scully

Postby art reviews » Wed Feb 09, 2011 12:47 pm

http://www.guardian.co.uk/culture/video ... tist-video

Love the headline: there are no certainties in my art..

Uh, except they'll be stripes and dull. What if he painted a Zebra?
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Re: Sean Scully

Postby CAP » Wed Feb 09, 2011 1:55 pm

No certainties, certainly.

Just overwhelming probabilities and propensities...

A painter of the same stripe as... other stripe painters. :(
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Re: Sean Scully

Postby Jim » Thu Feb 10, 2011 2:17 pm

Indeed. Expect to see him on my bitter-list. Even he must be stunned at his success. I enjoyed that little film on the Guardian tho', quite an accent.
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Re: Sean Scully

Postby CAP » Thu Feb 10, 2011 5:07 pm

So how come he lives in Germany, now? I got the part that he was passive in the decision, but still, then he goes on about all the things he's not passive about, but we never get back to WTF he's doing there, wherever it is - somewhere in the German countryside (near Ludwigshafen?) For years he was ensconced in Brooklyn, I think. A virtual New Yorker, loyal to the stripe. Although you wouldn't guess that from the accent, apart from his pronunciation of 'studio' as stoodio, in Cockney that ought to have been 's-chewdyo', I suppose. Maybe it's something to do with the wife and child. That wasn't explained either.

Have you ever seen his late 60s/early 70s paintings? He started off a hard edge (masking taped) grids guy - his specialty: oblique angles to the intersections and twee little airbrushed drop shadows, where one colour overlaps another. That stuff was rife at the time, Sean just one of many. Then over the years they got simpler, more painterly, and grids give way to stripes, stripes vary in width, then direction, then involve canvas shape... It's a familiar story of Minimalism spreading, stretching itself into Maximalism. Sean is really a dinosaur in that respect, dragging his stripes along into rugged, and not especially interesting terrain.

Still, people like David Carrier (philosopher/critic) love him to bits. For DC and his like, SS is the kind of duh guy they can project onto and become at one with art and life. I don't get it. Wimps!

Even in the really big ones, back when he was slathering the stuff on with what looked like a broom, you could tell he was just flogging a dead horse. There would never be a brush big enough, a colour so mixed, tertiary or indeterminate, that it's apprehension would seriously challenge the stolid stripe. Somehow he could just never give that up or try volumes, much less a zebra. Even his drop shadows acknowledged the dead end of an exclusively two-dimensional geometry.

It's interesting to compare his development with Brice Marden, an approximate contemporary. Brice too was a second generation Minimalist, in the thrall of the stripe, and prominent axial symmetry to the picture plane. But Brice's thing was the hand's facture, the incidental textures of palette knife and other instruments. That got him drawing. And the drawing suggested writing, or calligraphy more than grids (a familiar option throughout 20th century abstraction). So he gets into something like lines of ideograms, characters or letters, and a more relaxed grid, and then the intersections to a character blur between characters, or the grid soon has so many angles, characters do not share a unitary differentiation. We have the linear field, a la Tobey and Pollock et al.

Marden has since shown that the line can do much more, that widths and curves carry other meanings. Scully, on the other hand, has become a prisoner to doctrine, and being in a more relaxed prison farm, doesn't make it any less of a prison.

:|
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