Sean Scully: Aeternum

Forum Paracelsus St.Moritz, St. Moritz. 13. Februar – 8. März 2020.

Sean Scully’s (b. 1945, Dublin, Ireland) work has taken inspiration from many cherished, varied elements of European culture (ranging from the harmonic ideals of ancient Greece to the stone walls in his native Ireland) but he has also successfully responded to – and built on – the legacy of abstraction in the United States. Aeternum makes its focus paintings and pastels that show Scully engaging with classicism through the lens of abstraction. It will be the artist’s first solo show in Switzerland in nearly a decade, following his retrospective Grey Wolfat Kunstmuseum Bern in 2012. 

The core of this exhibition are Sean Scully’s Doric paintings, a series of works he has produced since 2008. The title references one of the three orders of ancient Greek architecture, the least ornate Doric order, and the paintings were conceived as a celebration of the contribution of classic Greek culture to humanity. These paintings combine austerity with luminosity and solidity with movement and rhythm. Variations of black, grey, and off-whites are arranged in broad, horizontal and vertical bands, using an abstract visual language which is unique to the artist. As well as the Doric paintings pastels and smaller paintings on metal have been chosen for the Forum – creating a balance between the architecture of the works shown and the architecture and tone of the space they will inhabit. 

The exhibition is curated by Oscar Humphries and supported by Marco Voena.