abstract art, a systems view

Back in time: Sean Scully at Abbot Hall, Kendal

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Thinking of Sean Scully as I have been doing recently, I was remembering the exhibition of paintings and works on paper at Abbot Hall Art Gallery, Kendal in 2005.

Was it really that long ago? Visiting it was my birthday treat that year, and I took the trip up a few times during the three months it was open.

I liked that there were so many pieces of work (there were 23 in all) in a relatively small space. It was possible to get to know them over a period of time and to see how they related to each other. Although we wouldn’t think of Scully as a systems artist, the fact that he works in series means that you do see relationships between works very clearly and that the work becomes more than each individual painting.

In the catalogue for that show Scully says:

…very often with painting, when you see someone’s painting for the first time you can’t really relate to it. You have to see it over time, and you have to see different kinds of works by the same artist, and kind of live with it, live with the experience of that painting and come back to it until you sort of connect to it

Written by Andy Parkinson

October 25, 2011 at 7:00 am

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