Sean Scully: prints and photographs
Dec 2, 2003 – Jan 10, 2004
Alexander and Bonin is pleased to present an exhibition of prints and photographs by Sean Scully. This exhibition has been organized in concert with the publication of The Color of Time, a 208 page monograph of Scully’s photographs published by Steidl, Göttingen, Germany. The monograph includes essays by Arthur C. Danto and Mia Fineman along with an interview by Edward Lucie-Smith. Produced and edited by Garrett White for Steidl, The Color of Time surveys Scully’s photographic work from 1978 to the present.
Scully’s earliest photographs depict massive dark doorways in Sienna, Italy. Originally taken as an aide-mémoire, Scully surprised himself by creating a remarkably consistent series of ten works that strongly reference abstract, even monochrome, painting. Ten Siena Doors, 1978 will be included in the exhibition at Alexander and Bonin. Subsequent to Sienna, Scully’s travels to many countries have led to a very substantial body of work which he began to exhibit publicly in the late 1990s. This exhibition will include a selection of images shot in Mexico, Scotland, Morocco, England, The Dominican Republic and Spain.
The photographic work will be accompanied by several portfolios of etchings in which Scully explores the variations of a given composition, a practice that has also been frequently seen in his paintings and drawings. Sometimes, as in the case of his “Mirror” works the composition has originated in the print making process. Seven Mirrors, a folio of etchings with aquatint, represents how the artist’s use of imagery can connect to both the real and the abstract.
I think my paintings are abstracts with a very powerful memory of figurative painting. I started off as a figurative painter and worked my way through to abstraction…when I make abstract work, I always want some kind of connection to the world of reality. My painting might be described as abstraction that longs to be figurative…What I’m trying to do with the photographs is to capture a state of being associated with a particular visual moment…My photographs of façades are an attempt to bring the subject matter into the realm of painting via photography.
Sean Scully’s work has been extensively exhibited internationally for more than twenty years. In 2001-2002, a survey of his works in all mediums from 1990-2000 was exhibited at Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfallen, Düsseldorf, Haus der Kunst, Munich and IVAM Centre Julio González, Valencia. His most recent series of paintings are the subject of Wall of Light, an exhibition organized by Michael Auping which has already been shown in Monterrey, Mexico City and Rio de Janeiro and will be shown in the United States at the Fort Worth Art Museum, Texas and The Phillips Collection Washington, D.C.
 Lucie-Smith, Edward. “Interview with Sean Scully,” The Color of Time: The Photographs of Sean Scully. (Göttingen, Germany: Steidl, 2004) 196-199.