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Sean Scully (b. 1945)
Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's… Read more Property of an Estate
Sean Scully (b. 1945)

Wall of Light Orange Grey

Details
Sean Scully (b. 1945)
Wall of Light Orange Grey
titled and dated 'WALL OF LIGHT ORANGE GREY 2001' (on the reverse)
oil on canvas
83 7/8 x 95 7/8in. (213 x 243.5cm.)
Painted in 2001
Provenance
Galerie Lelong, Paris.
Private Collection, Germany (acquired from the above in 2002).
Anon. sale, Christie's London, 14 October 2010, lot 47.
Acquired at the above sale by the present owner.
Exhibited
São Paolo, Special Exhibitions Ireland, 25th São Paolo Bienal, Cities, 2002 (illustrated, pp. 398-399).
Special Notice

Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's Resale Right Regulations 2006 apply to this lot, the buyer agrees to pay us an amount equal to the resale royalty provided for in those Regulations, and we undertake to the buyer to pay such amount to the artist's collection agent.
VAT rate of 5% is payable on hammer price and at 20% on the buyer's premium.
Post Lot Text
Property of an Estate

Lot Essay

'Abstract art has the possibility of being incredibly generous, really out there for everybody. It's a non-denominational religious art. I think it's the spiritual art of our time'
(S. Scully, 'Some Basic Principles,' in B. Kennedy, Sean Scully: The Art of the Stripe, Hanover 2008, p. 13).



Extending over two metres, Sean Scully's majestic Wall of Light - Orange Grey is a richly rendered embodiment of colour and form. A carefully considered juxtaposition of light and shadow within an architectural matrix, the quality of cohesion in this vibrant canvas is further evoked through its range of hues from cool onyx and slate to warmer reds and oranges. From the artist's celebrated Wall of Light series, other examples are held in museum collections including the Metropolitan Museum of Art (Wall of Light White, 1998) and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York (Wall of Light Brown, 2000), and was the subject of a major retrospective at The Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C., in 2005.

Comprised of a lavish patchwork of painterly horizontal and vertical brushstrokes, these compartmentalized and self-contained blocks of colour fit together with layers of under painting escaping through the negative space between the fields, conveying a sense of vitality and movement within the canvas. Through Scully's process of applying multiple coats of lustrous oil paint, Wall of Light - Orange Grey is the embodiment of the artist's engagement, his textural brushstrokes evidence of his presence. Through Scully's progressively built-up application of near-transparent oil paint, a luxuriant surface takes form, the traces of the artist's gestural brushstrokes enchanting the viewer and inviting contemplation in their seductive tactility. As the artist has explained: 'I see something, and have a feeling of something - it might be light, or the heat, they are very specific in that sense - and I unload the painting' (S. Scully, 'The Phillips Collection Lecture', F. Ingleby (ed.), Sean Scully: Resistance and Persistence: Selected Writings, London 2006, p. 179).

The inception of this series occurred during a visit to Mexico in 1983-1984, where Scully became fascinated by the play of light on the ancient Mayan ruins of Yucatan. Developing the idea over the next decade in a series of small watercolours, Scully fully conceived his series in 1998 when he moved beyond the strict formality of Minimalism and developed his own unique abstract language replete with a broadened palette and softened brushstrokes forming his discrete fields of colour. Undoubtedly, his artistic development was heavily influenced by the New York School colour field and post-painterly Abstractionists, such as Mark Rothko and Barnett Newman whose art he became familiar with after being awarded a scholarship to Harvard in 1972. 'Abstraction is the art of our age it's a breaking down of certain structures, an opening up' Scully explains, 'It allows you to think without making obsessively specific references, so that the viewer is free to identify with the work. Abstract art has the possibility of being incredibly generous, really out there for everybody. It's a non-denominational religious art. I think it's the spiritual art of our time' (S. Scully, 'Some Basic Principles,' in B. Kennedy, Sean Scully: The Art of the Stripe, Hanover 2008, p. 13).

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