Sean Scully, Facing East

The State Russian Museum / The Marble Palace, St Petersburgh, Russia

3 March — 9 May 2018

This large-scale exhibition of Sean Scully’s work allows Russian viewers to get acquainted for the first time with the development of the artist’s work from the late 1960s to the present day. The exhibition is comprised of thirty paintings, watercolours, mixed-media compositions, and pastels.


Sean Scully was born in 1945 in Ireland.  He studied at Croydon College of Art and Newcastle University. He was a recipient of a graduate fellowship at Harvard in the early 1970s and subsequently settled in New York. From the 2000s on, he works between New York, Berlin, and Munich. Over the past 50 years, Sean Scully has created an artistic system of his own, gathering and developing the best plastic traditions of the early 20th-century avant-garde and combining them with complex metaphysical philosophy from the Ancient Greeks to theorists of the present day.


In Scully’s art, colour and line, subject to the erosion and articulation of boundaries, express the key social problems of humankind. His rigidly structured works are full of very subtle shades of meaning and emotion. Developing the ideas of non-objectivity, richly and diversely expressed in the work of the Russian avant-garde artists (Kazimir Malevich, Olga Rozanova, Lyubov Popova, and others), Scully also dwells on contemporary philosophical practices reflecting today’s rapidly changing reality.


His name, art critic and cultural philosopher Arthur Danto insisted, “belongs on the shortest of short lists of the major painters of our time.” Scully was twice nominated for the Turner Prize and is a member of the Royal Academy of Arts. He has exhibited widely in Europe and the United States and is represented in the permanent collections of a number of museums and public galleries, including the Museum of Modern Art, and the Guggenheim Museum in New York City, the Tate Gallery, London, and many other private and public collections worldwide.

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