Almost ten years after Doric, the exhibition that introduced the art of Sean Scully to Greece, the Benaki Museum presents a major retrospective of the eminent artist’s work, entitled Passenger. The exhibition was first presented at the Museum of Fine Arts in Budapest.
The exhibition includes a total of 103 works, oils, acrylics, watercolours and drawings, and introduces an iconic sculpture. The earliest paintings and drawings were made during the 1960s, and bear figurative qualities and references to the human form. These are displayed on the first floor of the exhibition, along with his most recent Madonna series (2018) whereby, after the birth of his son Oisín, Scully reverts briefly to figurative art. On the same level, visitors will have the opportunity to enjoy large-scale works from the Supergrids series, where the artist’s influences derive, on the one hand, from the repeat patterns on rugs and textiles that he saw during a visit to Morocco and, on the other hand, from Mondrian’s neoplasticism. The exhibition’s second level includes Sean Scully’s exquisite oils, made from the 1980s onward, which hold an unbroken dialogue with the iconic movements and master painters of European art. The exhibits are complemented by sketches and notes that provide additional insight into the artist’s work.
Sean Scully, arguably the most notable representative of abstract painting today, creates work that combines the tradition of abstract expressionism in the U.S. with the sensibility of European modernist movements. The result is a visual language that is in constant dialogue with major painters and movements of the past while maintaining, always, a personal perspective, brimming with emotions and sensibility. His work is included in the world’s greatest museums and private collections.